Monday, March 24, 2014

A new jointer plane

The first plane I ever bought was a Stanley no.7. I laboriously lapped the sole and tuned the plane as well as I could, and for years it served me well. But it's a heavy plane to push for any length of time, and awkward to balance on the edges of boards.
When I moved to Virginia last year, the no.7 sat in storage for months. When I finally unpacked it, I was dismayed to discover that the sole had warped noticeably. I really couldn't face lapping it all over again, so building a nice wooden jointer has been on my list for a while.
And…here it is.

The plane is hard maple, with a soft maple handle and a cocobolo strike button. The iron is a vintage W.Butcher, 8" long and 2 1/2" wide.

I'm guessing the plane is only slightly lighter than the no.7, but the slick wooden sole makes it noticeably easier to push. One of the nicest features though, is how much more pleasant it is to use on the edges of boards. The natural position for the forward hand (I'm a lefty, so my right hand) when jointing is to place the thumb on top, with a couple fingers below the plane to "feel" the board that's being jointed. On a metal plane, this is pretty awkward, but it's very natural on a woodie.

A couple more pics: