Moulding Planes Complete

What a journey it was. What a learning curve it was. What a great skill building exercise it was. The tremendous amount of research that went into it was mind-boggling with its findings, but I left nothing out in the third issue.

I’ve learned many things along the way and I believe the learning curve is far from over. My moulding plane journey is not yet complete as I have some dedicated planes I want to make.

As for costs not including labour it cost only a quarter of what’s being charged for a full set. If I were to be making these for sale, then I too would charge the same price like everybody else. Because it’s time consuming work and somewhat frustrating, but the biggest culprit is the time consumption. You couldn’t make a living out of these if you weren’t able to finish a set within two weeks.

I hope you make yourselves some. You don’t need an entire set and you need not copy the 18th century style either. If you’re working professionally and time is of the essence, then my recommendation would be to purchase what you need from a toolmaker of your choice. It’s well worth the investment, and it’s what journeymen did since the 18th century.

A Shortcut to Sharpening

Yesterday I started on a build project for the next issue of The Lost Scrolls of HANDWORK magazine. Like any project one or two sharpening of the plane irons isn’t enough. Twenty to thirty strokes of the plane is all you’ll get before planing becomes a chore. As the edge hasn’t completely deteriorated and there are no nicks to take out, I skipped all the stones and just honed the iron on my 8000 grit free hand. I raised the iron a degree or two and just stroked it. Believe it or not it only took 10 -15 strokes, and that iron was ready for the strop. I stropped it 40- 50 times with moderate pressure maintaining that same angle I had on the stone. When I was done, I had to be so gentle to touch it or risk slicing through to the bone.

Having such a razor-sharp edge you would think I would easily fracture the edge, but not so. Thanks to that slight secondary bevel I strengthened the edge. I wonder how many more times I can do this before I need to go through the whole sharpening process? I tell you what though, sharpening has never been so quick and easy and my woodworking more efficient.  And it’s all due to thinking out of the box. Hand tooling just got even easier.