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Hello all, I'm working up some designs for finger planes and I'd love to hear what you all think of what I have so far. A key element I'm trying to work in is some way of applying force with the palm while retaining the control in the fingertips. I'm not alone in suffering from really sore fingers when using finger planes, I'm sure, but I find fixed palm rests unbearable. The seems to give far too much leverage to allow any positional feedback on how the plane is sitting on the work, so I find the blade skips in and out as it is cammed off the wood. Does this tally with your experiences? I'm also trying to build in some really simple adjustment to the larger planes, which should make it a bit easier to tweak them on the fly rather than sharpening, fitting and forgetting. Is this just unnecessary complexity? I've been sharing some progress on this thread over on mandolincafe, if anyone's interested: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?122495-Finger-plane-designs-prototypes-etc Here is a selection of rough prototypes, in vaguely chronological order: This was the first in brass. you can see it has a dovetailed in boxwood sole. It's nice to use, but not enough to justify the extra wear and bulk. This is the adjustment mechanism I've worked out, it's pretty self explanatory. I was just trying to make one simple enough to work on a really small scale. The rather ungainly ball on the cap pops into the socket in this palm handle. The idea is that you can use your palm to put pressure on the plane, but steer it in three dimensions with your fingertips. Power-steering! It seems effective, although it's sitting too high on this prototype I think. The next thing I worked on was just an ergonomic study, really. I was trying to reduce the amount of 'squeeze' needed to keep hold of it as you're working. This one also has a 'rabbet plane' type iron, which is super handy for carving bass bars and just giving a bit more working area at the same size. That is, until you take one stroke across the grain, and the shavings immediately jam in the mouth. I tried giving the 'arms' a knife edge, but I think this kind of iron just doesn't work at all on this scale. Bringing back the elements I'd worked out, but going back to a normal iron. Please excuse the 'knurling', I was in a hurry! The handle now snaps into the back of the adjuster, and fall under the fingers nicely. The handle just pops out if it's not in use. I'm mostly concentrating on working up the 10/12mm size planes, as these seem to be the workhorses. However, I did have a go at translating this design to a tiny 5mm plane. Again, prototype quality so excuse the wobbles. Any thoughts on where these are going? Suggestions for improvements? I'd love to hear any and all opinions, as blunt as possible please. Alf.
I just picked up my mail...and my Lee Valley catalogue/flier was in ...and lookit the cover! So cute! http://www.leevalley.com/en/home/OnlineCatalog.aspx?id=5b67bb68 (Okay...so it's been a long, slow day, and I was happy to get an unexpected violin fix...regardless - it's still cute! )