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Planes for the 2013 Perth Lie-Nielsen Tool Event

Coming up shortly is the 2013 Perth LN Tool Event. This is the third or fourth year it has been held. Each year I have been invited to provide a weekend of demonstrations. I have tried to vary these, usually focusing on hand tool use in joints making. This year I suggested building handplanes and, before I could change my mind, this appeared on the adverts. It dawned on me shortly after this that I should have suggested something simpler. 

In for a penny, in for a pound ... I spend the past three weekends building planes to take with me as examples. I have a number of planes I have built over the years that I could take along as examples - a recent bridle plough and a jointer, two dovetail planes (one male and one female) ... the list is quite long. However I thought I needed something fresh. 

I also realised that the type of planes I could build in front of an audience (whom I am sure will get bored and move on) would be limited to those I could chop out in front of them. Something like a coffin smoother. So I have planned for this. The problem with these planes is that they are not for absolute beginners. The easiest plane to build is a laminated body, notably the Krenov plane (with a correctly shaped cross piece, which is the most important part of the design). However these are machine-made planes, which I cannot do at the Tool Event. To demonstrate these planes, then, I have made up a model that can be broken down, and several examples of a Krenov.

The third type of plane I have to show is a router plane. These are easy to build with a drill press. I shall give anyone interested a plan to use at home, plus demonstrate its use. I've made up a few for sale as well. 

Here is my bench as I tidied up ay the end of the weekend ...

I updated the router plan knobs today ...

There's a “wavy washer” in front of the knob. It acts as a spring and allows the knob to be loosened without losing all tension. So, when loosening off tension on the blade to move it, the blade remains under some tension, but can still be slid up or down.

I really like these router planes. They are what I would call a "Medium" - smaller than a large and larger than a small. Really an excellent size, nimble and very precise. Think of them as a woodie - they do not need a fine adjuster as they are adjusted with a light tap from a mallet. The planes use the Veritas irons, so there is a range from 1/8' through to 1/2" available (there's a 1/4" and 1/2" with each one on sale). The blade holder uses a wavy washer (like the Veritas), which means that you can loosen the wing nut and the blade will not drop out. There is a depth stop (which I consider a vital piece of equipment with a router plane).

A Krenov smoother in West Australian She-oak. This is 7" long, with a 1 1/2" Hock blade/chipbreaker at 55 degrees. 

Three Krenov block planes. 5 1/4" long, with two in Jarrah and a third in Tuart. 1 1/4" Mujingfang blades (from Lee Valley), bedded at 40 degrees (in other words, they plane at a low angle). 

I am so impressed with these Krenov planes. I have an original plane from Jim Krenov, which I use on occasions, but otherwise have never had much interest in building these planes. They are soooo sweet!

I built this 55 degree coffin smoother today. The body is my favourite Tasmanian Blackwood (similar to Koa). The 1 3/4" iron is a (NOS) J. Herring & Sons, which is laminated and tapered. The body is 6 3/4" long. 

The Blackwood was very tricky to chop. It is beautiful wood to plane, but tends to chip when chiseling. Consequently, I had to make another brass mouth. (It's getting to the point where I shall have to use them as my signature!) 

The mouth is very tight ...

A 15" Jarrah Strike Block Plane (pitched at 38 degrees) for the shooting board ...

Here is the Krenov that can be pulled apart. Along side it is an example of the router plane post drilling and pre sawing ...

Lastly, there are blanks in various stages for building the smoothers ..

Tutorials are planned for all these planes.

Regards from Perth


April 2013