Sunday, 8 February 2009

Finishing the mitre plane



With the french polish on the wedge completed - it was time to get off the pot and decide how to finish the top edges of the sidewalls. The Norris A11 has chamfered edges, and while it looks nice on that model, I didn’t think it would work along the front edge of this plane (the A11 does not have a piece of metal across the front). The other typical mitre treatment is to round the edges over which is what I opted to do. I was surprised at how quickly this went - much simpler than a beveled chamfer.



Here are a few shots of the finished plane and a few detail shots of the adjuster and the inside of the front bun.





And for the grand finish - the first engrain shavings...





At the time of this post, I had used this plane for a total of 1/2 an hour... but there were a few things that immediately stood out.

As I was building this plane it started to feel a little “big” and I was concerned about it. Joe Steiner stopped in the other night to keep working on his XSNo.4, and brought a wonderful Moon mitre plane with him (at my request). It was quite a bit smaller - and added to my fear about the size of this mitre. The Moon had wonderful rounded edges - including the perimeter of the sole. It was extremely comfortable to shoot with. At this stage, I had not yet decided on the edge treatment and all the edges were still quite sharp from being lapped - so my mitre felt quite uncomfortable in comparison. The experience with the Moon really informed my decision to round the edges as opposed to chamfering them.

With the edges rounded - it feels like a completely different plane. It is very comfortable to hold now and the mass is wonderful in use. Once again, I am reminded of why it is so important to “prototype” a plane first. There will be a few small tweaks to the production model, but it will have more to do with my building process than the final result.

I am going to be in Oakland CA next weekend attending the Lie Nielsen show at the Crucible and will have this mitre plane with me for anyone who wants to try it out.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Narayan said...

Scrumptious. I look forward to seeing it in Oakland. Sort of. You know, because I might have to start saving for one...

Safe travels.

9 February 2009 at 14:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Konrad,


How many violins did Antonio Stradivarius build?

How many planes will Konrad Sauer make?

Nicely done, once again.

Dan

10 February 2009 at 21:19  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Narayan,

Deneb is bringing a shooting board for us to use - saves me from packing it with my Star Wars shirt.

Cheers,
Konrad

10 February 2009 at 23:00  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Dan.

So far - a little over 200... I think.

Cheers,
Konrad

10 February 2009 at 23:01  
Blogger Traditional Toolworks said...

Really good to talk to you at the LN Hand Tool Event in Oakland. Your planes are spectacular, it was a treat to try them out.

Thanks for all your advice on toolmaking and my saws, you were most helpful!

This new miter plane is really nice, as were all the other planes you had there. I regret not trying out the jointer, it was so big and massive and those hunks of ebony really make a bold statement. Next time I won't be so intimidated to try it out. :-)

I really enjoyed talking to you.

Regards,
Alan DuBoff - Traditional Toolworks

17 February 2009 at 22:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Konrad,

I'm thinking a steel and Brazilian rosewood mitre plane would go nicely with a steel and Brazilian rosewood panel plane. Hmmmm.

Dan

22 February 2009 at 17:39  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Dan,

Why yes - yes it would:)

Cheers,
Konrad

22 February 2009 at 18:04  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Alan,

It was great to meet you as well. Best of luck with the saw adventure. Remember to keep this in mind - it has to be fun.

Cheers,
Konrad

22 February 2009 at 18:05  
Anonymous Alan DuBoff said...

Konrad,

I'm trying to keep it fun, and to kick it up a notch so to speak. I'm making some headway on the inlays. A luthier friend was helpful in providing some old pieces of ivory also. I've been mocking up some inlays and will be trying some in the next few days.

So refreshing to see and use your planes, and looking over the pics on your site makes me realize how much I love bronze. I have truly become a bronze whore over the past year...:-/

I immediately spot that legendary pink hue that bronze throws off so nicely...nice work! I don't know which I find nicer, the No 4 smoother with it's mystery wood, or ebony/mystery wood mini miters...are the mini miters one piece body? Seems like you must have milled those from a solid piece of bronze...or did you join the ends on the front/rear? Beautiful work!

Regards,
Alan

23 February 2009 at 03:54  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Alan,

The mini mitres are dovetailed as well - there is a piece of bronze dovetailed across the front. The large all steel mitre is done the same way - it is not milled from solid.

Cheers,
Konrad

23 February 2009 at 19:45  
Anonymous Alan DuBoff said...

Konrad,

I stared at the mini miters last night and couldn't see the joint for the front.

I was just staring at it and can't for the life of me see it now, either.

Is that a blind dovetail with a miter on the outside corner?

Very nice work.

Regards,
Alan

24 February 2009 at 02:58  
Anonymous Kev. Brenton said...

You certainly make beautiful tools. I'm inspired to make a mitre plane for myself on the A11 style ,but not sure where to start .I will have to do some research and see what I can do.

Kev.

10 January 2011 at 07:16  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Kev,

thanks for the comments. There is a fair amount of info online now - at least compared to when I started making planes. If I may be so bold as to suggest a simpler plane to start with? Mitres are not all that easy to make when compared to a smoother or something. Best of luck with it.

Cheers,
Konrad

10 January 2011 at 18:58  

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Thursday, 5 February 2009

21 hours later...


... the steel button is now flushed with the surface of the wedge, the recess in the button is done, and the first coat of french polish has been applied.



And in case you were wondering - I didn’t work on the wedge until this XSNo.4 was completed (that “reward” system at work again).

2 Comments:

Anonymous Mike said...

What a wonderful XSNo.4, Mr. K!

That settle it. While I was (slightly) undecided what my first S&S plane would be, it will be an XSNo.4.

The one I used at WIA was such a lovely plane to use. This one just pushes me over the edge.

Looking forward to seeing you in Oakland.

Take care, Mike

5 February 2009 at 23:19  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hey Mike,

Glad you like it. I never tire of building or using these little guys. I would love to make one for you.

see you next week.
Cheers,
Konrad

6 February 2009 at 08:03  

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Wednesday, 4 February 2009

A few mitres & a stunning piece of of wood.


The last few weeks have been very busy - both in the workshop and in the yard shoveling snow. The only good thing about mountains of snow is that it represents fresh water - and will do our rivers and lakes some good this spring and summer.

I just finished 2 very small mitre planes based on the one I talked about in a recent post. One is infilled with Ebony and the other with “mystery wood”. These are quite small - 5-1/2" long and 1-1/4" wide. Below is a photo of the pair next to a 28-1/2" A2 jointer.





The blade for the large mitre plane arrived this week and it is all I can do not to drop everything and finish it. I was a little nervous about the fit between the pin of the adjuster and the holes in the blade... but it was a perfect fit - thanks Larry & Ron!



Ok - so I didn’t “drop” any work - but have managed to find an hour or two here and there to work on the mitre. Here is a shot of the wedge properly fit with the blade in place. And with this done... I was morally obligated to finish the wedge (wasn’t I?).



Here is a shot of the fully shaped wedge. And with that done - it was just a quick turn of the stainless screw to find the location for the steel button...



So now I wait 24 hours for the epoxy to dry....




And last but certainly not least - that stunning piece of wood. This is a No.4 smoother infilled with “mystery wood”. I am quite sure it is a Dalbergia - but which one is anyone’s guess. All I know is that it makes for exceptionally beautiful infill. Here are a few pictures of the plane before I boxed it up and shipped it to Hawaii.





The balcony ledge was snow-free for a few hours and I could not pass on the opportunity to take an outdoor shot to show the grain of the rear infill.

6 Comments:

Blogger David said...

realy nice work or should I say realy beautifull work... One day I will buy one(or two) of your plane. I do all my woodworking with hand tools and hoppe to kind of make a living of it! thank you to make me dream!
David Gendron
Whitehorse Yukon

5 February 2009 at 00:15  
Blogger Aled said...

Stunning, absloutely stunning.

I have a thing for unhadled smoothers, and that wood is just great! Once I finish MY small shoulder plane, I might just give one a go.

The mitres aren't that bad either - understatement of the century.

Cheers

Aled

5 February 2009 at 03:16  
Blogger Raney said...

Man, Konrad. You really might want to space those photos out a bit... I think I went blind before I got past the completed wedge...

Any idea where I can find a Mystery Rosewood Tree or ten?

5 February 2009 at 11:57  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi David,

Thank-you for your kind comments.

Warmest wishes,
Konrad

5 February 2009 at 12:00  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Aled,

Unhandled smoothers are wonderful planes to use - and they do not get nearly the press they deserve. I think part of the problem is they are very “simple” looking. They are amazing workhorses.

Cheers,
Konrad

5 February 2009 at 12:02  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hey Raney,

Sunglassses? :)

I wish I could find another plank of Mystery Rosewood myself. I have a good chunk of it left - but it will run out some day.

Cheers,
Konrad

5 February 2009 at 12:04  

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