Just a quick post about a Marples ‘X4’ plane I recently found. I couldn’t find a lot on the web about this plane, so hopefully this will show people some of the details of what, to me, seems like a fantastic tool.
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I sold this plane to a chap on eBay a while back. When I sent it off, I didn’t quite register the name I wrote on the parcel. A couple of months later, browsing the website of David Barron, I was very pleased to see the SAME PLANE! With it, David had photographed and written a lovely blog post about repairing the broken spur on the plane. Well worth checking out the post and indeed David’s whole blog. He’s a fine craftsman and furniture maker, and his enthusiasm shines through.
Funny how things go. I’m very pleased to see the plane went to such a good home, and I’ve learnt something myself, seeing how David goes about a good repair. Some good tips there.
I’m currently reading ‘The Lost Carving‘ by celebrated wood carver David Esterly. Whilst I have to admit to speed-reading large chunks of it, (I just want to read about the technique and tools), it’s a nice insight into a wood-carver’s life.
When fire destroyed a good chunk of Hampton Court Palace in March 1986, the damage also reached a number of celebrated carvings by Grinling Gibbons.
Having turned away from academia, Esterly had already dedicated his life largely to carving, and the opportunity to help in the Hampton Court restoration was too good an opportunity to miss. So starts quite an interesting read (if a little over-romanticised for me personally), where David struggles with technique, the balance of recreating parts of the carvings, and the internal politics that surrounds the various societies responsible for organising the restoration.
I’d recommend the book, to a certain extent, if only to learn more about the techniques that this sort of deep ornamental sculpture demands.
David has very helpfully compiled a list of supplemental images, which illustrate the book very well, and I personally found them very interesting.
I had an hour to fill this morning and spent it changing a (literal) block of rust, into a Ward & Payne hacksaw. A really lovely old saw, nice deep, original blade and such graceful curves to the body. So nice to see the blade held in under tension with just a couple of nails. Lovely! (A bit more research on the web has this saw marked down as a ‘Ward & Payne B-3 Shop Pattern Metal Saw Sheffield’). Now on eBay.