Thursday, January 12, 2017

Last two planes of 2016

I completed the last two planes of 2016 in December. A Willie Davis style Winter Smoother with Olive wood. One of my favorite combination of materials.

The Olive wood in this plane is finished with a couple coats of shellac polish and then several coats of True Oil Finish. The Olive benefits color wise from the garnet shellac finish. It enhances the amber color of the wood. Olive being an oily wood needs to be sealed before the application of an oil finish, so the shellac serves a two fold purpose.

Hopefully the Tru Oil will help the durability of the finish. In a hand tool situation shellac has a reputation of not being very durable. Hopefully the addition of the oil will increase durability.

The final plane was a Winter Panel plane with a 440c stainless steel body and Macassar Ebony tote and knob.

In the past when I've combined Macassar Ebony with stainless or a steel bodied plane I've applied a patina'd finish to the brass. In this case the customer wanted the brass left to a satin sheen and finished with oil.

The finish on the wooden bits is True Oil. Macassar Ebony is not as oily as many exotics and therefore it takes the oil finish quite favorably and dries quite readily.

In preparation for the oil finish the surfaces are sanded to 400 grit and the first coats of oil are wet sanded into the material with the same 400 grit. The next coat is wet sanded with 600 grit. Subsequent coats are then steeled wooled between coats of finish. Once cured the surfaces are buffed to a nice satin sheen. The end results feels very nice in the hand.

This was the year in which we get all the kids and grandkids for Christmas celebrations. As soon as the last plane was completed I busied myself with preparations for their arrival. Fun and mayhem all at once. It was great?

January of 2017 has me turning my attention back to the bench project that I mentioned a couple post back.



  1. Ron, you need to start using polyurethane applied with a chip brush, that way the finish on the wooden parts won't look too perfect! I'm laughing out loud at that, and obviously not serious. Great work as always my friend.

  2. Good to know that you had a lovely holiday time. The planes look marvelous and perfect with neat finish. I look forward to see the pictures of your next project.