Sunday, 13 November 2011

I used to hate sapwood...


... until I was roughing out this Desert Ironwood set.

I have only seen one or two planes where sapwood was used effectively (as in, did not detract from the plane). But the grain on this piece of Ironwood is so graphically strong, that the white sapwood did not seem out of place or overpowering. Truth be told... I was hoping to keep as much of it as possible.





There was also a corner of sapwood on the blank for the front pad. I was not expecting any of this sapwood to remain... but did have my fingers crossed.








Only the tiniest dot of sapwood remained on the front pad. It was sad to watch it disappear as I was doing the final shaping, but I was not about to sacrifice the shape of the pad in order to keep it.































Desert Ironwood has become a very popular infill material. Here is another Ironwood filled K13.







This plane has some incredible burl in it. Here is a close up of the front pad.















More amazing burl.













There are some highly reflective gold flecks in the handle. It is almost impossible to photograph, but they are wicked in the sunlight.

10 Comments:

Anonymous David said...

I keep coming back again and again to look at these planes. Your work is inspiring, the overwhelming precision of the metal work and the desire to display the beauty of wood is fantastic.

14 November 2011 04:17  
Blogger Richard Wile said...

Stunning Konrad, the sapwood in this case really works to another dimension to the colour, without having that hard contrast line. This material is really something else! and of course worked by the master it is beyond words.

14 November 2011 06:11  
Blogger Kevin Brehon said...

Wow. That burl looks almost psychadelic. I was wondering if there was any way to carry that look through to the sidewalls. Maybe using damascus steel? Have you ever considered using any kind of texturing or engraving on your sidewalls?

15 November 2011 23:00  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks for the very kind comments David. I am hoping this K13 is not a one trick pony... I am working on a few other models right now. Fingers crossed!

Cheers,
Konrad

16 November 2011 08:08  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Richard - glad you like it. Sapwood on figured desert ironwood seems to be one of the few instances where the two work well together - at least to my eye. I know some people really like sapwood showing, but I have always found it distracting and detracting from the overall form.

Cheers,
Konrad

16 November 2011 08:10  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Kevin,

Psychadelic is a good word for it! Working with it is pretty trippy as it all starts to take shape. There are often these really odd areas of grain that look like you are seeing 1/2" into the wood, then you move and it is gone. Reminds me a bit of Satinwood. I have thought about how to carry texture from one material to the other, but in most cases, it ends up looking really busy and they almost cancel one another out. Dmascus with figured Desert ironwood would be an overdose (to keep the metaphor going:)

Engraving on the other hand is something I would love to pursue. It would have to be the right plane and the right engraver - but I have seen engraving used to great effect.

Cheers,
Konrad

16 November 2011 08:14  
Anonymous Chris Bame said...

WOW !! that is one stunning plane Konrad. Could be my favorite so far. I like Kevin's idea of engraving could ad a whole new dimension to a plane. Great work !!!

16 November 2011 10:02  
Anonymous GregM said...

Wow. I am totally in awe of both your work, and the life this tree must have lived. I can't think of a better way to honor the tree's life than this.

16 November 2011 14:30  
Blogger robert said...

Konrad:

Is everything ok? You haven't posted in a while.

16 December 2011 10:22  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Robert,

Thanks for the note and the concern. Everything is fantastic actually - just busy with lots of stuff. In a nutshell, just took delivery of my dream bandsaw yesterday - a Y30 snowflake. Been working on a dining room chair design and full mock-up. And of course, several planes including work on a K18 and a K7. I will post a new entry soon.

Cheers,
Konrad

16 December 2011 12:04  

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