A Welcome Visit
Today started out pretty much like every other Saturday - head down the highway and teach an upgrading class to my Carpenter and Carpenter Apprentice students. Today's class is Trim. The students are milling their own mouldings and installing it.
This morning was a little different though. I had a visit from Cabinet Maker/Boat Maker Tom Fidgen. Tom has a book coming out later this year - so keep your eyes open.
Any way, back to the visit. Tom stopped by the shop with a plough plane to be re-wedged and pick up some blades for said plane. We had been talking about reworking this plane. Having received his hollows and rounds from Philly, he was in need of a plough with the capacity to cut deeper grooves than the plough he usually uses. Did I mention that all of Tom's pieces are made with hand tools? I made a new wedge for him and set him up with some Mathieson blades that would work for him. Let me tell you, it’s great to take an hour or so and refit an old plane, tweak the skate and then take it for a drive and have nice curls come off of the wood.
Why you might ask, didn’t I just make a new plane for Tom? Well, you woodworkers out there are to blame. Getting out in the shop and playing around making all that furniture and other things wood. You have for quite a few years now, been rediscovering the peaceful, relaxing and therapeutic time spent in the shop. AAAAnnnnnd you want tools that actually work well. When Tom and I started talking, our waiting list for planes was already long, and he needed a working plane now. Maybe later I can talk him into a new one.
If you are interested here are a few of the current makers:
Lee Valley Tools www.leevalley.com - Canada’s premier plane and tool line. I’ll have you know I can go in to a store now (after much therapy) and spend less than $100.00 and not feel guilty.
D. L. Barrett and Sons: Yup that’s us.
Clark & Williams www.planemaker.com - I own three and expect that my grandchildren will be using these exceptional planes.
Wenzloff Saws www.wenzloffandsons.com - When you have that many orders for saws, do I really need to say how nice they are. Jim Leamy www.jimleamyplanes.com - Konrad has one of Jim’s planes. Held that one too. Take it away please, or I will take it with me.
Karl Holtey www.holteyplanes.com - Karl has been making infills for decades now and is known for his above and beyond level of workmanship.
And that is just a lot of them. More are coming. Magazines are printing articles on the new makers and the consumer is being informed about the nuances of each of these new tools. Let the fun continue.
Well I have blabbed on long enough. Take a look in the gallery. We finally got around to putting in some pictures.
One Man's Firewood
Since our last post things have been a little crazy. My wife Liz and I decided that we needed to take some time off and get away for a couple of weeks. The boys thought it would be cool to hit Florida.
We drove down and on the way we stopped off in Cincinnati and delivered a Mathieson plough to a certain magazine editor, (take a look at www.lostartpress.com).
On the way home we decided to pay a visit to my brother John and his family. The next morning, over a cup of coffee, one of my nephews made mention that they had just recently had a couple of weird smelling trees dropped and were in the proccess of splitting it for firewood.
So out to the back yard we go, and John hands me a piece from the stack. I was looking at the wood when I realized that I was holding a piece of American Beech. The tree that had been dropped due to wind damage was 110" in circumfrence at the base, and had at least 14-16 feet of clear wood. Of course by the time that we got there, most of the wood had been split, and very nicley stacked I might add. But we saved some nice pieces, and they are now in his garage. In a few years the wood will be turned into some nice planes. The colour is amazing.
Hello everyone. As promised we will add info here when it is needed or if there is something of interest happening with a build or future build.
Over the last couple of weeks we have had a surprising number of inquiries about fillester planes. As I have told those who contacted us, there will be a limited number of these planes made in the coming months.
For those of you who collect planes and can only guess when the plane was made, this next little bit of info will hopefully fix that problem for future collectors.
Each of our planes come with documentation cataloguing: Date the plane was made
Options added to the plane
Who made the plane
As for the fillester planes, we will only offer a limited number to commemorate our first year of business. Each plane will be identified by the production number. eg. 1/12/ 2008. Each plane will also come with the documentation as listed above.
I promised that I would post a few picutures of the prototype and the planes that will be used to template off of, namely my Great Grandfathers Mathieson & Son Fillester.
Sorry everyone the camera that I took the pictures with is, lets just say not a good one, but a promise is a promise, so here are the pics.
The three brothers.
The first is the prototype, the second is my Grandfathers, and the third will be used for the dovetailed boxing detail.
This picture shows the prototype with rosewood boxing, (note that our planes will have boxwood), and the boxing will be dovetailed. This plane is being used to work out the machining process for the depth stop, and will be used for the blade and nicker placements.
And finally the two Mathieson's all to themselves.
As with all of our planes we first look at what we will offer, and then work out the construction details. As far as we are concerned there is no improving on what the master plane makers made in the past. We can only try to match their quality.
This is my youngest Jeremy (on the left), the new tallest one in the family, reaching an all time high of 5'-10 1/2", and on the right is my brother's oldest Jon Michael.
The sorry group that you see here are from the left, my nephew Jon Michael, then my nephew Ryan (the former family giant.) Behind him is my brother John, then Kyle. Up top is the lurch Jeremy, and last, me, showing my best radio face. The wood that we were able to save from the fireplace is all around us and under the guys.
Here They Come
There never seems to be enough time in the year to get everything done that you plan to do. 2008 was very busy for us; most of the planes that we needed to get done have been shipped, with just a few left to bring us up to date. Working a full time job and the boys busy with school really doesn't make plane making any easier in terms of being able to send them out the door at light speed. In the next few weeks we will be up to date, and just in time to start the new orders, as well as prepare for the two WIA, (Woodworking In America) shows we will be attending this year. As promised last year we will be offering new models, here are a few pictures of the first two. We will have about five more models coming out this year, including one very sweet little plane of Kyle’s own design. As we have said in the past we work at choosing planes that are unique and useful. The pictures here are the prototypes for a toted moving fillester, and a wedge arm sash fillester. The blades shown are mockup parallel blades made from mild steel. The blades that will be used on the new fillesters will be tapered O1.
The current works page will be updated as new plane builds develop. As you can see my oldest son Kyle has three beech Mathieson bridle ploughs on the go, and I am in the middle of an ebony Mathieson No. 10. This is the first post of many to come. Take care.
This toted fillester has a 50 degree bed angle, and a skewed blade configuration. From this angle you can clearly see the pleasent sweep at the bottom of the handle that was made famous by Sandusky. The brass depth stop has a steel sole.
For this plane we decided that the african blackwood arm and knicker wedges, while more expensive than beech, was much too pretty to not have on this plane.
From here the depth stop is shown off a little more with the blackwood wedge. Brass arm ferrules will be standard on this plane as well.
Keep an eye out over the next few days there will be more pictures posted.
Tom's toted plough and Mathieson blades.
A little closer view - the wedge will be coloured to match later. That's Kyle's new plane adjusting hammer in the front.
All of the mouldings are made in class, using just routers, the tablesaw, and miter saw.