Thursday, 28 February 2013

The K9




This plane has taken a while to come together.  I wanted it to feel like the K13, light weight with a lower center of gravity and an similar balance point. 






The K9 has a 2-1/8" wide blade, a 50 degree bed angle and is 9" long including the handle (the sole footprint is 8"). The infill is English Boxwood soaked in oil and then finished with a coat of paste wax.















When I was designing the K9, I kept a copy of the York pitch A5 drawings in a 'background layer' in Adobe Illustrator so I could compare the drawings. They were very different which made me a little nervous. Here are a few pictures to try and show just how different the handles are on the A5ss in the background and the K9 in the foreground. It helps that one is Ebony and the other Boxwood.










The K9 is about 1/2" shorter (in height) than the A5ss but the handle is just as roomy - maybe even a bit larger feeling. The K9 handle is closer to the blade as well - which always improved the balance. There is also a bit more hang to the K9 handle - following the handle of the K13 (and K18).




I spent a good part of the morning using the K9 to flatten the bottom of the dining table top. It was quite a workout (I will do the top tomorrow). The plane worked wonderfully - it is lighter than the A5ss - despite the 1/8" additional blade width. I also found the front pad to be a great size. Big enough to fill my whole hand when wrapping across and around the front. I was able to use it solidly for about 2 hours and it still felt great at the end.




And all that ‘exercise’ was well worth it. The curl in the bottom of the top is wonderful - I can’t wait to see how the top looks.

On a somewhat related funny side note... designers are a curious bunch. They really do look at the world through a different set of glasses. They see proportions, ratios, positive and negative space and seem to be wired for patterns. A perfect example - I was emailing with a friend of mine who is a graphic designer, and was sharing some photos of the K9 prototype as it was coming together. His first comment was that if I placed it next to the K7 and the K13 it would look like neopolitan ice cream. So Jay - this one is for you.




There is another project that has been in the works for well over a year now and many people have asked how it is coming along. This past week, I finally had some time to keep working on it. Here is a quick hint - I will post a proper blog entry about it shortly.



16 Comments:

Blogger Nathan Beal said...

That is an absolutely gorgeous plane. I think that box wood is one of my all time favorite woods for tool handles.

28 February 2013 at 23:24  
Blogger Carl Maltby said...

I would say Gibson Les Paul style guitar. The inlays are right and the binding style is consistent with Gibson. The neck wood looks a little light in the photo. Mahoganii or not?

28 February 2013 at 23:44  
Blogger Carl Maltby said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

28 February 2013 at 23:44  
Blogger ChrisHasFlair said...

Konrad,

I have had an image of the K13 as one of my screensaver images for the past year or so and still enjoy looking at it. Although the K9 doesn't look quite as streamline, I like it quite a bit.

Chris

1 March 2013 at 00:56  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Nathan. When I was planning this one, I realized that I did not have a boxwood filled plane of my own. Until now:)

cheers,
Konrad

1 March 2013 at 06:47  
Blogger Konrad said...

That is the one Carl. It is a left handed 59 Burst. The neck and body are Honduran Mahogany from the same piece of stock.

Cheers,
konrad

1 March 2013 at 06:49  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Chris. Tough to make a plane this much shorter and still feel streamlined without getting into a bevel up open tote.

cheers,
konrad

1 March 2013 at 06:51  
Blogger georgewalkerdesign said...

Konrad,

I see a nimble sculpted chariot waiting to go out out for a spin! How does the curled walnut plane compaired to say curled hard maple?

George Walker

1 March 2013 at 07:20  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi George,

Curly walnut is easier to plane than curly hard maple. I had no trouble with tear-out and my gut tells me the walnut is much less abrasive than maple - likely due to how much softer the wood is. That being said - I have not struggled too much with curly or quilted hard maple either. My comments are based on the fact that as the blade gets dull it still takes clean shavings and provides a tear-out free surface - you just have to push a bit harder to make it happen.

cheers,
konrad

1 March 2013 at 08:11  
Blogger Klaus Kretschmar said...

Kudos, Konrad!
The most impressing thing on your planes aside of the top notch design is the perfection in detail. That is something, I admire truly. Knowing, how difficult it is to achieve photo perfection, I have to state that you do it with every tool that you are showing. Very amazing and inspiring!

Klaus

1 March 2013 at 14:08  
Blogger Carl Maltby said...

I'm a luthier myself Konrad. Has the project inspired you into making smaller thumb planes or convex sole planes for carving? Perhaps even a spokeshave?

1 March 2013 at 16:36  
Blogger nielscosman said...

Boom! The K9 is one sexy... puppy!
To my mind, it seems like you've nailed the size and shaping of the bun curl with this iteration, to match proportions and function.
I loves me the dark exotics, but the boxwood really makes every detail of the plane pop.
This is inspirational!
Cheers,
Niels

2 March 2013 at 13:30  
Blogger Carl Maltby said...

Definitely Niels. I am curious as to how stable that Boxwood will be however as it seems to contain pith on the leading face. Is pith stability a characteristic of Boxwood or is this piece so old that it is a non-issue?

2 March 2013 at 15:06  
Blogger Chris Bame said...

Niiiccee !!! Konrad, Looks like I'm going to have to start saving my pennies again. Maybe for the 2nd K11 that I know will slip right into that Neopolitan Sunday you have going there.
Best Figured Walnut I've seen. Amazing that you found it in solid stock.
Cheers Chris Bame

4 March 2013 at 09:31  
OpenID diversitywoodworks said...

the more i see the boxwood infill, the more i like it.

6 March 2013 at 17:35  
Anonymous Chiu Tan Strings said...

Hi, this is a beautiful plane. I wonder if it is for sale? If so, how much would it be?

1 July 2013 at 09:08  

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Thursday, 21 February 2013

Gluing up the dining table top


When all this incredible Walnut arrived in the shop, my Dad came over and we put the tree back together so I could match boards and get a sense of where things were at. Two boards stood out - a book matched pair that were stunning - full of curl with great color and grain. I pulled these out knowing they would end up being the table top. 

The bad news is that they were only 15" wide - not wide enough for a 2 board top. The good news - they were 8/4 rough sawn and dressed down to 7/4 so there was lots of room to get creative.

The plan was to remove at least a single 1/8" veneer off each side of each board and use 2 of those thick veneers to 'make' a middle third board. As soon as there are 3 boards involved, book matching was out and slip matching was in. The table top is 41-1/2" wide, which was perfect because it meant each board would fit through my 14" thickness planer. It also gave me a little wiggle room to straighten out the grain in the boards. With the boards cut down to 13-7/8" wide, it was time to re-saw the veneer. It took a while to get the process down, but the Y30 did a wonderful job and I ended up with 4 veneers. Thanks to my friend Anil for helping me with this. I dressed the remaining boards down to 1-1/8" thick and clamped them between cauls for several weeks to control and movement.

Before they were clamped in the cauls though, I cut a 1" strip of end grain off each end. This strip was to be used as a bake-in for the laminated core for the middle board.

The middle board is made up of a solid walnut core with the same growth ring orientation as the 1" strips. The 1" strips were then glued onto the end of the core board and then the sawn veneers glued over the whole thing. Here is a quick shot showing the edge of the core, the 1" strip and the veneer.




 The strip is 1" long because there is a radius at the end of the table and there is a profile being added to the edge. A 1" should leave at least 1/4" of the baked-in ends once all the shaping is done.



Here are the 3 boards arranged in the correct order. The laminated middle board was allowed to dry for a week. The glue cured in 24 hours, but there was an awful lot of moisture imparted from the glue and on my friend Pat’s advise, I waited until the moisture content returned to equilibrium with the outside solid boards. I have to admit, I would have never thought of this - thanks Pat. Interestingly, I put my moisture meter on the lamination after it came out of the bag and it was 15%. After a week, it was back down to 7%.



I ran the edges through my plug in jointer and then finished them with a jointing plane.



Here is the first glue-up. It felt a little less risky to do it in stages - Murphy’s law and all. 




The base is now completed including the 8 coats of varnish/oil blend.

I am realizing the limitations of my camera - I am not able to adjust for focus and most of the shots I have taken are of a very crisp shop background with some annoying dark leggy blobs in the foreground. This is one of the better shots of the base once it was all shaped, but not sanded or finished. 

Along with thanks to Pat and Anil, I want to thank my friend Terry who generously allowed me to use his vacuum veneer system to make the middle board. 

I am also working on the K9 prototype right now and am really excited about how it is coming together. I will post photos of it once it is done.


 

9 Comments:

Anonymous Tim said...

Hi Konrad,

I love the base. Very sculptutal: as if straining under tension. And your solution to the table top dilemma, though very labour-intensive, is very elegant.

Bravo!!!

Tim

PS: Thank goodness for friends with veneer presses, or that centre leaf could have been even more labour-intensive.

21 February 2013 at 21:33  
Blogger Jameel Abraham said...

I like your deadman's drawers. The rest is pretty cool too.

21 February 2013 at 23:31  
Blogger ChrisHasFlair said...

Konrad,

Very creative idea to "clone" a third board. I'm really looking forward to seeing K9.

Chris

22 February 2013 at 02:38  
Blogger Chris Bame said...

Hi Konrad,
Nice way to get three outta two !!That is going to be an awesome looking dining table when you get her all polished up.
Would like to hear your thoughts on the vacuum press, glue ,etc.

22 February 2013 at 11:21  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Tim. Glad you like the base. We are quite pleased with it as well and are dying to see it completed and in use. Yes - friends with veneer presses is kinda like friends with trucks:)

Cheers,
konrad

25 February 2013 at 21:19  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hey Jameel,

I was thinking of you when I took that photo. I had a deadman on the upstairs bench and took it off in favour of using the drawers. The deadman just kept getting in the way.

Cheers,
konrad

25 February 2013 at 21:20  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Chris - the K9 is now done - I will post pics really soon.

Cheers,
konrad

25 February 2013 at 21:20  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Chris (B),

I should be planing the table top on thursday of this week and then doing the edge shaping as well. That will be the proof in the pudding so to speak to know if the third board works well or not. The edge of the top is going to be undercut slightly which will help. Fingers crossed!

Cheers,
Konrad

25 February 2013 at 21:22  
Blogger Lee Laird said...

Konrad,

What a cool base shape. I wish I had your design feel/skills!

Look forward to seeing the finished table. Looks like it'll be awesome.

Cheers,

Lee

27 February 2013 at 00:24  

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