Inspiration comes where you find it – after you hunt it down, corner it, and pound it into submission.
Waiting on inspiration is as savvy as waiting for a cab in Dubuque.
– Little Stevie D.
Just like Groundhog Day, friends, your humble narrator pokes his head out to see if his shadow is feeling ornery today.
Lucky you dear reader.
So here’s something shamelessly self-promoting before I duck back down for a nap.
One of the nice things about working for clients one-to-one is just how often new ideas come out of our discussions.
Last year at WIA I started one such conversation with a client who wondered aloud whether there might be a way to accentuate the joinery of the plane shells without resorting to using bronze. He was interested in a more restrained look. After a number of experiments with materials, finishes, etchings, and experiments we settled on a fairly straightforward approach using two different grades of steel. The sole of the plane DT-1 above (and below) is O1, and the sidewalls are 410 stainless steel. In the end, I think the effect is one of my favorite little nuances to date. In most lighting, the dovetails, pins, and bridge mortises are essentially invisible (as usual). In the right lighting, though, and with closer attention the joinery pops out due to the differences in Chromium content between the steels. I expect that over time the effect will become even more interesting.
It may help to click any of the photos, which will bring up a larger image.
He also chose african blackwood for the infills, requesting specifically that I look for material that was not of the ‘blacker than black’ variety. The effect is one of my favorite planes I’ve made to date. As I’ve discussed in the past, my own personal aesthetic preference tends toward stealth – I really like understated work that rewards close attention, but doesn’t call attention to itself. This plane is that.
While I made his plane I also made one for myself in boxwood, using mild steel for the sidewalls rather than 410 stainless. It’s also a new size for the DT series – the 1″ bladed DT-0. The joinery work in the smaller plane is even less pronounced than the stainless one, but it should patinate much more rapidly and I look forward to seeing what it looks like a year from now.
Oh – and thanks to another client, I finally got around to making a larger version as well – the DT3. It’s way to large to call an index plane – at 7-1/4″ long and a 1-3/4″ blade its much more along the lines of a bevel up smoother – but I’ll worry about nomenclature later. Or never. We’ll see.
And finally, for those of you with questions regarding why I’ve been hibernating from the blog, what on earth the blog title refers to, or whether mayonnaise really did originate in satanic rituals — here’s a couple more pictures.