The Macassar ebony is quite hard and it's of those woods that can cause one to use a few expletives in the process of making it what you want it to be. Of course most woods that are very challenging to work also yield a nice reward for perseverance, for when the finish flows on you're remind of why you chose that particular material.
This tool features an 0-1 tool steel body with a ground finish on the interior and a lapped satin finish on the exterior of the plane body. The brass lever cap, screw and knob seat has a patina'd finish applied and is then oiled and cooked overnight in the finishing kiln to ensure a thorough cure of the oil finish. It's a unique look and also offers the added benefit of the brass actually having a finish and this cuts down on the maintenance required to keep brass bright or even satin which for me is the preferable way to have bright brass. Highly polished brass shows finger prints so readily it's just not a reasonable finish to have on a tool that's meant to be used.
Each plane also presents a challenge to machine parts to very tight tolerances and most people that pursue similar work are typically striving to make the next plane better than the previous tools. You can call it an obsessive compulsion, but believe me it comes with the mindset for doing this work. I was once giving a presentation to the Athens Georgia Woodworkers club. After my presentation a Sociology professor at U.G.A. approached me and said "Ron, you may be one of the most down to earth, obsessive, compulsive people I'ver ever met",....I thought about that just a bit trying to decide if this statement was a compliment or what, I finally just replied "thank you" and decided to ponder that comment on the way home..........