Monday, September 30, 2013

The Stainless Winter Smoother is Complete

Sometimes the hard part of this work is taking this tool that you've just poured yourself into and putting it in a box and sending it on it's way. Of course that's the ultimate goal but nevertheless it would be nice to have time to use the plane for a couple of days just to get the full experience of that particular tool.

That would have been particularly interesting with this tool because it was a slightly nonstandard version of the Winter Smoother. The thicker stainless sides on this tool created a bit of a different package of mass in that this tool is just a bit heavier than the 0-1 version.

As I was tuning this tool and then subsequently putting it thru it's paces I frankly forgot that it was any different. That's a good impression because that means it's not overtly toe heavy and it never occurred to me that there was any misplaced weight anywhere in this tool.

There was one other thing I learned when taking and then editing the photos of this tool. If you're not careful when enhancing a photograph you can change the color of a piece of wood to something that it really can never be. I had to go back into edit mode to color correct my overzealous editing. You may notice in this last photo that the wood is a bit more orange than the other photos. The Olive wood will change dramatically over the next couple of years but it will never be that orange.

I had one major interruption while completing some of the final operations on this plane Saturday afternoon. Julie set out to do a bit of yard work on such a beautiful early fall day and shortly thereafter came walking into the shop with a rather pale look on her face. Once she was over pointing outdoors and speaking incoherently she finally blurted out "SNAKE!" While fetching the wheel barrow she noticed it contained some water which she immediately poured out on a nearby bush. The bush immediately started rattling and that is when she realized she was in close proximity to a Timber Rattler!

Fortunately as soon as she heard the noise she stepped away and was never within striking distance as the snake coiled up.

 It actually would be a rare fall if we didn't see a one of these snakes this time of year. I guess it's getting too cool for them to operate efficiently at night and they're trying to feed a bit more before time to hibernate for the winter, so it just makes sense they would be more apt to crossing paths with a human this time of year. Of course finding yourself in close proximity to one of these is always an alarming experience. We went our way, the snake went his. Everyone was happy....well I guess the snake was happy. Who knows how a snake feels after an unexpected shower?



  1. There are Timber Rattlesnakes in our area in the Tonge Mountain range on Lake George. I always thought we were too far north for venomous serpents of that type until one weekend in college when a friend went camping with his dog on Tongue Mt and the German Shepherd encountered a Rattler which struck it in the jowls. "Willie" looked like he'd somehow swallowed a basketball and darned near died. Here's a video of one:

  2. Beautiful plane, Ron. I was hoping you would come to WIA so that I could see some of your work in person. Someday...

    On another note, I'm happy to hear that I am not the only one that has separation issues with my tools.

    1. Ron's 125-38 Shooting Board Plane will be there for you to enjoy at Vogt Toolworks.

    2. I'll stop by when I have a few minutes.


  3. Dogs and snakes don't mix well. I had a pointer that survived a similar encounter.

    There is a certain satisfaction in the customer receiving the tool as well and sending the tool on it's way allows you to focus on creating the next one. There are pros and cons.


  4. Ron

    Beautiful plane as always. Im really trying to like you but your making it difficult with the stainless version of the winter smoother. Lol