|Project by RusticJohn||posted 06-05-2012 05:01 AM||3113 views||7 times favorited||14 comments|
Some planes go well from the first moment of construction and work straight off. Others don’t and this is one of them. Its about the size of a Stanley 5 1/2 and made of Cocobolo. You can’t get wood like this here so my son bought it from Canada for me. I found the wood to be oily and hard to glue. Normally I have perfect glue joints but some on this opened up a little. The shaping of the long flowing curves was easy but the carving on the front was quite horrible. A much more detailed face was intended but the wood seemed to chip and tear even when using by very best knives. I finally got an OK result by using a small fine knife and a tiny scraper. The Hairy Biker head actually took longer than the rest of the plane.
The tool works well enough but require a bit of minor tuning. I am not too concerned at the moment as sometimes you just need to get used to working it and gain an understanding of what it will do best. This one is certainly a fine finisher of long-ish flat boards, particularly those to be glued. Likes the softer woods but not so much things like Maple. It does have a 55 degree blade angle which normally suits the tougher woods. I have a smaller plane with a 63 degree angle that handles Maple very well.
Where to from here? Well I am going to use it for 6 months or so and see how things go. I might make another with a 45 degree jack blade and a rear tote to handle heavier work. Think I will avoid Cocobolo though. We have a wood here called Maire that is apparently the 5th densest in the work. Got plenty of this and I know it will do the job.
By the way, the inspiration for the head came from the large, leather clad motor bike gangs we have roaming our highways. They look quite menacing until they stop at coffee shops and antique markets. You then realize they are all older people reliving their youth in designer leathers.