Saturday, September 26, 2015

Fitted but loose, a compromise

I recently decided to keep a small plane handy in the top till of my tool chest, but didn't want it banging around with the other tools, going dull or losing it's settings. Neither did I want to "french-fit" it into a permanent part of my tool chest. Sure, I reach for this tool often this month, but that could change.

So I landed somewhere in the middle, making this protective "plane coaster", which fits the tool but isn't nailed down. It protects the blade and provides a little elbow room (not my elbows, hypothetical miniature bronze plane elbows).

I made it out of a scrap of 1/4" aromatic cedar. It was from a pre-tongue-and-grooved board of the sort you can line closets with. There wasn't much to it. I traced the plane footprint onto the wood with a hobby knife, and excavated with a small router plane. I also made a small, probably unnecessary relief for the blade. I like it because it's a visual indication of which direction the plane should face on its way back to its home. I slathered the whole thing with the same camellia oil I used on the plane post-honing, and I really like the way it looks.

As luck would have it, the "coaster" fits snugly enough to stay attached when you lift the plane by the body. We'll see how that changes with the seasons.

By the way, this is the "violin maker's plane" from Lie Nielsen, though I'm using it as you might use any block plane.

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