A Mystery solved & the last plane of 2010
Nothing like waiting until the last minute. I filed the mouth on this 16-1/2" A1 panel plane on December 31st 2010.It is filled with mystery Rosewood. And... I think the mystery of Mystery Rosewood has been solved. I received an email from a very skilled guitar maker in England who was quite certain he knew what the Mystery Rosewood was. Madagascar Rosewood (Dalbergia Baronii). I have seen Dalbergia Baronii many times and it does not look anything like my Mystery Rosewood. He assured me that it was and that I was using what he called “ridiculous premium grade Madagascar Rosewood ”. After a few back and forth emails, some photos and the shipping of a small sample - I am quite certain that the Dalbergia Baronii he is using is the same stuff that I have been calling Mystery Rosewood. It seems strangely fitting that on this second last Mystery Rosewood filled plane - it is finally identified. Thanks Anthony for helping with this.
Here are a few more photos.
This A5 was a surprise Christmas gift. It was all I could do to keep from posting these photos. This plane is infilled with some stunning East Indian Rosewood. It was an a infill set that I had roughed out in 2004. I knew it would make for an incredible plane. Here are a bunch of photos.
The sun was streaming in when I was filing the mouth on the A5. I could not resist taking a quick photo of the grain.
An Amboyna burl test shaving from the above A5.
And now for something completely unrelated.
Jill and I found the perfect piece of artwork for above our fireplace. A dear friend of ours, Noriko Maeda, is a phenomenal Japanese calligrapher. We have always loved her work (take a moment and check it out). Noriko stopped in just before Christmas to show us a few of her pieces. This one stood out right away. It is curious that it is based on the Japanese character for water. A fitting home above the fireplace I think.
The above photo has not been messed with in Photoshop, and I could not help but think that the strange purple glow inside the fire is someone traveling by floo powder. Lucas suggested this may be how Santa travels.
Over the holidays, I was re-introduced to an old friend. This is the very first infill plane I owned - an un-handled Spiers coffin smoother. For all intents and purposes - this is the plane that started it all. It has been living in a small display cabinet in the shop. The iron it came with (which was not the original iron) was just about done - there was only 3/4" in front of the slot. I had lapped the sole 12 years ago (and noticed that I had not done a particularly good job of it) so I decided to do a little work on it. It really needed a new blade. This was a pretty big deal for me. It felt a little weird putting one of my blades in a Spiers plane. The new blade was a little thicker which meant I had to file the mouth open a few thousandths of an inch. Filing the mouth felt strange too - I was a little nervous despite having done this hundreds of times on my own planes.
This is the only plane I have with a 45 degree bed angle and I have to say, it is kinda fun using it again. I have been working with Basswood over the last few weeks (much more on this later:) and have been enjoying the lower bed angle in this easy to plane wood. And as Garrett Hack says - planing Basswood makes anyone feel like a hero!
I am going to stop this post here. I have several more new topics to introduce in the next few weeks. My first experiences with hide glue, my camera nightmares and building a 59LP.