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  Coffin Smoother in Boxwood with Ebony Wedges 1 of 15  

 

Wedged mouth smoothers are very rare indeed and this is the only one I have seen in the flesh.

 

Of all the antique coffin smoothers I have two that stand out from all others. First is the larger of the two - a wedged mouth smoother is by John Birch & Son, 11 Emily St., Birmingham, 1855-1868. Wedged mouth smoothers are very rare indeed and this is the only one I have seen in the flesh.

The smaller of the two is an equally stunning solid boxwood smoother with glorious flame banding. It will come as no surprise to hear that this was a gentleman's tool by the perfectionist maker John Jacob Holtzapffel II, 64 Charing Cross Road, London, 1821-1901.

Amazingly crafted planes from the very best materials.

So beautiful are these planes that I thought I would merge their genes and create one plane - the boxwood and size of the Holtzapffel but with a wedged mouth from the Birch. I think I will also follow on from my theme of last year and make the wedges from Gabon ebony.

It is very unusual to see figure like this on boxwood. One gets the impression
that John Jacob Holtzapffel himself selected the stock.

Today I flattened one side of an old log, laid down 20 years ago in 1997. I think this project deserves the best.

This is one of my very oldest logs of English boxwood.

The log bends at this point so that is where I needed to cut.


 
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