Tuesday, November 3, 2009
This Blog Is Daed
Daed Toolworks Smoothing Plane
A couple of years ago I became interested in infill planes. I've been interested in hand planes for many years, but I'd always written off infill planes as exotic, too expensive, and generally out of reach. It wasn't until I laid my hands a small smoothing plane made by Wayne Anderson (someone was kind enough to bring one to a Lie-Nielsen event for me to try out) that I realized what I had been missing all those years. Don't get me wrong. I still think infill planes are exotic, expensive (relatively speaking), but not so out of reach after all. Shortly after I tried the Anderson plane I was approached by Ron Brese who offered me an infill kit to build at a significant discount, if I agreed to complete the kit in a certain time frame and give him feedback about my experience. The result was incredible, and that particular plane is one of my favorites today. So once the infill seed was firmly planted, I began to research these tools and familiarize myself with their characteristics.
About this same time I started corresponding with Raney Nelson. I first met Raney at Woodworking in America in Berea Kentucky, but Raney and I had shared numerous emails before that event. We both share a great interest in doing fine woodworking, and in particular, handplanes. Raney answered a bunch of questions about planes in general, and opened my eyes to the workings of Japanese hand planes, which I had previously known little about. Raney sent me one of his own Japanese planes (that he built) and I tried my hand at pulling a plane instead of pushing it. I got some shavings from that plane that still amaze me. It's a stretch to even call them shavings, since they resembled spider webs more than wood. And the surface it left was simply phenomenal. Now I understand why so much Japanese furniture is left unfinished. I still prefer the western style planes, but I credit Raney with introducing me to the world of the Kanna.
So when Raney pulled out some of his hand-made infill planes at Woodworking in America last fall, I was quite excited to see his work. So much so that I asked Raney to build a special plane for doing some of the geometric inlay work that I incorporate into ouds. It's a very small miter plane meant to be used with small shooting boards. The plane is steel and ebony and in its diminutive size (just about 5" long) does its job well.
I've always been fascinated by how traditional infill planes are made. Lucky for me, Raney has decided to start a blog about the process. Someday I'm hoping to to tackle a traditional dovetailed-side infill plane. In the meantime I'll be watching the Daedworks Blog for inspiration.