Report From WIA – Planemakerpalooza

The primary emphasis class-wise for my weekend at WIA 2016 was attending the three sessions on infill planemaking with the tag team of Raney Nelson and Konrad Sauer, two guys pretty much at the top of that particular food chain.  The first and second sessions completed my schedule for Friday, and the third one was first thing Sunday morning.


The format and length of the three sessions en toto allowed for a complete and cogent exegesis on infill plane-making from A to Z.  One of the two presenters took the lead for each segment, but the other one chimed in when the moment was right.  The interplay between these two creative giants was a thing to behold.


The always resplendent Raney started us with an exposition on the attendant geometry and engineering of creating wood shavings and the resultant flat, smooth surface.  (you can see that I did not choose well for my vista)  His emphasis on good cutting with a plane being much dependent on all the plane’s parts fitting perfectly was not wasted on the audience, and I am betting there is much taking down and refitting of planes ongoing now.


Konrad then walked us through the complete process of designing entirely new plane designs, beginning with the initial thumbnail sketches.  It is terrific that he was trained as a graphic artist who worked in the advertising field as he could work efficiently and explain the process to us.



He showed us both one-off designs and those that were part of a graduated series.


The final of the three sessions was a down and dirty practical tutorial on the fabrication process for infill planes including material selection, sawing, filing, hammering, sharpening, riveting, threading, and any other topics raised by the attendees.  The sessions were a near perfect embodiment of what WIA is; it was both highly informative and profoundly inspirational.

Will I become a custom infill planemaker competing with Raney and Konrad?


Will I undertake infill plane making some day soon?

Bet the house on it.