The toolmaking part of my life comes in fits and starts. Over the last year I have built 3 planes for a client and it was a pleasure and an experience.
Last week, yes Div, believe it or not, I finished an oak postbox for a client and really enjoyed the simplicity of the project. I had fun designing my own hinge and figuring out how it was going to work. I never do scale drawings although I might do an outline scale on a scrap of 4×4 paper to see if I am heading in the right direction. I am rambling. It turned out good.
Having finished it and with nothing immediate on the horizon, an old lust overcame me. I have a lil Stanley toyplane which I often reach for and truly enjoy. Here in South Africa it is one of those tools you have to keep an eye on when your woodworking buddies all haul in for tea and to paint the place blue with smoke and laughter. (This in jest guys…..geez) It is not inherently beautiful and when I got it, it was missing its blade and cap-iron so I made a little brass cap-iron and a blade for it and have had nearly 20 years of use from it. However. That itch for efficiency coupled with rare beauty had me by the shorts…..has for many years now. I wanted my own version made of bronze and silver with African Blackwood and ivory trims. (My ivory is ancient and from scraps I have picked up over the years.) I wanted it adjustable and with a lil squirrel-tail.
Well. I started today. Coffin-shaped sides in bronze I had to shape from old bronze turning stock, steel sole because silver is expensive and probably would be too soft. I have cut the cheeks to shape, cold-bent them to the curve, marked the dovetails and cut them. Just got back from the shop after shaping the sole and laying out the first pins.
Who has time for pics? However, I will make an effort to take a few in different stages for anyone interested.