Wednesday, 1 October 2014

A spare XSNo.4 & a few recent planes

There is only one infill wood that I like with naval brass... until now. I found some very old Ziricote quite a few years ago, and in 2008, roughed out this set. It sat on the shelf until a couple of months ago when I pulled it down and decided to make a spare plane. I was debating on steel or bronze sides and then remembered I had some naval brass as well. Until now, I had only ever used Ebony with naval brass, but the Ziricote looked really, really good with it, so decided to go for it.

I also used naval brass for the lever cap, the lever cap screw and the infill cross pins. 

The brass cross pins make for a very clean look which I like. The cross pin for the lever cap is steel. 

The 1-9/16" blade is high carbon steel from Ron Hock and is bedded at 52.5 degree. The plane is $1,750.00 Cdn. This plane has been sold.

This next plane is another XSNo.4, infilled with English Boxwood.  It has a bronze lever cap and lever cap screw with steel sides.  Boxwood is wonderful to work with - it smells great too... unlike Desert Ironwood, which is basically like working with very dry poo.

The Boxwood is soaked in oil for several days and then given a light coat of paste wax.

I have always found it difficult to photograph the difference between bronze and naval brass, but this next photo captures it fairly well.

This next plane is a Desert Ironwood filled K18. It is always challenging to find Desert Ironwood large enough for a plane of this size, but it is so worth it!



 The front pad has some stunning burl figure.

And last, but certainly not least, is a plane that I really enjoyed making. I have not made an A5 for a long time, and it was a real treat to make one again. Bronze sides, lever cap and lever cap screw with African Blackwood infill. 

2" wide, V11 blade and a 50 degree bed angle. 


African Blackwood and French polish are perfect for each other. 



Blogger Charlton Wang said...

Sweet!! You really do have some sweet wood!

1 October 2014 at 21:40  
Anonymous Gary said...

Love that little boxwood plane, Konrad. Is that one also for sale?

2 October 2014 at 03:32  
Blogger Richard Wile said...

Yes Konrad you do have some nice wood (?). If I did not already have one of those, that Ziricote one would be on its way here.

As always, amazing work!

2 October 2014 at 05:30  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Charlton.


2 October 2014 at 06:15  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Gary,

The boxwood plane was commissioned, but I do have another set from the same piece of Boxwood. I could certainly make another one.


2 October 2014 at 06:17  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Richard,

Glad you like the Ziricote plane - it is a pretty sweet one, and nice to find another material that works well with naval brass.


2 October 2014 at 06:19  
Blogger Neill said...


I am proud and honored to say that the A% is mine. I cannot wait to get my hands on it. It turned out more beautiful than I thought. The first photo has replaced by Jaguar as my monitor's background.

If anyone has any hesitation in making the financial commitment to purchase an S & S plane, let me say that it has been a distinct pleasure in dealing with a craftsman and a gentlemen like you.


2 October 2014 at 11:34  
Blogger Owen Crane said...

Hi Konrad - beautiful work as always! You skipped september though! I must say I was starting to dread that picture of the hammer - although I took the time to go back and re-read everything from the beginning. (again) I learn an astonishing amount from your posts. I've had a few questions accumulating though - I'm assuming that since you don't use chipbreakers on the K series and some others they aren't necessary, but I don't really understand why. Wouldn't the screw eventually dig into the metal and want to keep the iron in the same spot? Is the screw just soft enough that this isn't a concern? Also I had been wondering if the infills are also epoxied into the metal, or if it's just with those cross pins. Lastly, and I had been wondering about this somewhat vaguely and then when you had mentioned it was tough to find large enough desert ironwood it reminded me - are your handles out of one piece on something like that? I kind of assume so, because I would think it would be better and stronger - but it does seem like it would involve a lot of waste and I know you're not a fan of that. Sometimes it looks like the handle is just dropped into a perfectly fit mortise in base/bed rear infill. I think there were quite a few others but I can't remember right now, I'll have to start keeping a list. Apologies for the short essay in the meantime!

2 October 2014 at 19:55  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thank-you Neill - for the very kind comments on the A5 and the experience thus far.

Commissioning a custom made handplane is a large financial commitment and I continue to to be grateful that there are people like yourself who see the value in it and are willing to support me.

warmest wishes,

3 October 2014 at 06:14  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hello Owen,

The short essay is most welcome - thank-you for taking the time to write.

Sorry about the hammer being up front for so long - content is getting a little harder to scare up after all these years! And I have to say, I am pretty impressed that you read the whole blog... again! Wow - glad you were able to find some useful information in it.

As to your questions.

In some circles, there is a lot of debate about chip breakers - usually coupled with the idea that they have recently been re-discovered. One of the goals of a chip-breaker is to reduce tear- out. If the chipbreaker is properly tuned and set to within .004" (if I recall), they are very good at reducing or even eliminating tear-out. Another option is to have a plane with a very fine mouth... under .006". I think these measurements being similar is not a coincidence, and from my experience with all the K-series planes and several of the un-handled planes, having a very fine mouth accomplishes the same thing. The way I make planes, I build in the ability to control the mouth opening - I have to file it open to allow the blade to pass through. Infill blades are generally very thick, so a chip breaker is not adding stability to the blade at all - unlike my grandfathers Stanley No.5. There are several other technical characteristics of an infill that help reduce tear out as well, but the fine mouth is an important ones.

The lever cap screw can create a divot in a chip breaker if they are over tightened. They cannot create a divot in the actual blade - the blades are too hard. This is one of the reasons I round over the tip of the screw - to reduce the ability for it to cut into the cap iron.

The infills are not epoxied in - the cross pins are all that is holding them in place. I don't use metal sleeves or screws either - just a straight pin that is piened over at each end. Epoxy is messy, not fun to work with, and completely unnecessary if the fit between the metal shell and the infill is good. Epoxy will not reduce or eliminate wood movement either. Old, dry appropriate infill material is the best and simplest solution to the wood movement issue.

The rear infill of a handled plane is made up of 2 pieces. The handle, which is fully mortised into the rear infill, and the rear infill itself. It would be a tremendous waste to make it from a solid piece. I will post a few photos to show this - I thought I had done so already. The A5 in the post has a rear infill made from 3 pieces - the handle and a cheek piece attached to each side. The front bun or front pad is always made from a single piece and is usually the biggest challenge - especially on a 28-1/2" jointing plane!

Best wishes,

3 October 2014 at 07:11  
Blogger Charlton Wang said...

That's a very informative post Konrad. Very enlightening.


3 October 2014 at 09:02  
Blogger Owen Crane said...

Thanks for getting back to me Konrad, these things have been a bee in my bonnet for a while now! And at least now I can fathom how you are shaping the lower section to the sidewalls....when I thought they might be one piece I was extremely irritated as I really couldn't see how you would be doing it with the tools you use! Not that there's any less magic involved - but it is nice to be able to grasp the idea at the very least. And pretty cool that they are mortised in. Your fitting is ridiculously tight. Also I'm amazed and even more impressed that there is no adhesive involved. Makes it that much cooler!
I didn't know chip breakers were about tear out - I thought they were only to reduce chatter and add stiffness (is it that doing those things would reduce tear out as well?) very interesting! And now I would not be worried at all, as I know what you're mouth tolerances are. Thanks again for all your help - and don't worry about people like me moaning that you're not posting fast enough... I'm amazed that you manage to have a blog at all. And to be honest I can go back again and again to check little tidbits of information and techniques as I come across them in my life - there's a lot of good stuff packed in here!

3 October 2014 at 12:07  
Blogger Chris Bame said...

Nice batch Konrad!! Really like the K 18. I am surprised that the handled planes are two piece, Looking forward to see the pics of that
I'm about to test the new and old irons on some rift white oak.
I'll let you know how it goes. It sharpened up nice.

Cheers Chris

4 October 2014 at 22:35  
Blogger Mitch said...

Your A5 is a work of art Konrad! Love you blog as well. See you on Instagram.

1 December 2016 at 01:48  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Mitch!


1 December 2016 at 07:01  

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