Here is The Waney Edge Family of Hand Planes, all made by me (by hand) in my workshop.
These were made from scratch; no kits were involved (I don’t even think kits can be got any more!)
They are all excellent user planes and are frequently put to work. Made from
brass and exotic hardwoods each one is designed for a specific task.
From left to right we have a roughing smoother designed to remove wood quickly, a fine general smoother that gives an excellent finish , a high-angled finishing smoother; 60 degree pitch (This plane is capable of producing the finest of shavings and leaving a finish better than sandpaper. A painter/decorator friend of mine observed that he could not get a better finish than this plane does, with sandpaper). Next comes an old style smoother with oak-leaf design front for small work (This plane is a real delight to use) and finally, a low-angled mitre plane with beautiful Desert Ironwood infill.
Here is a rear/side view of the set. All my planing needs are catered for with this set, except perhaps for a chamfering.
But look! Here is my (again shop-built, hand made), Japanese style Chamfer Plane that covers that problem:
Ooh! Look at that grain. Can you guess what wood it is?
This chamfering plane can be used like any Japanese plane, that is, pulled along the wood, or used like a conventional European plane, pushed along the wood. Its simple lines are deceptive; this plane works extremely well and is ideal for quickly cutting champhers on long boards.
All these hand planes are essentially my own design and are a pleasure to use. With the exception of the chamfer plane, all are hammer-adjusted either with a small, shop-built conventional hammer or my preferred, Palm-hammer:
This simple, little tool slips easily into my shop-apron pocket so is always at hand. Learning to adjust the setting of a plane with a hammer is a short learning curve but once mastered, gives the finest adjustment. I moved away from fitting Norris style adjusters in my planes after listening to Ron Brese’s arguments against them. Now, any hand plane I make is hammer adjusted. It is surprising how fine an adjustment can be made from the deftest touch of the hammer. I could never get quite such a fine adjustment from a Norris style adjuster. And it’s fun to do.
There is an exquisite pleasure in constructing projects using hand tools that you have made yourself. No words can describe that feeling. You have to immerse yourself in it to appreciate it.