Thursday, 28 February 2013

The K9

This plane has taken a while to come together.  I wanted it to feel like the K13, light weight with a lower center of gravity and an similar balance point. 

The K9 has a 2-1/8" wide blade, a 50 degree bed angle and is 9" long including the handle (the sole footprint is 8"). The infill is English Boxwood soaked in oil and then finished with a coat of paste wax.

When I was designing the K9, I kept a copy of the York pitch A5 drawings in a 'background layer' in Adobe Illustrator so I could compare the drawings. They were very different which made me a little nervous. Here are a few pictures to try and show just how different the handles are on the A5ss in the background and the K9 in the foreground. It helps that one is Ebony and the other Boxwood.

The K9 is about 1/2" shorter (in height) than the A5ss but the handle is just as roomy - maybe even a bit larger feeling. The K9 handle is closer to the blade as well - which always improved the balance. There is also a bit more hang to the K9 handle - following the handle of the K13 (and K18).

I spent a good part of the morning using the K9 to flatten the bottom of the dining table top. It was quite a workout (I will do the top tomorrow). The plane worked wonderfully - it is lighter than the A5ss - despite the 1/8" additional blade width. I also found the front pad to be a great size. Big enough to fill my whole hand when wrapping across and around the front. I was able to use it solidly for about 2 hours and it still felt great at the end.

And all that ‘exercise’ was well worth it. The curl in the bottom of the top is wonderful - I can’t wait to see how the top looks.

On a somewhat related funny side note... designers are a curious bunch. They really do look at the world through a different set of glasses. They see proportions, ratios, positive and negative space and seem to be wired for patterns. A perfect example - I was emailing with a friend of mine who is a graphic designer, and was sharing some photos of the K9 prototype as it was coming together. His first comment was that if I placed it next to the K7 and the K13 it would look like neopolitan ice cream. So Jay - this one is for you.

There is another project that has been in the works for well over a year now and many people have asked how it is coming along. This past week, I finally had some time to keep working on it. Here is a quick hint - I will post a proper blog entry about it shortly.


Blogger Nathan Beal said...

That is an absolutely gorgeous plane. I think that box wood is one of my all time favorite woods for tool handles.

28 February 2013 at 23:24  
Blogger Carl Maltby said...

I would say Gibson Les Paul style guitar. The inlays are right and the binding style is consistent with Gibson. The neck wood looks a little light in the photo. Mahoganii or not?

28 February 2013 at 23:44  
Blogger Carl Maltby said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

28 February 2013 at 23:44  
Blogger ChrisHasFlair said...


I have had an image of the K13 as one of my screensaver images for the past year or so and still enjoy looking at it. Although the K9 doesn't look quite as streamline, I like it quite a bit.


1 March 2013 at 00:56  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Nathan. When I was planning this one, I realized that I did not have a boxwood filled plane of my own. Until now:)


1 March 2013 at 06:47  
Blogger Konrad said...

That is the one Carl. It is a left handed 59 Burst. The neck and body are Honduran Mahogany from the same piece of stock.


1 March 2013 at 06:49  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Chris. Tough to make a plane this much shorter and still feel streamlined without getting into a bevel up open tote.


1 March 2013 at 06:51  
Blogger georgewalkerdesign said...


I see a nimble sculpted chariot waiting to go out out for a spin! How does the curled walnut plane compaired to say curled hard maple?

George Walker

1 March 2013 at 07:20  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi George,

Curly walnut is easier to plane than curly hard maple. I had no trouble with tear-out and my gut tells me the walnut is much less abrasive than maple - likely due to how much softer the wood is. That being said - I have not struggled too much with curly or quilted hard maple either. My comments are based on the fact that as the blade gets dull it still takes clean shavings and provides a tear-out free surface - you just have to push a bit harder to make it happen.


1 March 2013 at 08:11  
Blogger Klaus Kretschmar said...

Kudos, Konrad!
The most impressing thing on your planes aside of the top notch design is the perfection in detail. That is something, I admire truly. Knowing, how difficult it is to achieve photo perfection, I have to state that you do it with every tool that you are showing. Very amazing and inspiring!


1 March 2013 at 14:08  
Blogger Carl Maltby said...

I'm a luthier myself Konrad. Has the project inspired you into making smaller thumb planes or convex sole planes for carving? Perhaps even a spokeshave?

1 March 2013 at 16:36  
Blogger nielscosman said...

Boom! The K9 is one sexy... puppy!
To my mind, it seems like you've nailed the size and shaping of the bun curl with this iteration, to match proportions and function.
I loves me the dark exotics, but the boxwood really makes every detail of the plane pop.
This is inspirational!

2 March 2013 at 13:30  
Blogger Carl Maltby said...

Definitely Niels. I am curious as to how stable that Boxwood will be however as it seems to contain pith on the leading face. Is pith stability a characteristic of Boxwood or is this piece so old that it is a non-issue?

2 March 2013 at 15:06  
Blogger Chris Bame said...

Niiiccee !!! Konrad, Looks like I'm going to have to start saving my pennies again. Maybe for the 2nd K11 that I know will slip right into that Neopolitan Sunday you have going there.
Best Figured Walnut I've seen. Amazing that you found it in solid stock.
Cheers Chris Bame

4 March 2013 at 09:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the more i see the boxwood infill, the more i like it.

6 March 2013 at 17:35  
Anonymous Chiu Tan Strings said...

Hi, this is a beautiful plane. I wonder if it is for sale? If so, how much would it be?

1 July 2013 at 09:08  

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