minding the gap - introducing the K8
There has been a gap in the K-series line-up for some time. A friend and customer pointed it out last May at HandWorks, and with a wry grin, asked where it was. Yup - gauntlet down.
After the shorter and higher bed angle K9, I had new insights into developing a K8, and it seemed like the logical time to do it. The K8 has an 8" sole footprint and a 1-7/8" wide blade. Not a standard width, but this is about as wide as is practical for anyone with small to medium sized hands. The wider the plane gets, the more open your hand is (on the rear infill). When your hand is too open, it can fatigue quite quickly.
There were a few subtle design changes to developing this plane, but the language has already been established, and I am very familiar and comfortable with it now.
This is the K8 prototype, and is one of only two that I have parted with. When Joe and I started Sauer & Steiner toolworks in 2001, one of the founding principals was we were always going to be ‘making our own planes’. We started making planes because these are what we wanted to use - and that is as true for me now as it was then. But I have quite a few planes. Well... (almost) too many planes. I have 40 prototypes -8 of which are unhandled smoothers. It was time to let one of them go. I may live to regret it, but it is going to a good home, and will be well cared for and used more than I will likely be able to use it. And I make these planes to be used. I love seeing photos of them years later when they are full of dust, patina and even the odd ding or dent.
I cleaned up the french polish that inevitably runs over the steel sidewalls, and took a few photos to send to the customer and for my own records. Here they are.
Oh, the infill is Desert Ironwood.