Opening My Mouth
Whatever step I take next in this process of making a jack plane (see part 1 here), I like to have my muse close by and through looking at then trying to replicate, I gain more respect for the tool making art. From a distance the simple rectilinear form of jack, try and jointer planes do little to suggest the nuances and evolution present within them. It is only when I try to replicate what at first seems simple do I appreciate more fully how crisp the detailing is on the original and professionally made plane. I missed my float delivery at the weekend but look forward to collecting it from the depot tomorrow. In the meantime I’ve been working with a small Japanese-style pull saw and paring chisels to form the abutments and shape up the mouth/escapement.
I’ve sometimes read about concerns that clamping work to a bench with aprons is a non starter; thankfully clamping and workholding is the easy part of this project. Working with paring chisels is also pretty unfamiliar for me (all my work is typically accessible with a regular bench chisel). Their delicate nature, especially the 1/4″ and 1/2″, makes for a very sensitive tool. I’m far from an expert with them but by changing finger pressure on the blade you can make the 1/4″ really do what you want it to. I hope to have the mouth finished up by my next post and be moving onto the wedge and perhaps some interesting observations on grinding angles.
— Graham Haydon
Ed note: If you want to make your own wooden-bodied plane, you’ll find Bill Anderson’s instructional video “Building a Traditional 18th-century Jointer Plane” invaluable.