Hi guys, as I stated last time, I will be posting questions as they are sent to me. Here are a few from this week so far....
Q. What's your favorite hand plane you own?
A. Well, I guess I would have to say one that I made! There are actually a couple of points I could make.
My "favorite" would have to be my Type 1 Stanley Bedrock 602, because it was my grandfathers. Do I use it? Absolutely not, but I love to look at it. My "favorite" that I use is by far and away my Medium 50 Degree Smoother. It is the plane I reach for most often because most of my dimensioning and such is done with machines. There is no other plane that I have had the good graces to use(except for the 3 or so I make for customers every week) that can compare to the finish this thing leaves. I never touch the iron unless it's being sharpened, I simply drop it in, set it and leave it alone. I like to work with challenging woods and I rarely need much higher of a bed angle, it is literally the last thing to touch the wood before I finish it.
Q. What's your favorite hand saw?
A. Don't laugh. I LOVE my pre-1917 Disston 24" No.7 10tpi. When I found it, it was basically perfect, never sharpened, never used. I have No. 9's, 12's, 16's, anything you can think of and they are all great, but the No.7 feels great in your hands, looks classic.
Q. How long does it take you to make a hand plane?
A. Again, this is a multiple answer question. I batch planes out as I make them for customers, 2-4 at a time. I can cut the metal parts, dry fit the body, then rivet and square the body in a day(2-4 planes). Infills take me about 2 hours per plane, then finishing them. All of the money you pay me to make a plane is in the finish work, which is why I sell kits so cheap. This eats up a lot of time and when I teach classes, usually the student s will be taking theirs home to do the finish work.
Great questions so far, guys! Please keep them coming in, I love to talk shop with each and every one of you and I have met some great people doing awesome work(I'm really jealous!) out there. If you have any questions about making planes, buying them, whatever, just email me and I will get back with you. I do work outside my home/shop, so I may not answer you until the evening or following day. Thanks again!