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    Weekly Questions 8/17

    August 17, 2017

    Hi guys! I have been getting questions consistently, but I haven't been able to sit down and go through all of them. While I have a few minutes I will go over a couple;

    Q. Why don't you sell kits that can be completed from scratch(all parts cut and provided but no assembly done)?

    A. This is a good question and an easy one to answer. Building a plane from "scratch" requires certain tools and skills that most people don't have. There are companies like St. James Bay Tool that sell these kits on eBay, but if you've ever looked at them, held one, or owned one, you can tell that there is so much involved with making one of these into a complete tool, much less a halfway functioning tool, that the time and frustration involved is ridiculous. Sure, you can own an "infill" plane for cheap, but you'll also be flattening mild steel covered in scale, flattening brass that looks like it was hit with a belt sander, re-filing dovetails that don't match up well, if at all......... I don't want to knock someone else's product, I don't like to do that, but I have owned these, built these, etc. when I first got into hand tools. It was a joke. I thought cast plane kits might be better, nope. It's not necessarily the actual building that's tough(it is, but not the worst part). It's the time involved in flattening everything, squaring everything, mating parts seamlessly together that is the worst. I want you to have fun and ultimately be successful in building a plane from a kit. If I can remove the nasty, labor intensive parts that nobody likes to do, but is absolutely paramount, you will have fun and be successful. If I sent you a bunch of crap in a box and said, "there's a plane in here somewhere, have at it", you'd curse my name.

    Q. Do you ever mess up when building a plane beyond repair?

    A. Rarely, but yes. Everything goes together like a puzzle, so if a single piece gets messed up I can usually reproduce that one and just "repair" If more than two pieces ever get messed up, I consider that one a loss and set it aside to be work on later. It doesn't happen much anymore, but on occasion I won't feel like stopping everything to do surgery on one plane body, so it goes "on the shelf".

    Thanks for the questions, guys! I'll try to do better with keeping up on them.

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