Barn News

New Arrival – Sash Plane

One of the grand new pleasures for me has been my fairly recent intersection with the hand-tool-makers world occupied by many new friends and acquaintances, as reflected in the recent gather of toolaholics at the Handworks event in Amana, Iowa.  Perhaps most heartening of all was the reality that the riches contained in the Amana Festhalle were by no means the complete community as many other tool makers and aficionados were unable to attend for a variety of reasons.

One of these non-attendees was planemaker Tod Herrli.  I first become aware of Tod through my long time friend Bess Naylor, who often hosted Tod as an instructor at Olde Mill Cabinet Shop in York PA.  Then I ordered Tod’s brilliant instructional video on making a hollow-and-round pair.  Thanks in part to my previous job duties I have seen dozens if not hundreds of instructional videos on a wide variety of topics, and I cannot recall ever seeing one better.  Ever.  To watch him construct a matched pair of hollow-and-round planes in near-real time is an awesome thing.

Herrli Sash PlaneLast spring I had the opportunity to meet and visit Tod on my way to teach at the National Institute of Woodfinishing in Minnesota, spending a delightful afternoon immersed in tool chat.  On my departure I indicated my desire for a small sash plane, and asked Tod if he could make one for me.  Last month a package arrived with a sample of the output of such a plane, along with the question of whether or not I still wanted the plane I had requested.

The answer was an unqualified “Yes!”

On my way home from Amana I stopped by Tod’s house again for another wonderful afternoon of fellowship, culminating with taking delivery of my new plane.  Now I have no excuse for not building small cabinets with glazed doors.  A matching coping plan is in the works, and I will wait patiently until my turn for that comes up in Tod’s hectic schedule.

It is my hope and desire that Tod can come to The Barn On White Run for a week of planemaking herrli3 flattenedteaching next summer, and perhaps many more summers after that.  My plan is for Tod to teach an introductory class on simple planemaking on a Monday and Tuesday, with Wednesday, Thursday and Friday dedicated to a second class on making a more complex tool.

Stay tuned, and thanks Tod for making this new heirloom tool for me.