It was a beautiful day on The Ozark
Border. It was November 2016 and the winter was around the
corner. I decided this afternoon to inspect and wipe down my
shoulder planes and get them ready for winter. Our summer was
very humid but I found no rust or tarnish on any of the planes.
I pulled out a couple of rabbet
planes as well as my gunmetal long jointer for inspection and I
have never built a case for the latter so that will be a project
when the snow flies. The planes looked like they did when I last
used them, wiped them, and put them in their cases.
These planes were purchased over
five decades and each one brought back pleasant memories of
friends, tool shows, and auctions. Each one has its own story
about how it found me and all of the stories are good.
This photo shows the cases right
off the shelves. Each needed a good wipe down to get rid of dust
and lint. Lots of happy shop hours are invested in those planes
and the cases I made for them with unplugged tools. How did I
have time to do all that? I have not owned a TV since 1969.
I took each plane out of its case
and prepared them to receive their annual inspection and wipe
The sun was getting lower as I
completed the wipe down of each plane and its case. The third
plane from the bottom in the far left row was the one that gave
me the passion for shoulder planes. I found it in a coal bucket
at the local Friday outdoor junk market in 1972. It cost me
$2.50. It was an empty casting but had the blade held in with a
pine wedge. After I filled it with ebony and made an ebony wedge
as well as sharpened the cutter, I tried it out and it made me a
true believer in English shoulder planes.