The Block Plane;
It’s a great frontier; or so I have come to believe. Every time I see piles of discarded wooden planes at flea markets and antique stores, I see potential. Having the touch for many specialty metal planes, the possibility of learning and loving wooden planes is as appealing as it is overwhelming. To kickstart my education on wooden plans and all their idiosyncrasies, I thought I would assemble one. The hock kit for the block plane makes the whole task pretty self explanatory – the pieces come pre-cut so most of the work is gluing up the blocks and shaping the tool. I finished the whole task in less time than it took to watch this documentary on Athenian democracy. I used a rasp to add the profile curve and a modeler rasp to thin the front and add a shadow line. I have been messing around with the wedge to improve the fit. I have managed to cut some pretty clean shavings, although I also earned myself some additional practice at sharpening after I dropped the blade straight on the concrete floor. The plane body is bubinga which, in addition to being durable, looks great.
A couple of initial shavings – even before I finished shaping or applied a finish. This plane has become my go-to block plane when the task requires a heavier cut than my low-angle block plane, but when a smoothing plane would be overkill.
A couple initial shavings – even before I finished shaping or applied a finish. This plane has become my go-to block plane when the task requires a heavier cut then my low-angle block plane but a smoothing plane would be overkill.
It’s funny the tools you miss when you spend time in someone else’s shop. With Christmas approaching, I slipped shoulder plane kits from hock tools from hock tools on to my mother’s Christmas list for both Brian and my father. Again, the construction of the tool was fairly simple – the sole was true with a piece of sand paper over glass. Both chose a different shape for their tools, Brian added a wave to the back of his plane and my father just rounded off the end. Now that a final coat of oil has been applied and an initial shaving cut, I rest comfortably knowing a shoulder plane is always within arms reach in any of the shops I find myself in.
Peter’s Shoulder plane
Brian’s Shoulder plane