I've recently finish the second Winter Smoothing plane made in the Willie Davis style and it's actually quite similar to the first even though as you'll see no two pieces of olive wood are very similar to each other. In fact there is a large variation in color and figure in this wood and frankly it's important to get the knob and the tote from the same blank in order to have any hopes of them having a similar look. I typically turn the knob end grain so that, in and of itself, is going to create a different appearance as compared to many of the face grain surfaces of the tote.
The piece of olive that produced this knob and tote had a large degree of color variegation, probably the most I've observed in any piece of olive yet. It's these kind of characteristics that make each plane unique.
I've taken to applying True Oil to all brass parts. I started this process on brass pieces that had the aged patina finish applied to them, as a way to preserve the finish. What I've found is that it's a great process for reducing the maintenance on brass, especially if you're of a mindset to keep the brass bright. The oil enhances the color of the brass and gives it more of a slightly aged gold appearance. With two thorough coats of oil well cured the brass can be handled without the bother of feeling as if you need to re-brighten the brass after every handling that leaves finger prints and the like.
It may be practical to try turning knobs face grain in some of the denser woods. At the least it will probably yield an interesting look.
I'm also very curious to see how this plane will look with a very contrasting color wood like Macassar or Gabon Ebony. Whereas the olive actually compliments and works harmoniously with the oiled brass, either of the ebonies will be in staunch contrast. As I've stated before the different colors and finishes combined yield different results and it's one of the things that keep this work fresh and interesting, that and the feel of a gossamer shaving rising up out the mouth of the plane with very minimal effort. That's always the best reward at the completion of any plane. Look coupled with function......yes, I love my job.
The problem with me taking time off or going on vacation is “I don’t do nothing well”,