July 10, 2006

Of all the courses taught at Inside Passage Plane Making and Surfaces is likely my favorite to teach. Watching a student make a fine plane and take their first passes achieving exceptional results is a wonderful feeling for any teacher.

A few of the planes and spoke shaves made at the school this week. The spoke shaves are of jatoba, scraper planes are of aframosia with applied sole of jatoba, smoothers of tulipwood and jatoba.

Karin routs slot on shaper for the cap screw on the rear ramp of her plane. As with many of our programs developing a sensible balance between hand and machine tools is encouraged throughout their time at the school. Students are often offered several methods of doing each task giving them the opportunity to choose one based on their personal preferences and availability of tools and machines in their own shop. A minimalist approach and the use of hand tools is always encouraged.

Roberts discusses the subtleties of making cross pins. Cross pins are enjoyable to make and can have a significant impact on the performance of a plane. The shoulders are cut on the table saw, the cheeks on the bandsaw, then retreating to the quiet of our benchroom the cross pins shoulders are cleaned up, the shaping of the tenons and the cross pin are done using files, knives and chisels.

Marlene's first shavings as long and as wide as the work piece and less that .005"(Not readable on a digital caliper). Marlene is from Savory Island and just completed her third class this year at the school this summer. Her progress has been tremendous and we look forward to her next visit. The Artisan Program offers our students the flexibility of taking courses separately of as part of a six week program.

Karin with initial shavings prior to shaping plane. Those first shavings are always special. I predict the first of many planes that Karin will make and use in her own shop.

Robert's convex sole plane. A coopering plane with 3/16" rocker front to back. A convex plane can be used to hollow out chair seats and shape a variety of convex surfaces.

Karin makes a slot on the mortiser for a spoke shave. The key to a good spoke shave is accuracy. Students have the opportunity to set up machines using set up pieces prior to making final passes on actual work pieces. A great learning opportunity with a fine tool to show for it in the end.

From Left: Robert, Karin, Marlene & Federico