Friday 17 June 2011

New plane number 2

(the paper mock-up)

I am not exactly sure when I saw my first Bayfield rebate plane - but when I was asked to make a reproduction of one, I was thrilled. This plane rattled around in my head for some time - there were quite a few execution details to work out.

I am by no means a plane history buff... but the Bayfield strikes me as the missing link between a traditional wooden rebate plane and the infill versions by Norris or Spiers. The Bayfield has a traditional mortise running through the wooden body of the plane, the blade is bevel down, and has a conical side escapement. Spiers and Norris rebate planes use the metal sidewalls to define the edges of the “mortise”, they are bevel up and have an escapement that is perpendicular to the sidewalls.

The original Bayfield plane bodies were cast - which instantly informed how they made this seemingly impossible plane. I was going to make a dovetailed version instead. I also decided to make a rosewood “test” plane before working on the customers birds eye boxwood version.

Chopping out the mortise. I am glad I had the Rosewood plane to test my mortising on - Boxwood is much tougher.

Here is the plane assembled and ready for lapping.

With the sole and sides lapped and square, it was time to cut the mouth.

With the mouth cut, I focused on the bed of the plane and then the leading edge of the mouth. This was a tricky spot to work, but the fact that it is a bevel down plane, meant there was enough room to use some of my thinner profiled files to smooth the leading edge.

I left the boxwood infill proud of the sidewalls so I could file the cone shaped escapement. The pencil line notes the center of the infill. This is the line I filed to.

The above photo shows the filed cone shaped escapement. The blue tape is there in case the file slips:) This type of file work is something I love doing. It is an exercise in control and precision handwork, but is still a fairly organic process. You file some - take a look, file some more, take note of how the reflections change and file some more. Pure bliss.

The finished escapement. Oh - there is one other change from the original plane. The original Bayfield has a skewed blade and the client asked me to keep the blade square to the body. I was quite relieved - not because it is simpler to make, but because I am not convinced that rebate planes need to be skewed. Maybe my left-handedness was creeping in there too. Anyway - I filed the cone shaped escapement from both sides to meet in the middle - making it a left and right handed plane.

This is the set-up I use for filing chamfers.

Here is one side chamfered.

And some photos of the finished Boxwood filled Bayfield.

(Jill suggested I mention that the green in the chamfer is a reflection of our tree and not mold)

Curly birds eye boxwood... whoda thunk it?

Some photos of the “test” Bayfield infilled with rosewood.

A few shots of the pair for good measure (these were taken before a coat of oil was applied to the boxwood).

And a hint to new plane number 3;


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A coffin smoother!!!!

17 June 2011 at 22:46  
Blogger Adrian Baird Ba Than said...

Beautiful,the pair of them.I love the windows in the sidewalls,especially in the case of these planes,you really do have access to some of the finest timber available.Figured Rosewood *drooool*,figured Boxwood *DROOOOOOOOOOOOOL*

18 June 2011 at 07:42  
Anonymous Phil Lang said...

Mr. Sauer:

Are the "inlay" sections in the metal sidewalls separate, thin pieces of wood applied to the main infill body after the infill is fitted to the assembled shell, or do you carve the "inlays" out of the integral infill piece and assemble the shell around the infill? (Or some other assembly/fitting procedure?) If the "inlays" are applied (presumably glued to the main infill body?), what is your adhesive of choice?

If the original metal bodies were cast, do you know/think/speculate that the "inlays" were applied to the infill body?

Thanks for sharing your work.

Phil Lang

18 June 2011 at 08:06  
Blogger Tico Vogt said...

Man, oh man!

18 June 2011 at 08:10  
Blogger Tico Vogt said...

Man, oh man!

18 June 2011 at 08:11  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Black. And I fully agree... if these planes had lesser timber they would be much less interesting.


18 June 2011 at 09:22  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Phil,

The original Bayfield was made from a cast body - and there would be no way of getting the wood inside the cavity. The windows on the sides were inlayed. I used the same method which allowed me to select quarter sawn stock for the main infill and then apply some more exciting material for the windows.


18 June 2011 at 09:24  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Tico!


18 June 2011 at 09:25  
Blogger Jay Christian said...

Both of those Bayfield planes are gorgeous, Konrad. Very nice.

I was wondering how you were able to lap the sides without messing up the boxwood, but it looks like you answered that responding to Phil's question. Beautiful.

For the #3 hint, that sole looks like it may be curved front to back -- a compass plane?

Thank you for posting these recent planes. They're all amazing.

18 June 2011 at 21:33  
Blogger nielscosman said...


That is some serious plane-porn Konrad! Amazing!

I've got so start covering up my keyboard with plastic before checking your blog. Drool-damage isn't covered under my warranty. :)

quick question: do you have a file maker of choice?


20 June 2011 at 10:20  
Anonymous Chris Bame said...

I think Adrian said it best. DROOOOL. Right after my love for Federal Furniture is my love for Rosewood Regency furniture. You just can't get timber like that anymore. I have not seen Boxwood in anything but inlay strips. Have you ever used Cuban Mahogany as a infill? Great stuff Konrad,Your work is inspiring!

20 June 2011 at 12:41  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Jay. Lapping the boxwood filled plane was really (really) tricky. I did lap the steel and boxwood at the same time - it is the only way to get them flush. I used a very small scraper to remove any of the dirty grey from the steel that imbedded in the boxwood.

Good guess on plane #3 - but not a compass plane. The sides are curved though.


20 June 2011 at 12:45  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Niels - glad you like them. They are both sitting on my bench right, now and I am enjoying them before they are shipped.

Sorry bout your keyboard:)

I do not really have a file maker of choice... the most important aspects for me are if they have safe edges and how strait, flat and well made they are. Generally old un-used stock is much better than modern files - but there are a few really good makers still - Grobet comes to mind.


20 June 2011 at 12:48  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Chris.

Oh boy - Rosewood regency is on my list too. I have not had the pleasure of working with Cuban Mahogany yet - but I am always looking for it. There are so many amazing species that we just cannot get anymore. When I come across them, I always buy whatever I can afford (and then a little more:) There are a few places that have genuine Boxwood - Octopus in Turkey has some pretty amazing material and reasonably priced for what it is. I have been on a bit of a Kingwood kick lately - I am sure some of it will end up in some furniture at some point.


20 June 2011 at 12:54  

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