Thursday, December 6, 2012

Just Add Wood

When a woodworker without prior metal working background or experience looks at a plane body they typically assume that this is the most challenging part of making a plane and honestly making close tolerance parts that go together to make a very close tolerance assembly is a rather challenging undertaking. This requires the acquisition of a whole new skill set so it does probably seem quite a daunting task.

So now we are to the point of fitting the wooden bits and because we're all familiar with working wood this should be easy right? Think again. The woodworking required to create a plane made to a very high standard can easily be as challenging as making the metal parts of the tool.

The individuals that blazed the trail of independent plane making, especially infill planes, set a very high fit standard. Anyone pursuing this work subsequently must be able to create work at this standard in order for their work to be accepted or considered top caliber. If you're looking to create comparable work then just okay is not good enough.

The point I wish to make is this. There is an awful lot of work left to be done when the plane body is finished and the woodworking starts, and as James Krenov was known to say, "there's still time to mess it up". That is true right up to the end. Funny thing is, everything I've done for a living in the past 20 years has been one of those "there's still time to mess it up" type pursuits. I guess I enjoy the challenge.

As you can see in these picture I've got this to do four times in the near future. I'll let you know how it turns out.

If you don't have anything really pressing for the next 3 minutes or so you might enjoy the video below.  I certainly did.


An old saying from India,

Everything will be okay in the end, if it’s not okay then it’s not the end”


  1. Hey Ron,

    So, you are saying you just need to slap in some wood and voila you are done? I don't know man but it seems to me it may be harder than that. :o)

    Corey Harris is really good but imagine what he would be like if he could play the guitar or sing. :o)


  2. Ron,

    Regardless of the joshing above, the metal work alone is just gorgeous.