Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 6, Issue 1
   September 2011
   What Is It?

What Is It?

The modern consumer is being overwhelmingly encouraged to participate in the ever-growing green revolution. Plastic bags and other wasteful packaging materials have finally been placed on an environmental watch list. Until about 1900, wooden barrels and boxes were used to transport product, be it produce, hardware or even crude oil. Craftspeople made smaller containers using thin strips of wood woven together. Thicker wooden strips were often used to weave fences and heavier baskets. The material for this type of construction was, before the popularity of the powered circular or band saw, either riven out of a bolt or stripped from a willow, poplar or ash balk.

Having as many arms (or handles) as a martial-arts dummy, this plane (and it is a plane) is made of elm. At almost 30" long, 3-3/4" wide and with a height of 4-1/2", it is not small or light in weight. The bottom slot was made to create a maximum 2-3/4" wide piece. Extremely primitive in its appearance, it is a working tool. The blade is a crudely forged affair, and the depth of cut is regulated by adjusting the wedge under the top blade keeper which, being slotted, works in conjunction with the strap sides of the blade. The blade is also restrained by the wooden sections on either side, which provide a stable stop to ensure a controlled cut and to prevent skewing of the blade.
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