Toolmaking
September 1, 2007
Entry Details
 

# 567
EUGENE HOUSEGO
TORONTO, ON
Dimensions (inches):  
  Width:   2.875
  Height:   5.5
  Depth:   9.75
Materials:   English Yew
Macassar Ebony
Kingwood
Shortly after the job was done and out the door, I pinched a very small and very dense 6/4 plank of English Yew from the off cut bin at work, for one day, after noticing it again out of the corner of my eye, I saw a delightful smoothing plane living within. I split the board three times and folded it together, adding a thin layer of quarter sawn Macassar ebony to the bottom and back. The initialed wedge, with hollowed grips for extraction, is of Kingwood, the finish Danish oil and Goddards wax.
 
I let the natural flowing wave curve of the sapwood determine the upper edge shape of the sides and let whatever fine traces of under bark that did not flake off easily, remain. The upper iron bed/handrest is simply the mouth material folded/rotated up and back. A small portion of the ebony sole may be seen at the top.
 
For appearance and hand control the front of the plane body was shaped to resemble the prow of a pre WW1 dreadnought battleship. It is recurved again on the front and top with the front block set a whisper below the sides. The rear ebony plate calls to my mind the transom of a mid century wooden speedboat - cutting though the wood like water.
 
Early on in my layout and thinking I wondered whether the small branch protrusion would be in the way and need trimming off, but after a dry clamp up I found it to fit naturally and comfortably under the crook of my index finger. I left it rounded over and slightly rough at the tip, I can rub it for courage when going against the grain.
 

Detail showing the Stanley cap iron drilled to receive a Veritas! combination feed/lateral adjustment mechanism. All the steel discs and cap screw pockets are leather lined. The laminated ebony cross pin block pivots on a stainless steel rod and is aligned with the sole to prevent splitting. The iron is a two inch Hock bedded at 45 degrees for softwood. What else? The final assembly was absolutely nerve wracking, and all in all, it was probably about 40 hours work.
 

Judges Comments
CS : This plane is perfect -- perfect -- in every detail. Every joint, ever detail, the finish, everything. No detail was too small for the maker to tend to. Bravo. My only quibble was that I couldn't find a perfect hand grip for this plane.
Clarence : A great tool with an eye to art. Very well made and a good user.

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