Popular Woodworking 2008-10 № 171, страница 19

Popular Woodworking 2008-10 № 171, страница 19

—. Tool Test i—

Blum Bench Planes Offer

Anyone who dabbles in the history of hand-planes can tell you this: There are no new designs out there. However, after trying the new Blum planes. I'm not sure I agree

They have a lightweight wooden body, which gives them a traditional feel. But the blade adjuster is far more precise than what youll find on a traditional metal plane. It's a unique combination of trails that appeals toa wide variety of woodworkers, which I discovered at a recent event we had in our shop.

Despite the unfamiliar controls, most woodworkers quickly took to the Blum planes and easily produced wispy shavings Because the controls that regulate the blade are unusual, let's take a look at them.

Twobrassknobson top regulate the depth of your cut. One controls the right corner of the Wade; the othercontrolsthe left. You turn each knob counterclockwise to increase your cut uniilii'sevenonbothsidesofthe mouth. This system Is infinitely more precise than the lateral-adjustment lever on an old Bai-ley-style plane. Theonlydisadvantageisthat

Ashley lies Chisels Just for

You don't haw to have a specialty set of chiscls to make hand-cut dovetails, but it sure does make partsof the process easier.

When dovetailing, chiscls are used for three jobs: Choppingcut the bulkof the waste, paringthe remaining waste back to>our baselines and cleaning up the acute corners of the dovetail sockets when cutting half-blind dovetails.

English toolmakcr Ashley lies has created a set of six chisels thai handle two of these jobs with great aplomb. Fourof thcchis-clsare specially designed for paringout the waste between the tails or pins. The tops of the chisels haw an oval profile that terminates in a knife-like edge along the length of the blade This special shape allows you to sneak bet ween the tail section of the joint to pare out the waste. Many modcrnchiselshawchunky longedgcs that will bruise the joint.

These four chiscls come indifferent sizes: M»". 'A*. V^and 1*. They arc supposedly stout enough for light chopping, though I found that the three smallerones flexed more than Hiked when st rikingthem(evengently)with a mallet. I recommend you drive these three

Precise Control

you have to make two adjust-mcntsevery time you change the blade's position.

Three knobs at the rear of the plane control the mouth of the tool. You slightly loosen the bigknob then close or open the mouth usingthe little knobs.

The other unique aspect of these tools Is that they use a very short cutter that is mounted in the tool from below at a 50® pUch. You remove three screws to remow the blade, lione it and then return it to the tool.

The fit and finish of these tools is superb, and they function flawlessly. Once I understood the controls (a 5-min-ute process) the Blum tools worked like a charm.

Because the planesare unusual, the maker (Gary Blum) has posted videos and detailed information on these tools on his web site (blumtoolco.com). Check out the site to see

Blum Tool • 800-521 -5458 or Mumtoolco.com Street price ■ $199 to S29S

howthey work. The tools are available in four sizes, from a smoothing plane to a jointer plane. Prices begin at $199.

—Oiiistophrr Sihwarz


smaller chisclswithyour hands and use them for paring your waste only.

The other two chiscls arc left- and right-hand skew chisels. These tools excci at cleaning out the waste in the corncrs of your half-blind dovetail joints. With standard bench

chisels with a 90* froni edge you haw to engage in some gymnastics to tease the waste away (such as turningthe tool on its side and twisting it). Skew chisels diw right in. grab the offending waste and pull it right out. They're a nice luxury.

Like all Ashley lies chisels, these are made by hand in the English tradition with bubinga handles. I haw found the company's tools to be properly heat-treated and well-ground. These tang-style high-carbon chisels were easy to set up and sharpen, and they kept theiredges for a longtime.

Took for Working Wood • 800-426-461 i or toolsforworkingwood.com Street price • $1 SCVsrt of six

fa mon Wcmufcn. cml* 11» on I** htanuben OA

Many woodworkers prefer to make their own chiscls for dovetailing by grindingan old set to shape. If you are a maestro at the grinder.thisisnobigdcal. Butifyou'd rather skip the mctalworking and get on with the woodworking. I think youll be w*ll served by this excellent set of specially tools. PW


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