I trust all is seen as a melding together of blogs. Different pages, different days. Sometimes same projects.
I came from the workshop earlier shaking. I admit fear in many things. This was relief. I had assembled the sole and cheeks of the toyplane I am working on and so much time had gone into the preparation. I prefer to silver solder much of my work as the temeratures are not too high yet the bonding is amazingly strong. (Just think of silver-soldered bandsaw blades tensioned to about 14-20 000 pounds. And yes, if any of you wish for a quick self-help on joining broken blades, I will gladly share.)
Still today, even after putting torch to white and yellow gold…..yes, Portapak torch, I still fear overheating and collapse. Bronze, especially delicate does not tolerate haste. Castings collapse and bins go clunk with the result. The tips of the dovetails on the bronze cheeks are delicate and I had mistakenly taken a 20% rod instead of a 50% rod which melts at a lower temperature. Then to crown it, as I was soldering I thought I saw a warp. “Differential metals!” was screaming in my mind. The bronze is expanding and taking the sole with it. Why the hell didn’t I just peen it at the start. I am stubborn. Very stubborn. Extremely taken to repetition as well. Forgive me please. This is like talking to a friend so I know its okay. I grabbed the plane with the needle-nose pliers and my eyes were playing tricks on me. The cheeks are curved as it is a coffin shaped plane and those curved planes were playing havoc with my eyes. Long story short, I succeeded and went to dress it off, only to discover that I had gone too high with the temerature and tiny bubbles had formed in the solder. Now comes those moments when you scrunch your eyes, look at the thing and wish it away. You tell yourself no-one will notice, they will just see the beautiful little plane. But I know. Dammit! I know it is there. Back to the bench and this time with a 50% rod, easing it into the tiny holes. Cool off and back to dressing. Tinier holes. Ball-peen hammer anvil me plane. These are the times I hate aspiring to perfection. I always fail. But I’ll die trying. I peened the metal tighter and dressed it.
Sitting here I am relieved. I realise tonight when I wake up I will be building tomorrows problems while everyone sleeps around me.
It is sitting on our Burmese Teak dining room table. I swear I saw the glimmer of a smile from the cheeks. Or maybe it was soft light playing between the bronze and steel…...