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Two blue gum infill planes

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Project by JuanVergara posted 82 days ago 1696 views 5 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The infill on these planes is blue gum eucalyptus, though the character of the wood is so different in each that you might not know it. Ron Hock supplies my irons, but I do everything else in making my planes.

I also follow my own nose in designing them, as you probably guess, and I readily acknowledge that my nose doesn’t take me down the pathways of traditional plane makers. I also acknowledge the risks inherent in the design of these planes: Drop one of these babies and you might crack the bun or even lose that lovely fillip on the tote that sits so nicely on the web between thumb and first finger when you work this plane.

I have no idea where I got the idea for the bun. I only know I don’t like the knobs I see on most ordinary planes, and the word “clunky” comes to mind when I think of the buns on Norris infills. As for that lovely fillip, I can tell you that my wife and I spend Sunday afternoons at a particular spot on the ocean just north of our home on the central coast of California, watching the shorebirds skitter over the wet sands looking for their afternoon snacks.

What do shorebirds have to do with anything here? Take another look at that fillip. Can you see the head and bill of maybe a avocet (that is, one with a short bill)? How about a godwit, also with a short, upturned bill? How about a lowly duck?

I call these planes my shorebird planes.

-- Juan Vergara, California, www.juanvergara.net





23 comments so far

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

1235 posts in 1818 days


#1 posted 82 days ago

That’s is a damn beautiful plane, wish I had one in my shop. Never seen eucalyptus like that, it looks good. How are the sides attached to the sole? The brass lever cap and pin outlines look great, too.

-- Allen, Colorado

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5289 posts in 1232 days


#2 posted 82 days ago

Amazing, just amazing.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4840 posts in 1211 days


#3 posted 82 days ago

Impressive to say the least, keep doing the good work!

View Buckethead's profile

Buckethead

1920 posts in 502 days


#4 posted 82 days ago

Oh my.

I’m usually not at a loss for words.

-- Bucket, any person that spends 10k on a bicycle is guaranteed to be a $@I almost started to like you. -bhog

View prospector45's profile

prospector45

128 posts in 364 days


#5 posted 82 days ago

No need for a blade. These are just too darn beautiful to use. Thanks for allowing us to see your meticulous work.

-- Skilled craftsman are not cheap, cheap craftsman are not skilled. Bert, Wooster

View racerglen's profile

racerglen

2295 posts in 1414 days


#6 posted 82 days ago

Very very nice work, sculpture for the hands to use !

-- Glen, Vernon B.C. Canada

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5352 posts in 2219 days


#7 posted 82 days ago

Yes that’s a real beauty. I love the design.Might I recommend you to study a few German European plane design as your work shows a sign of that kind of influence.Not exactly but heck you might enjoy looking at their designs of handplanes.I bought quite a few over the years from Germany myself and am most impressed.Your plane here is tip top Brother simply beautiful workmanship and design. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

4510 posts in 926 days


#8 posted 82 days ago

Outstanding! Beautifully crafted.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View RussInMichigan's profile

RussInMichigan

473 posts in 1414 days


#9 posted 82 days ago

They look beautiful. Can you show us some shavings?

View JuanVergara's profile

JuanVergara

16 posts in 82 days


#10 posted 82 days ago

Wow. Many thanks, folks. I made my first plane two years ago last January, and I’ve done nothing but make one plane after the other since then – 30, maybe 40 planes in all, many of them still on a shelf in my shop marked “This is how you don’t do thus stuff, bub.”

The sides and base are 1/4 inch mild steel joined with dovetails and 1/8 inch round steel pins driven through the sides into the sole as well, though the pins probably constitute over-engineering. Each joint is peened and filed twice, maybe three times in what machinists used to call “cold welding.” The amazing thing is that steel flows like water, given time and the push of the ball peen hammer, and the joints disappear.

I have the basic shape cut on a water jet, but with the exception of the irons – Ron Hock specials – I do everything else in making a plane. I do love the things – the heft, the feel, the sound of the iron on wood, the gossamer shavings curling up out of the mouth.

I’m about half done with another No. 4 with a black acacia infill, and I’m toying with the idea of making a matched set of three planes – a No. 3, 4 and 5 – out of the same wood. That would be a tall order, and I’m not sure I’m ready for it quite yet.

We’ll see. Meantime, many thanks for the kind words.

-- Juan Vergara, California, www.juanvergara.net

View Bieser's profile

Bieser

175 posts in 668 days


#11 posted 82 days ago

Those look wonderful do you sell them?

View JuanVergara's profile

JuanVergara

16 posts in 82 days


#12 posted 82 days ago

RussinMichigan – Here are two pix of shavings measuring 0.0015. The infill on this plane is black walnut ebonized via the vinegar-and-steel wool method.

Alistair – Interesting that you find traces of German plane making in my work. Tell me more.

-- Juan Vergara, California, www.juanvergara.net

View JuanVergara's profile

JuanVergara

16 posts in 82 days


#13 posted 82 days ago

Bieser – Not sure whether the rules will let me answer your question.

-- Juan Vergara, California, www.juanvergara.net

View Bieser's profile

Bieser

175 posts in 668 days


#14 posted 82 days ago

LOL… I forget send me a pm.

Thanks

View JuanVergara's profile

JuanVergara

16 posts in 82 days


#15 posted 82 days ago

Bieser – No can do, apparently, until I have five posts under my belt. You can reach me via my website www.juanvergara.net.

Hope I’m not breaking the rules with this.

-- Juan Vergara, California, www.juanvergara.net

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