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To test my skills, I started making infill planes earlier this year. This is my tenth and the one I like the most – also one of only two that didn’t end up on my pile marked “This Is How You Don’t Do This Stuff, Schmuck.”
The infill is spalted pashaco amarillo, or yellow pashaco, which I believe to be a Peruvian jungle wood, now difficult to find in the U.S., and because spalting weakens wood, I cut the tote and bun in half lengthwise and rejoined the two sides again around a sandwich of maple and jatoba, cross-grained.
A furnituremaker friend where I live in Santa Maria, CA, Kevin Manville, liked my early efforts at planemaking, however halting they really were, and gave me a ton of this wood in exchange for a promise to make him a good plane.
The plane in the photo isn’t quite good enough for him, so I’m ordering more steel and will get busy on my 11th plane next week. I did everything you see by hand except make the iron and the cap screw – respectively the work of Ron Hock and George Wilson, whose work you may find on Sawmill Creek.
The 3/16-inch sides and 1/4-inch sole are mild steel, held together with double dovetails cut and peened by hand. The iron is bedded at 45 degrees, and the mouth is a mere sliver, so the plane cuts gossamer-like shavings measuring .003-.002 inch.
If anyone’s interested, I am scheduled to give a talk and demonstration on planemaking Jan. 3 at a meeting of the San Fernando Valley Woodworkers’ Club, in Los Angeles. I expect to do the same in the spring sometime at the Conejo Valley Woodworkers’ Club in Thousand Oaks, though this is not yet a date certain.
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RHLong - Actually, I think 45 degrees isn't the best angle. I've just finished another hand plane pitched at 50 degrees (see new posting on Reader's Gallery) and it cuts a fine shaving on tough wood.
Good job. I make planes too. Ron Hock makes good plane blades. You inspire me to make an infill. Do you think 45 degrees is the best over all angle?
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