The blade arrived on Monday around 11:00 am - the Lie Nielsen handtool event started Friday morning (and the Tools of the trade show on Sunday). Time to kick it into high gear. I had fit the stainless steel lever cap ahead of time using a K13 blade as a place holder. The cross pin was also fit and ready to be piened. I flattened the back of the new blade, checked the fit and then piened the cross pin. Lapped the sole and sides, chamfered the front corners, shaped the front pad and completed the sidewall chamfers. It was 1:00 am on Tuesday morning - but it was ready for the first coat of french polish to the newly shaped front pad.
I woke up Tuesday morning with somewhat crabby stomach muscles, but was pleased to see the plane again. I opted to file the mouth first - before french polishing the pad. I knew I would not be able to get 12 coats done in time, but I did want to be able to bring it to both shows to let people try it out and give me feedback.
The K18 is 18" long, has a 2-1/2" wide, high carbon steel blade (thanks again Ron!) and a bed angle of 47.5 degrees. The infill is Honduran Rosewood. Here are some photos of the completed plane.
The feedback from the weekend was quite positive. Lots of people had a chance to try the K18 along side the K13. I was particularly interested in the response to the longer front pad. Despite lots of different hand sizes, everyone seemed to find it comfortable, which was great news to hear.
Thanks to everyone who came out to both the Lie Nielsen handtool event and the Tools of the trade show. Thanks too for the fine folks at Century Mill who hosted the LN event.