Labor Day, Um, Labor

I spent the day greatly appreciating the work that people like Larry Williams & Don McConnell, Matt Bickford, Caleb James, Phil Edwards, and a host of others do every day to make these wonderful tools available to us.  Anyone who thinks that today’s premium hand planes are over priced should try building one for themselves.  After the work I put in today, I think these guys are charging just enough to get by, and probably should be charging more.  This stuff ain’t easy folks.  But it is fun!

Traditional 18th Century Style Jack Plane in Progress
Traditional 18th Century Style Jack Plane in Progress

5 thoughts on “Labor Day, Um, Labor

  1. Please show us how to build a good wooden plane. It’s not the simplest things to do in woodworking. Many people is interested on this: build a wooden hand plane following past two centuries method ( not laminated construction!).

  2. First of all : where do we find good quarter sawn beech to build our plane ? I live in Italy . Here was used white oak and european maple. I cannot find none of them.

    • Don’t get hung up on beech. Just like with workbenches, planes were made from whatever wood could be sourced locally. In England, beech was the best, though boxwood was occasionally used as well. In North America, they used beech, birch, and even sometimes maple. In Germany they often use hornbeam. In Japan they use Japanese species of red and white oak.

      You want to look for a fairly dense, diffuse porous wood. Any of the ones listed above will work, as will just about any of the fruit woods, like cherry, apple and pear. Stay away from softer species and most ring porous woods. Even though they are ring porous, I might try red or white oak if it was riven.

  3. Everyone who is based in China and other Asian countries or who import that rubbish are making money, everyone except us little guys. We have chosen a path that dates back 100 years and more why because we take pride in our work, we know quality workmanship and we build to make it last, we also know and understand and abhore the turn this world has taken to mass production and over consumption of throw away items note I used the word consumption it is like they are eating the goods before they even get home. But as for me and I’m sure I can speak for the small group that is left of us we chose this way because we love it and that’s the price you pay. If we aim to set our prices any higher than we currently have without a doubt we’ll go broke, it is most difficult and impossible to compete with main land China.

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