Uncle Neil's hand plane- Part 2
Oh, it’s been done for awhile and I just have not had the time to get part two written. It’s a special thing for a special guy, my brother, my kids Uncle.
We gott’a have hero’s in life, and he is one of those for me. Always able, always there and always ready with advise when and if it’s asked for. That same brother who sends me his son Walker, to grace my home and saddle shop for months on end, like his father, he also is a remarkable fellow. But enough of the reasons behind going out on a limb with this project, lets talk about the reason somebody would engrave a hand plane in this first place.
It all started as somewhat of a joke on my part but has since backfired in a most resounding way. It was meant to be something akin to the “Last Spike” when the railroad crossed America and arrived on the west coast. You see my brother and his wife had a house fire some 5 years ago that done a huge amount of damage to the original house. For several months the raging debate was, do we rebuild the original, or demolish and commence anew. Well, my brother in his typical fashion decided to just do it himself…….you know, the entire rebuild from the original. And in his typical fashion said the heck with an overpaid Architect etc, he will just design it the way he and his wife would like it to be. It is often said that projects just seem to grow, soon enough they take on a life of their own. This one certainly has done all of that and more. What started as a fairly simple re-model, has grown into a house of better than twice its original size. The white limestone rock that faces the exterior was hauled from Texas, while the Long Leaf wide plank living room floor was drayed in from east Texas. The entire kitchen is done in gorgeous Mesquite, also from Texas, just stunning. The open beam ceiling done in huge Douglas Fir timbers brought in from British Columbia. Proper timber frame construction with knee joints, motise and tenons, scarf's, the entire job has been hand pegged.........not a bolt on the outfit. The ceiling of all the open beam areas was done in Hickory brought in from Tennessee. Rock was used extensively inside the house as well as outside, the floors are all done in Spanish Saltillo tile’s………and my brother done it all. Oh, yes his kids have all helped, it would be unfair to say he done it entirely himself……..but he done it. And in doing so has proved quite a few folks to be wrong yet one more time.
So this hand plane is a momento to my brother, my brother's Last Spike! The house that strated as a burned shell some five years ago, is now nearly done…………..and just in time too as it will bear witness to my brother's first and oldest daughters wedding which will be held in the house my brother Neil built!
So what is it about the hand plane that makes it different for me apart for the reason behind the engraving of it for my brother? Well, as many of you know I am not a steel engraver………no really, I find it very intimidating and painstakingly slow to execute. Thanks, but I will stick with the silver instead.
With this job I wanted to do something that would challenge me, it may be easy for you, but a challenge for me. I single pointed almost all the design, then I removed back ground and made a stipple tool to work the backgrounds down. After all that I had to re-cut most of the edges to get them to appear to be standing up like I wanted. Once I had that stage done I could go in and do the shade cuts to give it some life and expression. From there it was a simple matter of adding a little flat black paint over the surface and then wipe it with the palm to remove the excess.
For me, that was a wrap and I could then find a way to get the item to my brother up in Canada. For most of you reading this Blog, you only now get to see the final finished item. I hope you enjoy the work………and I assure you, I will never venture into the gun engraving arena.
Be well and be Blessed……….better yet, be a Blessing