The set of planes that were destined for Woodworking in America but went MIA finally appeared. They arrived at Scott Meek’s shop while he was in Kentucky and were waiting for him when he returned. Here is the display and signage I made for the show.
The Time Warp Tool Works show display (Photo by Scott Meek)
Scott decided to try his hand at cutting mouldings. This was his first attempt, though, as a member of the Hand Tool School, he had watched Shannon Rogers demonstrate the tools and learned the fundamental techniques. He reportedly had fun cutting “an ugly ovolo”. He liked the planes enough to make us an offer on the set. We accepted.
In exchange for the set of moulding planes and dogs, Garth and I will each be receiving a Scott Meek smoothing plane. Scott will be making Garth a tiger maple smoother with Asian Ebony for the wedge and cross pin.
A Scott Meek Smoothing Plane (Photo by Scott Meek)
I, however, am after something a little more exotic. I will dig through my selection of wood and send Scott a special piece from which to make my plane. I happen to have a bunch of blocks of Lignum vitae which would make a fantastic plane.
I’m not sure whether Scott is more excited to have a set of our moulding planes or if we’re more excited that he is making us each one of his smoothing planes. Either way, we’re really happy with the deal.
We are pleased to announce that we have found a local source of premium yellow birch (Betulla alleghaniensis) which we will be using for our planes as we move forward.
Yellow birch (not to be confused with paper birch) is similar in many ways to sugar maple (Acer saccharum). Birch is an ideal wood for toolmaking – it is stable, hard, and evenly dense (it has been used for North American-made hand planes for ages – the first documented American planemaker, Deacon Francis Nicholson, used yellow birch for his planes). Quartersawn birch is quite pretty too, especially when it’s figured! Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to get your planes in figured birch (we cannot guarantee all the quartersawn birch will look this way).
Figured Quartersawn Birch
We are pleased to have found a local supplier with a good supply that has been felled, milled, air-dried and well-seasoned locally by an independent sawyer with over 35 years of experience. Yes, we are very excited about having yellow birch!
For our first two production runs of moulding planes, we used 8/4 quartersawn, kiln-dried cherry from the Eastern coast of the U.S. If you already have cherry planes, we will continue to make new sizes of planes in cherry by request.
Learn more about our:
- Top Escapement Moulding Planes; and
- Conical Escapement Rabbet Planes.
Click Here to Reserve Your Planes in Quartersawn Birch!