Monday, May 25, 2009

Making A(nother) Plane

Well here is a snap of the 18" wide elm boards that I will be using for panels on the bookcase. I don't care so much for the knot on the bottom of the right plank, but I think I can get away with it. They are both wide but do have a 'gamey' look to them that is not uncommon with urban harvested woods. Definitely not a bookmatch!

So they were machine planed down to within a hair of the thickness I need (5/8"), my plan being to sneak up on the exact thickness with a handplane, test fitting them into the sapele frame as I go.

I've been grumpy about my planes for a while. I have a couple Stanleys (gasp) that I can get .001 shavings out of with a bit of fiddling. I also have a 2 1/2" Lee Valley bevel up plane that is probably my easiest and most convenient plane to use. The problem is that at that width it is exhausting pushing it through wood. I also have a 1 1/2" Krenov style plane, and two 1" wides ones, and although they can yield glorious (half a thou) results, I have yet to develop any good consistency with them. So, to make a long story short, I made a 1 1/4" plane out of cocobolo specifically for smoothing this elm. It was a bit of a struggle to get tuned up, but shavings were starting to come. Until I dropped it and one of the joints cracked loose, so I had to reglue it. That's what the photo is of. Glue session number two. I did clean the joint the first time and the second time both, with acetone. If it happens again I'll try a different glue.

Hopefully the next post will be about starting to take out the planer marks and sneaking up on that perfect fit with this plane! As a back up plan I have got my scraper plane tuned up and ready to go, but I can see readily on my test pieces that the scraper does not yield as nice a surface as the plane does.

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