The Old Warrior, Singing Friar and Fed-Up Woman Plane.

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Project by RusticJohn posted 02-04-2013 06:15 AM 1729 views 5 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my latest work. A rather ornate Krenov style smoothing plane made of Matai and Oak. The front knob has the head of an old warrior and the wedge has his entourage, a woman and a singing Friar. All vaguely medieval. It is to be put up for sale at a Wellington Museum/Gallery in the next couple of days.

The plane is fully functional although many who buy others of mine tend not to use them. I do, but I suppose I can always make another if I damage one of mine. Matai, a native wood of New Zealand, is good for plane making as it is quite hard with a dense honey coloured grain. Its not the easiest for carving fine detail however as small pieces tend to flake off. I have had to make a special set of carving knives with curved sliding cut blades to get a good result. The heads of the Woman and the Friar are only about 40 mm high so features like the folds under the eyes are only about 1mm wide and 1mm deep.

The head of the Warrior was quite tricky to carve as 4 pieces of wood with grain running in different directions meet there. I had to also develop a special set of fine scrapers on a handle like a pencil to get a fine finish on the grain.

A fun project to work on but time consuming. It took a month, off and on, as my eyes tend to give up after and hour or two of fine carving. Taking time out to make the knives and scrapers adds to the duration.

-- RusticJohn

22 comments so far

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2367 posts in 2064 days

#1 posted 02-04-2013 06:25 AM

Great work!

-- Dreaming patterns

View RS Woodworks's profile

RS Woodworks

470 posts in 2290 days

#2 posted 02-04-2013 07:19 AM

Wow thats awesome! Great work and fantastic detail!
What would a plane like this go for? I’d love to have one.
I have an antique plane carved in the shape of a shoe, but it doesn’t have nearly the detail as yours does.


-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

View RusticJohn's profile


212 posts in 2630 days

#3 posted 02-04-2013 07:23 AM

The plane will sell for $400. I can tell you where to go to get it if you want. Cheers RusticJohn.

-- RusticJohn

View DIYaholic's profile


17632 posts in 1714 days

#4 posted 02-04-2013 11:45 AM

That is an amazing “work of art”, or is it “art for work”.....

Fantastic, that will surely be a prized possession, for an art lover or WW!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Hybridwoodwork's profile


181 posts in 1091 days

#5 posted 02-04-2013 12:12 PM

Good work, I love it!

-- How it happened that Mastro Cherry, carpenter, found a piece of wood that wept and laughed like a child.

View MShort's profile


1757 posts in 2457 days

#6 posted 02-04-2013 12:28 PM

AWESOME!!!! Love the carvings.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

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1135 posts in 1929 days

#7 posted 02-04-2013 01:06 PM

Fantastic! Wish I could afford one.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

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Don W

16660 posts in 1606 days

#8 posted 02-04-2013 01:14 PM

that’s some detail. Nice work!

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View jap's profile


1243 posts in 1093 days

#9 posted 02-04-2013 02:08 PM

that’s so amazing

-- Joel

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2810 posts in 2050 days

#10 posted 02-04-2013 02:15 PM

Fantastic plane. I would use it.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Bluepine38's profile


3191 posts in 2124 days

#11 posted 02-04-2013 02:22 PM

Wonderful plane, and worth every penny, I can see why someone would buy it just for display,but I would
have to use it. Great addition to any shop. Thank you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 76 yr young apprentice carpenter

View RusticJohn's profile


212 posts in 2630 days

#12 posted 02-04-2013 06:42 PM

Thank you everyone for the kind comments. – Cheers RusticJohn.

-- RusticJohn

View NaFianna's profile


485 posts in 2065 days

#13 posted 02-04-2013 07:30 PM

That is so beautiful.

-- Cad a dheanfaimid feasta gan adhmad.......?

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3799 posts in 2633 days

#14 posted 02-04-2013 07:55 PM

great work, any one would love a plane like this

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View stefang's profile


14706 posts in 2373 days

#15 posted 02-04-2013 08:09 PM

A very arty and beautiful plane. The carving is super too!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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