Saturday, March 17, 2012

912 Stainless Smoothers and the Debut of My Videography Skills, or Lack Of

At present I'm working on two 912-50S Stainless Smoothers. One will receive Macassar Ebony knob and tote and the other Olive Wood. At the Woodworking in America Conference in 2010 I displayed the first plane with Olive Wood. The response to this wood choice was amazing and actually surprising. This material smells great, takes a wonderful polish, and features some very nice contrasting lines that are not very common in lighter colored woods. Also, unlike some woods that are used in plane making, it doesn't try to kill you while you're making it into the needed plane parts.

There was however one problem. At that time I had a very limited quantity of dry Olive wood in my inventory and sourcing dry material in the sizes needed for plane making proved almost impossible. Some of the material that I purchased as a reaction to this response is finally becoming dry and ready for use so hopefully in the future I'll be able to offer Olive on an on going basis.

The process I use for assembling plane bodies has evolved a great deal over the past 5 years. Presently I use a combination of threaded pins and taper pins. I also no longer assemble the parts on a former, actually I've not used the formers for quite some time now. Of course as the process evolved the tools that I use to perform this work have evolved as well and actually newer additions of tools have fed the evolution. The new refinements place a big premium on piece part accuracy and a big part of the engineering process is also designing the environment that helps perform the work efficiently and once again.....very accurately.

When Jameel Abraham was in the shop in January he was amazed that we could create an assembled plane body from 5 separate pieces and only require the removal of .002 on average from the sole of the plane in order to achieve a flat, completely ground plane sole. Of course this doesn't happen just as a result of luck. (we do like being lucky) A lot of painstaking work goes into making this happen.

I get quite a few emails inquiring about the process required to assemble a plane body in this manner so I've recently embarked on a journey of learning to shoot and edit HD video footage. The learning curve is fairly steep so I hope that you appreciate that the production quality of some of my early work may not be up to the standard of Steve Spielberg or Jameel Abraham. (Yes, that was a joke, but don't misunderstand, I am in awe of Jameel's video work) It will be interesting to see if, and how much I will improve as time goes on.

The link below will take to you to a You Tube video that is a brief over view of the process of drilling the sole pieces of a plane body. I highly suggest you click on the word "Tube" in the bottom right hand corner of the video window, change the quality setting to 720p and watch the video full screen. It can take a while to download HD video content so depending on your connection speed you may want to start the video loading, find something else to do, and come back later to watch.

One other note. The music back ground on the video is by Peach Pie Band. Tico Vogt (Vogt Tool Works) is a member of this group so there's a hand tool community connection in very aspect of this production.


No comments:

Post a Comment