Thursday, 7 April 2016

Tools of the Trade & a spare XSNo.4

This past weekend, Joe Steiner and I traveled to Pickering Ontario for the spring Tools of the Trade show. This is the first time in at least 10 years that we did not set up as vendors but rather just as attendees. I have to say - it was a lot of fun! I am always overwhelmed by the sea of antique tools and no matter how hard I try to concentrate, I miss stuff. This year was a little different, and I wonder if it is because I had my camera with me and could ‘see’ through a different lens so to speak. Regardless of why it was different - it was, and I had a lot of fun seeing more and catching up with old friends.




There was a pretty cool infill with a particularly contemporary front bun. The traditional form of the front bun does not stray too much, so seeing examples like this is a real treat. Sadly, it did not strike me as an overly comfortable plane - I wish there would have been a bench to try it out. Things are different when you stand there holding a plane vs place it on a piece of wood. I have made that mistake in the past, and have learned not to pass judgement until I can actually try it.







A striking lever cap.





Frank Flynn had a pair of typesetters planes. These took me back to my previous life as a graphic designer. These are planes for re-surfacing wood type. What was new to me was seeing one of them outfitted with a Disston file for working endgrain type.  I was tempted, but held off, and I am glad I did - the real prize of the show was just around the corner.







Both planes ride in a track to ensure consistency of thickness. Examples of wood type below.







I had a chance to catch up with Darryl Gent as well. He is a planemaker from Welland Ontario and showed me this sweet spalted European Beech smoother. He has soaked it in oil which has added to the weight. Really nice work.










I also had a chance to catch up with my friend Anson. He had a table full of Japanese tools - mainly hammers and saws.



There was one hammer in particular that caught my attention right away. I couldn't believe it - a little brother to a hammer from years ago.  I immediately picked it up and did not put it down until I had decided. Needless to say, it came home with me, and I think I will re-handle both of them at the same time. The other handle has a small crack right below the head. I keep a close eye on it, but don't want it breaking off when I am working.  The hard part will be deciding on the handle material. Suggestions?



Can you guess which one it is?



I also have a spare XSNo.4. I just completed these 2 planes. The one in the back is spoken for - it was the original commission. There were 2 matching sets on the shelf so I decided to make both of them. I am working on a 24" jointing plane right now, and working on these 2 much smaller planes has been a nice break from such an intense plane.

The plane is 5-1/2" long, has  52.5 degree bed angle, bronze sides, lever cap and screw. The infill is an unknown Rosewood - I suspect a close relative of Cocobolo, but I am not 100% sure. The blade is high carbon steel from Ron Hock. The top photo is more accurate for color - it is pouring rain right now so the balcony ledge is unavailable. A Versailles pattern parquetry floor panel will have to do.








The price is $1,750.00 Cdn + actual shipping cost and insurance if desired. Send me an email if you are interested. konrad@sauerandsteiner.com

15 Comments:

Blogger nielscosman said...

That lever cap though!

7 April 2016 at 13:33  
Blogger Richard Wile said...

I am guessing the hammer is the Damascus with forge welded faces in hard steel. Looks very close to one I recently saw (bought)...

Do I win the prize?

7 April 2016 at 20:09  
Blogger Owen Crane said...

Chris Hall seemed to think quite highly of "gumi" for japanese hammer handles. I tend to take his opinion on all matters japanese about how I do yours on infills and exotic woods. Which is to say quite highly. I assume you're familiar, but if not have a look or let me know and I'll see if I can find the article... I think it's some sort of japanese boxwood.

7 April 2016 at 21:47  
Blogger Konrad said...

Yeah Niels - that was a pretty cool lever cap. I have never seen one like it. I suspect it is not rare or anything - but pretty cool nonetheless.

cheers,
konrad

7 April 2016 at 22:01  
Blogger Konrad said...

You get the prize Richard... but I suppose the real prize arrives next week eh? :)

cheers,
konrad

7 April 2016 at 22:01  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hey Owen,

I have heard of Gumi before - but I have not seen any. If you can dig up the article, I would be most grateful. I have some Asian boxwood - but I don't know the country of origin - I supsect the seller didn't either. White Oak is somewhat appealing... which surprises me a bit. I also have some English brown oak... which might be an interesting east meets west thing... who knows. Thanks for your thoughts.

cheers,
konrad

7 April 2016 at 22:04  
Blogger Owen Crane said...

Bah, my mistake Konrad - I got my late night rabbit hole research mixed up. He does say Gumi is his favourite 'tool handle wood', however it was in an article about chisels. I believe that led me to some other articles about gumi (god knows where now) which were more focused on hammer handles, which I think is why I got them confused.

Anyhow this was the chisel article.

http://thecarpentryway.blogspot.ca/2016/01/an-embarrassment-of-riches.html?m=1

Also I should note that he clarifies it is not actually 'japanese boxwood' despite a lot of people calling it that. Maybe your piece is gumi afterall? I think white or the brown oak could be cool - do you have anything that's specifically branch wood with pith? I believe that was said to be desirable in the mystery article which I am quoting, although we've already established my credibility is a little suspect. I wish I could find that article - it had a really in depth description of handle fitting - very slowly over the course of days/weeks I think?

Ah well, I'm sure it'll be great either way, look forward to seeing it!

Owen

8 April 2016 at 03:13  
Blogger Richard Wile said...

Yes Konrad, the real prize is enroute.

Regarding the hammer, mine came with straight grained ebony as the handle which increases the overall mass tremendously (and looks bloody awesome as well). I have seen this hammer in a few pictures online and in blogs and it has the same ebony handle every time - for what it's worth. I'm also sure you got a much better deal than I did, is it signed on the top?

8 April 2016 at 05:07  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks for the link Owen. I do not have any branch wood, although I do have a very old lilac tree that needs to come down - that might be an interesting choice. It will take a long time to season though... not sure I can wait that long:) I will take a look at the Asian boxwood I have - and the rest of the boxwood for that matter. Ah... just too many dang choices really? What I am intrigued by is the shaping of the handles. There are some really sweet curved handles out there that I am hoping to borrow from.

cheers,
konrad

8 April 2016 at 18:48  
Blogger Owen Crane said...

Damn! The lilac would be super cool! Can't say I'd wait either though... you'll just have to buy a couple more hammer heads a few years after the tree comes down!

8 April 2016 at 19:02  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Owen,

I think I will take a look at our firewood pile. There may be a few lilac branches in there and they should be fairly well seasoned - enough to bring into the shop anyway. I will keep you posted.

cheers

8 April 2016 at 22:42  
Blogger John said...

How about Lignum handles?

10 April 2016 at 23:27  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks John - now that would be interesting. I suspect the weight of the wood and the oiliness would be an issue though. I have 2 pieces of English Brown oak on the bench right now and if I have some time this afternoon, I may mess about a bit. It will be sad to bash out the old boxwood handle from the first hammer.

cheers,
konrad

11 April 2016 at 12:22  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hey Owen,

A bit of an update - I tore into the firewood pile and came up empty handed... but then, when out on the balcony to take some photos, I spied 2 sections of Lilac that have been drying on the balcony for years. Joy! They were several inches longer than I needed - but they each had solid sections in each of them that might work. I brought them in and started exploring on the bandsaw. I roughed out 2 very oversized handles, put some old white glue on the ends and will wait and see how things go. Fingers crossed!

11 April 2016 at 15:50  
Blogger Owen Crane said...

Wow! That's a helluva surprise, very cool - keep us posted on here or instagram, I look forward to seeing it! (Btw that front bun is looking great).

12 April 2016 at 01:53  

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