Old Street Tool (a.k.a. Wooden Handplane Porn)

Last Friday, I skipped out of the office for a trip down to Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking in Berea, Ky., (the most bucolic woodworking school I’ve had the pleasure of attending) to visit with Kelly and Larry Williams and Don McConnell of Old Street Tool.

I arrived just in time to cadge a piece of cake from lunch (well-planned, that!), then had a lovely time talking with the students in the class, each of whom were making a pair of hollows and rounds. And I spent some time talking planes, sharpening and marking knives with Larry and Don (more on that next week).

Mostly, though, I spent my visit wiping the drool off my chin. Watch the short video below to see why. And if you want to make your own moulding planes (the students made it look easy!), check out Larry’s DVD “Making Traditional Side Escapement Planes.” For help on sharpening profiled blades (such as those in hollows, rounds and dedicated moulders), watch Larry’s “Sharpening Profiled Hand Tools” DVD. If you want to learn how to use these tools, Don can help with that, with his “Traditional Molding Techniques: The Basics” DVD.

I’m happy to report that I’ve recently learned the basics of using moulding planes (thank you Christopher Schwarz), and I’m now well and truly hooked. I’m astounded by the number of profiles one can cut with just a pair or two of hollows and rounds (and a rabbet plane), and not having to sand afterward is, to me, an incomparable joy. You’ll get a small taste of what moulding planes can do in an upcoming Popular Woodworking Magazine article by planemaker Matt Bickford; if you’re not already a convert, prepare to be amazed.

– Megan Fitzpatrick

5 thoughts on “Old Street Tool (a.k.a. Wooden Handplane Porn)

  1. John Hutchinson

    Hi, Megan. Nice piece of reporting! Did you stop in to see Warren May while you were in Berea? Is it just me or is Berea too clean? It makes everywhere else look like a landfill.

  2. Bill Lattanzio

    I am just about to complete my 3rd project this year(a Stickley #72 in which Megan very kindly posted the link to the project plans for me to download) My three projects all turned out nicely and have also been useful. Yet woodworking has left me quite frustrated lately. It’s not the work itself but the lack of space to work in. As my ability has grown I have out grown my garage shop, which has left me at a loss when considering my woodworking “future”.
    What does all this have to with molding planes? Well, watching this video reminds me why I got into woodworking in the first place. And that is not only to use top quality tools such as these but also to aspire to have my woodworking reach the same level of craftsmanship that the tools are made.
    Great article and video. Well Done!

  3. JLYoung40

    One of the things I love about Megan’s posts, other than the excellent woodworking content, is the ability to improve upon my vocabulary a bit. The latest improvements: cadge and soporific. Awesome!

    1. Megan Fitzpatrick Post author

      Well thank you. (One of my many nerd credentials is that I like to page through the dictionary for fun…and always have.)

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