Norris rebate mitre plane revisited
This is a plane that I did not think I would have an opportunity to make again. I was delighted when a customer asked if I would be able to make an African Blackwood filled version. I decided to make a second one along side it, and build it a few steps ahead to avoid any misadventures... Murphy’s law and all.
Thankfully, I had kept all the original jigs, fixtures and notes from the first pair. I found myself referencing the original 'build' photos quite often - it was a good reminder of what I had done and went a long way to keeping Murphy at bay.
One of the biggest challenges was to decide on the infill material for the 'spare'. I have this very old Kingwood plank that seemed like a good choice. Kingwood is one of those species that is really quite rare - especially in dimensions suitable for planes. I needed stock 2-1/8" wide for the infill and the plank was 9/4. It was perfect.
There are only 2 modifications to this pair of planes when compared to the first pair. The end of the wedge was cut square on the first pair (as it was on the original Norris plane). I thought it would look nicer if the end of the wedge matched the radius on the iron and the bronze pivot block.
The second change is so minor that you can only see it if you remove the screw in the keeper - I chamfered the hole. The bronze post that houses the screw is at an angle and when the post is flushed with the infill, the threads looked a little odd. The chamfer cleaned it all up.
When I cut into the Kingwood plank - it was not exactly what I was expecting. There were some orange tones in it - something not typical in Kingwood. I contacted my usual list of exotic wood guru’s and one of the guesses was Cocobolo. The orange was more typical for Cocobolo but the smell was wrong and it planed beautifully. It planed like a dense Walnut which is not how I would describe planing Cocobolo. Another friend had what I took to be the best advise. He said that there are thousands of Rosewoods out there if you count all the cross pollinating and variations. His suggestion was that this was likely something in the middle, and at the end of the day - if the wood is beautiful and seasoned properly - then use it.
With this pair of planes completed, I am going to take a bit of time to continue working on the dining room chairs. I am not sure how far I will get - but I will certainly post photos as I go.