For subscribers who have received their copy of the February 2015 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, you are forgiven if you didn’t notice the piece of furniture on the cover and became fixated on the plow plane sitting on top of the piece of furniture.
The plow is a masterpiece of ebony, brass and steel made by Jim Leamy, a long-time planemaker. And it is one of my most prized possessions.
I asked Leamy to make it for me after seeing his work and meeting him at the shop of John Sindelar, a woodworker and tool collector. While the tool is based on a historic model, my guess is that the original tool wasn’t designed for daily use. Weighing 8 lbs. 8 oz. (a little bit more than a Lie-Nielsen No. 7 jointer) it wears me out to use it.
But that doesn’t mean it’s useless. Far from it. I use it almost every day.
It sits in my office within easy reach, and I pick it up all the time to fiddle with its centerwheel and manipulate its knurled knobs. I am constantly in awe of the way Jim fit the ebony and brass together, plus the way everything works – literally – like clockwork.
It is, quite simply, inspiration to do better work.
Leamy makes tools that are designed for daily work as well, from infill smoothing planes to rabbet planes and tongue-and-groove planes.
— Christopher Schwarz