The Mournful Spaniel And Other Weird Planes

  • Advertise with us
Project by RusticJohn posted 03-01-2011 01:38 AM 4976 views 9 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I like making weird planes that mix up nice carving with a beautifully working tool. These planes have been made for an exhibition and sale that my Guild is having at a local Museum and Art Gallery (called Pataka, in Porirua, New Zealand). They will be part of a larger exhibition featuring woodturning and carving.

The first is the “Mournful Spaniel” box plane” made out of Jarrah and Oak. It was quite difficult to carve as the wood was very hard and much of the work was in the end grain. About 5 inches long.

The next is the “Two Monks ” smoothing plane made out of a Hawaiian hardwood and Maple. I didn’t have enough of the Hawaiian wood to make all of it. Lovely worker that cuts wood with a silky smooth finish.

Then there is the “Weary Granny” rebate plane with a grandchild on the wedge. Its face was only about 3/4 inch in diameter and so required some very fine carving. I have had to make special knives to do this as I just can’t buy what I want. Especially here where specialist things are hard to come by at the best of times. A NZ wood called Rewarewa was used.

Lastly the “Woman With Headscarf” scraper plane also in Jarrah. I normally make my planes with a wedge but it didn’t suit the shape and the utility of this one. To add complication the blade is at a sloped and inclined angle which made the wedge impractical.

I would love to see more work by other plane makers. Perhaps we can all inspire each other and at take weird plane making to new heights.

-- RusticJohn

17 comments so far

View driftwoodhunter's profile


273 posts in 2654 days

#1 posted 03-01-2011 01:52 AM

Those are wonderful! My favorite is the Mournful Spaniel, but I am a dog lover! They are so artistic, and bring to mind figureheads on sailing vessels…what fine collectibles this will be.

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3544 days

#2 posted 03-01-2011 01:52 AM

Those are so cool and wonderful real Art so well done.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3082 days

#3 posted 03-01-2011 02:12 AM

fantastic loking planes make me think of very old and rare plane´s from europe
and a few other place´s and you want to sell them :-O
I don´t even dare to think what they cuold cost on the open market in the mittle of collector´s

thank´s for sharing them with us

take care

View bigike's profile


4050 posts in 3256 days

#4 posted 03-01-2011 02:21 AM

very nice looken planes.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Spoontaneous's profile


1334 posts in 3297 days

#5 posted 03-01-2011 02:43 AM

Nothing ‘plain’ about those. Really great!

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3235 posts in 3680 days

#6 posted 03-01-2011 05:25 AM


Very creative and unique! Thanks for posting.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View tinkertwist's profile


12 posts in 2657 days

#7 posted 03-01-2011 06:26 AM

Hard to pick my favorite, but I like the Mournful Spaniel, they look like a pleasure to use, Great Job!

-- even a kick in the caboose is a step in the right direction

View swirt's profile


2650 posts in 2939 days

#8 posted 03-01-2011 06:48 AM

Amazing planes. Brought a smile to my face.

-- Galootish log blog,

View B13's profile


463 posts in 2661 days

#9 posted 03-01-2011 07:32 AM

I thought the first set was Inspiring these are a work of art. thanks!

View Heidi Neely's profile

Heidi Neely

550 posts in 3142 days

#10 posted 03-01-2011 08:49 AM

Wow…these are just amazing! What cool and interesting use-able art! (although personally I;m glad to hear they’re going into a gallery, because I definately think they’re too cool looking to use and possibly damage) :)
Thank you for sharing!

-- Heidi :) “The only source of knowledge is experience”

View RusticJohn's profile


218 posts in 3558 days

#11 posted 03-01-2011 12:58 PM

All the planes are made to be used and cut perfectly. Any of these that remain after the exhibition will go into my workshop and be used all the time. They get the odd bump but this only adds to the beauty of them. They also get a lovely patina from the oil in my hands. That said, most people who have one of my planes never use them.

-- RusticJohn

View grosa's profile


1003 posts in 2796 days

#12 posted 03-01-2011 01:50 PM

Very nice. Cool idea.

-- Have a great day.

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3495 days

#13 posted 03-01-2011 11:40 PM

These are so cool!!

You really do great on these and your others. Very cool…...............

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View S4S's profile


2118 posts in 2648 days

#14 posted 03-02-2011 03:32 PM

Best wishes

View Terry Ferguson's profile

Terry Ferguson

203 posts in 2635 days

#15 posted 03-03-2011 01:37 AM

Unusual design, beautifully crafted. I like them a lot.

-- Terry Ferguson, Bend Oregon

showing 1 through 15 of 17 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics