Friday, 26 June 2009

Karl Holtey’s new blog

I just became aware of Karl’s new blog a few days ago. It is great to see and read about his perspective on planemaking and will hopefully further inspire people - he certainly inspired me when I started.

5 Comments:

Blogger Jim Shaver said...

Karl has an interesting process, lot of machining, I am very surprised ... I can see a lot of amazing quality in his work, but respect creation of fine tools by the hand myself so much more.

28 June 2009 at 15:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Konrad-

That seals the deal for me-while Karl makes amazing planes It just demonstrates what a master builder you are. Unless I am wrong I don't believe you work in a machine shop. You bring art to the craft that a machine can never touch-

2 July 2009 at 11:25  
Anonymous tyler mckenzie said...

The poor guy seems pretty tormented by the negative internet chatter. He shouldn't let that get to him, rather focus on his craft, and continue to grow.

2 July 2009 at 16:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

do you have any machine work done for you by other people Konrad?

26 August 2009 at 09:17  
Blogger Konrad said...

Anonymous,

Yes - I do have machine work done for me by other people.

26 August 2009 at 21:47  

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Saturday, 13 June 2009

The pieces are slowly coming together

(A quick sketch-up drawing of the fireplace and surrounding built-in)

The livingroom renovation has been on pause for the last month - at least that is the way it looks from the inside. There has been a fair amount of time spent with various trades and suppliers though - and things are coming together.

The two new windows have been ordered - they should be here by the end of the month. They are aluminum clad double casement windows with a fixed picture window on top. The fixed window has been spec’d in a way that the original stained glass windows will slide in from the inside. We are most pleased about this detail as we would not be replacing the windows if it meant giving up the stained glass.

Once the windows are in - I can frame the two new walls for the exterior walls, do the wiring and then insulate.


The zero clearance, woodburning fireplace has also arrived.

Our masonry guy stopped in this morning to discuss the firewood drawer. This is something I am really excited about. I grew up with a woodburning stove and one of the many childhood chores was bringing in the firewood. It was always a messy job - knocking off the snow and trudging through the house to stack it by the fireplace. We are going to be incorporating a spot under the hearth to store about 3 fires worth of wood. Instead of walking through the house, we are going to incorporate an open sided drawer that can be loaded from the outside and then accessed from the inside. This will involve cutting a hole in the exterior of the chimney (which happens to be at a perfect standing/loading height). The photo below shows the opening from the outside.



The photo below shows where it is on the inside. I am going to have a 1/4" thick steel frame made to fit inside the brick opening to support the weight. It will be 17-1/2" deep to extend the full depth of the chimney. I will need to make an insulated door to put in the steel frame - I think this will be a great solution.



I found some extra heavy duty, full extension drawer slides rated for 400lbs. They are 48" and should work perfectly for this. In the slides description, they make a note that these are not meant to support human weight... sorry Riley and Lucas (cause you know they will try!).



And last but not least - the quarter sawn white oak is starting to arrive too. Above is the 320 bd ft for the trim and the built-in cabinets around the fireplace.


Here is a quick shot showing some of the fantastic ray flecking - I can’t wait to get to the woodworking part of this project!





I also lucked out and was able to purchase a large pile of very wide quarter sawn white oak boards. All 15 are from the same tree and are quite spectacular. I placed my 12" Starrett on the floor for scale - they are all 8' long.

9 Comments:

Blogger Jim Shaver said...

Hey Konrad, can I come over and help, I love working with qswo!

:-)

14 June 2009 at 19:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the idea of the firewood drawer, Konrad, and look forward to seeing how that turns out.

Cheers ;-)

Paul Chapman

16 June 2009 at 08:23  
Blogger Russell Tribby said...

Did you do the painting on the shop wall?

16 June 2009 at 10:09  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hey Jim,

Don't threaten like that... I am liable to take you up on it:)

Cheers,
Konrad

16 June 2009 at 12:14  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Paul - I will certainly keep the blog up-to-date.

Cheers,
Konrad

16 June 2009 at 12:14  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hey Russ,

Yes - I did. You are one of the few people that would catch that:)

Cheers,
Konrad

16 June 2009 at 12:15  
Blogger Russell Tribby said...

If I had some pics of some of my stuff I'd send them to you but I don't think I do. It's been since college that I've really done anything.
I still remember that pencil you did of the horses that you sold while you were working at that store in Market Square. Cripes! How long ago was that!?!?!?!

16 June 2009 at 12:39  
Blogger Russell Tribby said...

Wait....I just realized it wasn't Market Square. What was it called? It was closer to the park and turned kind of ghetto by the time we left.

16 June 2009 at 13:48  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hey Russ,

King Center - and it has slid further down into the gutter. Sad really. Now and Then books is gone too - Harry died a few years back. I did get a chance to take Riley in there before it closed though.

Cheers,
Konrad

17 June 2009 at 23:01  

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Friday, 5 June 2009

Introducing the A1ssT


I just took this plane for a test drive a few hours ago, and I have to say - it was a rather incredible experience. It reminded me of the first time I used my A5ss. I should back up a bit.

The goal of this plane was to be a “narrow, nimble, extremely balanced Try-plane”. Here is what we changed. Most panel planes have a “Norris” bed angle of 47-1/2 degrees - we opted for a York pitch of 50 degrees. We also decreased the width of the iron from 2-1/2" to 2-1/4". These two seemingly minor changes were not pulled out of the air - they were hunches based on our mutual experience with the A5ss. Geez... I need to back up a bit more.

The first A5ss was completed in November of 2006. There were a few new variations to this plane that in the end influenced the A1ssT. Up until this point, the sole footprint of the A5 was 7-7/8" long but I was looking for a way to shorten it to around 7-1/2". A york pitch allowed this to happen. Changing the bed angle from 47-1/2 degrees to 50 degrees gave me the extra room to push the handle close to the mouth opening while still allowing for a wide variety of handle sizes.

At the same time, I opted to make a narrow version - with a 2" blade instead of the usual 2-1/4". The net effect of these minor changes was amazing. The plane had an incredible balance to it - it was not toe heavy at all. This may not seem like a big deal - but a toe heavy plane will strain the wrist on the return stroke - even if you are a “dragger”. What happened was the balance point of the plane moved closer to the handle - putting more of the planes weight in your hand - literally. When you pick up the A5ss it feels like an extension of your hand. The coffin shape also factors into this. The narrowing of the plane at the toe reduces a fair amount of material from the front bun. This keeps the toe as light as possible not to mention is a much more ergonomical shape than the square bun of an A6.

Not long after the A5ss someone commissioned an A5 with a York pitch and a 2-1/4" wide blade. This was the perfect opportunity to compare blade widths and determine if blade width or bed angle (both had the shorter 7-1/2" footprint) was the larger factor. The wider model was as well balanced as its narrower brother - which suggests that moving the handle as close to the cutting action produces a more balanced plane.

In hindsight - this makes perfect sense as an unhandled smoother - the No.4 - is one of the most comfortable planes to use - your hand is as close to the cutting action as you can get.



Now - back to the A1ssT. We were curious to see if changing the bed angle and moving the handle close to the cutting action would have a similar effect on a large plane like a panel. We were also interested to see the effect of reducing the width. Obviously it would be lighter overall - but would it influence the balance point due to the change in bed angle and handle position?



I have only used the plane for half an hour or so - so this is by no means a scientific conclusion... but this plane is more balanced than my 14-1/2" Ebony filled A1 panel plane. Of course the length may be factoring into this - but there is certainly a difference in balance. There is also a difference due to the narrow width. The plane feels more like a long smoother - it is faster (the reduced shaving width=less effort per pass) and does feel more nimble. I am not sure if that is a factor of the narrow width or the balance - but whatever it is, I am thrilled because that was one of the goals of the plane.




On a bit of a side note, there were quite a few other alterations largely due to the loss of 1/4" in width. The most notable change was to the front bun. I typically have a 1/4" wide shoulder that transitions from the top of the sidewall to the main part of the bun. I was worried this bun would look too skinny if I kept this shoulder 1/4" so opted to reduce it to 3/16". I also added in a second cove to the front of the bun - just for fun. This second cove is always on the jointers - but I was curious to see how it would look on a panel.



I am most pleased with how it all worked out in the end. I will take the plane for another drive before I ship it to its new home - but my first impressions are this plane will become a regular variation in the line-up.

6 Comments:

Blogger Aled said...

Speechless!!

6 June 2009 at 17:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Konrad,

I think you should put a little more thought into the next one.

Wow!

Dan

9 June 2009 at 20:01  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Aled. How are the plane kits coming along?

Cheers,
Konrad

9 June 2009 at 21:49  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hey Dan,

Yes - this was a pretty involved plane - but I loved every minute of it! There are a few more of these unique variations coming up too - lots of new stuff going on.

Best wishes,
Konrad

9 June 2009 at 21:51  
Blogger Coladeleon said...

ignored.....:(

Thanks anyway Konrad,I don't bother you more...

God bless you!

Francisco

10 June 2009 at 12:20  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hello Francisco,

Glad you thought of posting here. I have responded to each of your 3 emails since we met in San Fracisco. They have all been returned for some reason. Do you have an alternate email address I could try?

Konrad

10 June 2009 at 15:54  

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