Thursday, December 27, 2018

Creating Custom Moulding Planes

I constantly disappoint two groups of woodworkers, one of which is the 'hand-tool only' crowd.

Many people assume that I must be part of this wild group due to my making of moulding planes for a living. These crazies (said with affection) are often shocked and disappointed when they find out that I am not entirely one of them. I have a router and I like my router. (Fun Fact 1: my router was the first thing I ordered off of Amazon 15 years ago. I paid $279 + shipping in '03 and I could now get the same kit for $263 with shipping included.) 

If I need to thickness a board less than 12" then I'm headed to my planer 10 out of 10 times. However, with hand planes I can thickness a face that is more than 12" and, on those rare occasions, even more than 30". Bench planes offer me the ability to flatten and thickness any width, not limited by fences, etc. (Fun Fact 2: my planer was part of my second order from Amazon way back then. I paid $449 and the same model is currently $599.) 

(Fun Fact 3: you don't care about my Amazon history, so I'll stop.)

Hand tools afford me this desirable idea of infinity: whether flat surfaces done with planes vs. machines, dovetails done by hand vs. jig,  even the tenons upon a curved surface to adjoin with a crest rail of a Queen Anne chair. 


INFINITY!

Hollows and rounds offer me the same infinite number of possibilities with moulding profiles as many hand tools do with other aspects of this craft. With my selection of hollows and rounds I can essentially make any moulding profile that happens along a straight length. 



On occasion, I am requested to make custom, dedicated planes. In these instances I will need to manufacture 10" of a single profile that will be the sole. I will need to make this short moulding only one time. 



I am still able to make these single planes for nearly the same price because I already have the proper tooling to make an infinite number of profiles: Hollows & Rounds. 

(Metric measurements not included, but I can get close.)

Hollows and rounds fit perfectly into my workshop because I make small amounts of profiles that are determined by you, my customers. In my shop I use hollows and rounds to make the soles of custom planes, remove machine marks from standard planes, and to create the seemingly rare project (see above)

Hollows and rounds will allow you to comfortably make small amounts of highly specific profiles quickly and efficiently, whether it's for 10" of an exacting plane, a piece of reproduction furniture, or something entirely your own.

(The elliptical segments of this plane's sole was executed with four profiled planes #2 Hollow/Round and #3 Hollow/Round, neither of which are recommended for a first-timer)



Talking about (intentionally) softened corners, Chuck Bender wrote a fascinating blog regarding extremely sharp details on his blog the other day. Check it out. 

disclaimer: Chuck is one of the three people responsible for getting me into this professional pursuit. I will be teaching at Chuck's mid-2019. I have a working relationship with him, but not Amazon.


Please send an email to matt@msbickford.com with the subject of "Raffle" to enter to win an X-out 7/8" rabbet plane. I did a contest like this last year. I go out of my way to keep the winner to being a reader. If the contest gets posted on Instagram, Twitter, Tinder, etc. then I'm going to cancel or postpone it. I don't want the publicity, likes or follows. (You don't even have to sign up for my mailing list, nor will you be put on it.) Don't decrease your chances of winning! Like last year, the contest winner will be chosen randomly in an ultra-transparent manner. This won't be me giving the plane to the person with the highest Iprofile. Like last year, I will ship this plane anywhere that USPS will deliver, their rules/relationships not mine. US and Canada? Sure. Germany and Australia? Definitely. The Congo? Probably not, I don't know. But you're probably fine to enter. The specific rules will be defined once the entry period is over. I am the final arbiter. Entries must be made before 23:59 EST on 1/4/19. The plane will work perfectly, I just don't like the piece of wood. If you win and you've already purchased a rabbet plane directly from me then I'll find something else for you.

3 comments:

  1. "x-out" ???

    In all the time I've followed your blog, I don't recall the term "x-out," except in the several recent posts. Nor, have I seen it in your store.

    Maybe it's code for that piece of wood you don't like?

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    Replies
    1. This is a term used by the golf ball industry, at least.

      I use the term to reference planes that have cosmetic imperfections. I rarely complete the planes. I don't sell them. I do give them away at shows and online occasionally.

      I stamp my maker's mark with 'X's so a future owner will know that it's different than average and there was an imperfection on the day it was completed.

      Think "factory seconds."

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    2. Thanks for the explanation Matt.
      It's been many decades since I played golf ... but now that you mention it, I vaguely remember seeing x-out golf balls.

      They always ended up in the pond.

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