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D_W

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strangely enough, this beech plane got held up in customs in memphis here. It went from UK to spain to memphis and status changed to "customs clearance problem" or some similarly worded thing.

Never had that happen before on anything under $900.
 

Tony Zaffuto

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I'm not sure I'd want to do that to a plane as old as this one (probably about 180 years old).

I'm fairly sure, though, that I have owned a plane before that saw the linseed oil treatment (actually two). One was a 20 inch long plane that weighed 9 pounds (which is very unusual - just a beech plane with a 2 1/2" wide iron), and the other was a 28" lamb jointer that weighed just south of 12 pounds. It came with another beech jointer, 0.25" wider and of similar age - the second wider plane was about 8 pounds (beech seems to lose some weight over time as volatile gases make their way out - the wood changes some, too, from smooth to more dry feeling when it's cut or turned).

If that wasn't dried oil, I don't know what it would've been.
might bear out experimenting with a “junker”. You could actually do the impregnating in your shop, using a vessel that heats the resin to liquid and soaking the plane body. This method might actually be better, as the resin might not penetrate to the depth caused by a vacuum.
 

D_W

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How warm does the vessel have to be. This sounds like an interesting idea - without a vacuum more or less heating epoxy (like you would do if you were trying to get it to go deep in a joint).
 

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Why would you do anything more than a quick polish with wax? It's lasted 160years and looks good for another 160yrs?

I have one simalar with a darker more used patina and hadn't thought of giving it special treatment.

Cheers James
 

D_W

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If I were in England, the attention would be zero, just wax and go. I'll attach a picture of a wonderful greenslade try plane that I have here and show you what's happened to the sole in the states. It survived probably 150 years or more in england with almost nothing, but beech is so temperamental to the extreme dryness we get here in cold snaps in winter that this happens.

Due to the property of wood drying where it shrinks but then springs back less, over time, this is difficult to stop. You can fill the cracks, but they will widen, anyway, giving you a crack with fill in.

Things like boxwood nuts on plow planes often split here, many repaired with nails if they've been here a while.

That said, I use this plane and love it (excuse the orange basement carpet, please - working wood and metal through the shop, I have no intention of updating it to anything civilized -the water out of the wet vac is usually literally black with metal dust).

I make my own planes, and I'd go as far to say that they're generally made to a high standard, but it's hard for me not to use a plane like this with age. I can make a plane as well as this one, but I can't make one better - it's a pearl. I'm bonkers over this plane as for a maker of planes like me, every single bit of it is optimized for efficiency in use - the least effort for the most neat work done.



(sizing sticking for moulding on a cabinet in this case, but usually used following a jack plane)
 

D_W

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Pictures of what happens to a stable older plane that migrates to the states.
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Tony Zaffuto

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How warm does the vessel have to be. This sounds like an interesting idea - without a vacuum more or less heating epoxy (like you would do if you were trying to get it to go deep in a joint).
Let me see if I can get you an MSDS sheet. That would list flash point, so it would be less. Regular oil goes in around 225F.
 
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D_W

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The plane arrived today - not sure what held it up in customs other than the chance that people working for fed ex may have thought they needed to check the wood type. It's better than I expected and as good as any wooden plane ever made.

It's always a surprise to me that through my YT channel from time to time, I'll get a request to make a certain plane (I won't make planes professionally, but I will trade things for planes made in house - showing a profit and accidentally establishing a business in the US is a bad thing). I always suggest to people that I will refit an iron or wedge and that a plane from england for $100 (total, maybe slightly higher) of the griffiths or mathieson types - just find something little used - will be as good or better than anything from a custom maker (including me), so how could I even recommend someone pay me $30 an hour to make them a plane in the first place when it'll be an even race when done.

This never happens, and usually someone saying they want to work entirely by hand goes to OST here spending 6 bills on a plane that won't handle most FAS lumber now without extreme hassle.

And planes like this sit in England for $100 and while everything around them sells, I can check them several times before finally deciding to buy.

And when I do get an excess and resell a few on ebay after refitting, and in good shape, if I don't suggest that they've been professionally fitted, they won't sell.

I guess it really shows the power of branding and identity.
 

D_W

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(not my branding and identity, by the way, but the folks with websites and magazine articles and mentions on the schwarz blog - he referred to the need to have a jack plane but wooden planes being finicky and difficult. Sort of an alternate reality from actually getting something done by hand).

Pictures of said plane attached. tiny crack on the back and no others. Fair chance this one can be waxed/oiled shut and hopefully nothing similar to the other plane I showed appearing. I will follow this one around a bit closer if anything appears top side.

Note about the offset - it's so little that I don't think I could draw any different conclusion from it vs. dead in the middle. Like to my eye, it looks off center by a 16th of an inch, maybe.

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D_W

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It varies here - summer dewpoints make humidity then similar to UK. Dewpoints like upper 50s to mid 70s usually (tony Z can vouch for that, it probably has implications for his metals business - he's a little north of me). My tools (the wooden parts) are in heaven as my shop is slightly below grade, so humidity can get above 70% relative in the shop.

But in the winter, typical dewpoint is probably about 10F and absolute moisture is very low. In hard cold snaps where it gets below zero overnight, the dewpoint can go to -10 or -20F and my unfinished beech lumber can be OK for years and then crack in one or two days on the ends. It's bizarre.. If the dewpoint stays low for a while, the old English planes give up some of their stuff, and since wood has a spring back factor, it shrinks, but never gets all the way back to pre-shrink size when moisture is reintroduced.

Paying attention to certain fast-transferring wood can help (if it's going to be below zero and I have expensive beech billets for planes, I can usually remember to check them and refresh wax/paint on the ends to make sure there are no breaches at all, but some side checking can occur. More waxing is better, though - even if there is some damage, there's much less. The plane in the picture above has gotten a little worse each year, but I think it's about done moving. No structural problems, just unsightly. I've filled it with a cake of dust and oil a couple of times, but as the crack gets a little bigger, it needs to be redone. Sooner or later it'll stop (but it'd be better if I would've been more on top of it at the outset).

All that said, I've never had any cracks worse than cosmetic and don't usually buy English plow planes that weren't here to start with, etc. Then, you can sort through and find the ones that didn't crack, esp. if you manage to find one that got through without injury in a more dry climate than here (like the western US).

Beech transfers moisture so quickly that 16/4 billets can be mostly dry if the temp stays stable, within a month or two. If one is unfinished and you put oil in the mortise, it will go through the straws to the ends of the plane just overnight while you're sleeping, but the flip side of that is that if the ends aren't closed with wax and finish, and there is a cold snap, the ends can check in one night while you're sleeping as the center takes a few hours or days to catch up to the shrinking outside.
 

Cabinetman

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Seems to me that the only thing you can do is to keep/store them all the time in an English environment cabinet (Cigar humidor style?) how about vacuum bags? Shouldn’t be too difficult nowadays. Ian
 

D_W

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Seems to me that the only thing you can do is to keep/store them all the time in an English environment cabinet (Cigar humidor style?) how about vacuum bags? Shouldn’t be too difficult nowadays. Ian
Couple of open bottles of stella and a pork pie should make them feel at home!! The stella should scare them into behaving well.
 

D_W

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day one, said plane has some separating cracks at the heel and one has appeared behind the handle (only small). I've filled them with beeswax and mineral oil mix for now and will go to linseed oil if they stabilize, and slathered both ends of the plane iwth a heavy layer of wax, and will do the same with the bed.

Amazing how quickly this happens with beech (presumably due to end grain exposure and beech's ability to transport water from end to end in hours rather than weeks or months. With all of the end grain sealed, transport through side grain (Without grain runout) is much much slower).
 

D_W

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(and it's warm here, too, for this time of year - about 5-10C equivalent and we're expecting rain tomorrow. Approaching zero only at night right now, which isn't typical for this part of the year. )

I was wrong about the cracks - one at the heel, one at the handle rear (which looking at the pictures isn't visible, though its beginnings were probably there, just not open) and one in the middle of the top between heel and handle, then one at the rear of the mouth and one at the front sole.

Plane survived well in its package, but it was sealed in bubble wrap.

Totally slathered in oil and wax on all end grain now, though, and stuffed with beeswax in those cracks that did appear. My experience is that once they appear, even as we get to summer, they won't close again. The only thing that's ever really completely prevented that is a thick layer of paint or shellac - not going there.
 

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That's odd that your unseasonably warm whilst Texas has been so cold???

We stayed near the grand canyon PA wellsbro.

Cheers James
 

D_W

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I think temps here were similar to texas when that was going on in texas, but 10 or 0 degrees there causes serious problems where it's typical overnight here. Not sure why their grid wasn't tied east and west as I can't believe it was a nationwide generation problem - they must've just been caught off guard and not had the gas supply and electric supply arranged (leading to absurd spot market prices there). It was a little colder here a day or two after that and not so much as a blink, of course. It hasn't gotten "really" cold here in several years -10F overnight).

I did see a youtube video from a subscription where upper midwest and into canada saw just stupid temperatures. -54C in southern sask. in canada, and -30C in duluth MN in the middle of the afternoon.

-10F is about the temp where stuff freezes at the edge of your nostrils when you breathe in, and the trees make noise here in the wind and some break (that's about -23C).
 

Droogs

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I hope all goes well with it DW, it is a lovely looking plane.
 

Tony Zaffuto

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I think temps here were similar to texas when that was going on in texas, but 10 or 0 degrees there causes serious problems where it's typical overnight here. Not sure why their grid wasn't tied east and west as I can't believe it was a nationwide generation problem - they must've just been caught off guard and not had the gas supply and electric supply arranged (leading to absurd spot market prices there). It was a little colder here a day or two after that and not so much as a blink, of course. It hasn't gotten "really" cold here in several years -10F overnight).

I did see a youtube video from a subscription where upper midwest and into canada saw just stupid temperatures. -54C in southern sask. in canada, and -30C in duluth MN in the middle of the afternoon.

-10F is about the temp where stuff freezes at the edge of your nostrils when you breathe in, and the trees make noise here in the wind and some break (that's about -23C).
Texas grid issues were of their own making and when warnings went out to producers to winterize (at least several years), said warnings were ignored! All Texas politicians, should be squirming.

David, PM me your email and I’ll send you the resin MSDS (here in the States, that is the abbreviation for “material safety data sheet”, generally gives chemistry and any safety precautions needed). Now, if you want to take one of your wooden planes, with large cracks, I can send you some powdered brass, to give some major bling to the plane! IIRC, I believe I sent some powdered metal sample to George, for his wife to experiment with for jewelry.

T
 

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Any rosin/epoxy is denser than water hence denser than oil, so it isn't a lightweight solution.
 

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