Ron Hock offered a good
deal on a small bevel-up blade, ideal for a
first-time plane maker. That describes me, so
I ordered one. It won’t compete with Clark and
Williams, but hopefully it will produce shavings.
A check with those in
the know indicates that fruit wood is an acceptable
wood for a plane. I happen to have some pear
wood. A neighbor gave me the ~7”-8” X 3’ trunk
of a lightning-struck tree 4 or 5 years ago. I
trimmed and slopped several coats of shellac on the
ends, peeled the bark, split it in half and have had
it air drying in the garage since. Here’s a
picture of one half as I trimmed it with my 5pt rip
After the initial trimming, I
planed flats on the bark face of the cant with my trusty Type 11
#7 so I could joint an edge and smooth the pith face without it
rocking and rolling. With one edge smooth, I jointed the
pith face smooth and square to the edge.
At this point, I resorted to
electron-powered devices to reduce the cant to a nominal 1-3/4”
X 4” X 20” blank. Notice the light curl in the grain?
This is a very pretty piece of
wood. I just hope it works well as a plane.