A Second Fore-Plane

It is a tradition for the board of directors of the Center for Art in Wood to ask the artists who participated in the summer residency if they would be amenable to donating one or more objects to be chosen by the board to the Center’s permanent collection. This creates a record of the artists who have participated in the program over the years that can be viewed by the public. (It is not obligatory for artists to donate objects.) 

This year I was both surprised and pleased to be asked to donate the planes I made during the residency. Today, the fore plane and smoothing, both made in early eighteenth century designs, are now in the permanent collection of the Center for Art in Wood. 

Fore-plane. Beech, iron. June, 2022. Collection of the Center for Art in Wood. Photo credit John Carlano.
Smoothing-plane. Mahogany, iron. June, 2022. Collection of the Center for Art in Wood. Photo credit John Carlano.

This left me with a dilemma. I was anticipating taking my planes home at the end of the exhibition where I would be using them daily. I thought I might continue to experiment with plane making at some point in the future, but decided to gear up and get working straight away on a second set of bench planes. I found a source for quartered beech, purchased irons, and continued to explore wood plane-making.

My second fore-plane shortly after it was completed. Iron from Red Rose Reproductions.
Just three elements. Four if the tote is counted separately. The tote can be seen in its offset position to the right side of the body.
On this plane I attached the tote with a locking joint. Steve Voigt reminded me that I had seen this handle attachment years ago but had forgotten about it.
A nail is used to secure the front of the tote. Without glue, the tote is still solidly attached to the body.
The Red Rose Reproductions iron after the edge is cambered next to a narrower smoothing plane iron with a straight edge.
This is a view along the bed showing the cambered iron set rank to take a thick shaving.

I hadn’t planned on devoting the amount time as I have lately to plane-making, but l felt a sense of revisiting passions and contemplating craft through a working process that matters greatly these days.

Fore-plane. Beech, iron. September, 2022. Beginning to show the signs of use, where hands have begun to leave a patina.

2 thoughts on “A Second Fore-Plane

  1. Wow! Wonderful to see you continue to be exceptional in all you do. We Park House Guides were so fortunate to see you work in person at Mount Pleasant Mansion and to hear your stories. Thank you. Hope we all get back together when MP reopens someday.

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