Great Woodshops: Tossing Out Tradition
by Christopher Schwarz
Let’s say you were good at building Chippendale highboys. Really good. Phil-Lowe-kind-of-good at it. Customers came to you regularly and you had plenty of work to keep you busy.
Then why – oh why – would you try to reinvent that highboy?
That’s the kind of question that many traditionalists are asking about planemaker Konrad Sauer, who has successfully made a living for more than 10 years as a custom toolmaker. Since Sauer opened his doors for business on Jan. 2, 2001, his bread and butter has been building infill jointer, panel and smoothing planes (plus other traditional forms) that are firmly rooted in the British infill tradition.