The Old Warrior, Singing Friar and Fed-Up Woman Plane.

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Project by RusticJohn posted 02-04-2013 06:15 AM 2507 views 5 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my latest work. A rather ornate Krenov style smoothing plane made of Matai and Oak. The front knob has the head of an old warrior and the wedge has his entourage, a woman and a singing Friar. All vaguely medieval. It is to be put up for sale at a Wellington Museum/Gallery in the next couple of days.

The plane is fully functional although many who buy others of mine tend not to use them. I do, but I suppose I can always make another if I damage one of mine. Matai, a native wood of New Zealand, is good for plane making as it is quite hard with a dense honey coloured grain. Its not the easiest for carving fine detail however as small pieces tend to flake off. I have had to make a special set of carving knives with curved sliding cut blades to get a good result. The heads of the Woman and the Friar are only about 40 mm high so features like the folds under the eyes are only about 1mm wide and 1mm deep.

The head of the Warrior was quite tricky to carve as 4 pieces of wood with grain running in different directions meet there. I had to also develop a special set of fine scrapers on a handle like a pencil to get a fine finish on the grain.

A fun project to work on but time consuming. It took a month, off and on, as my eyes tend to give up after and hour or two of fine carving. Taking time out to make the knives and scrapers adds to the duration.

-- RusticJohn

22 comments so far

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 4107 days

#1 posted 02-04-2013 06:25 AM

Great work!

-- Dreaming patterns

View RS Woodworks's profile

RS Woodworks

533 posts in 4333 days

#2 posted 02-04-2013 07:19 AM

Wow thats awesome! Great work and fantastic detail!
What would a plane like this go for? I’d love to have one.
I have an antique plane carved in the shape of a shoe, but it doesn’t have nearly the detail as yours does.


-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

View RusticJohn's profile


219 posts in 4672 days

#3 posted 02-04-2013 07:23 AM

The plane will sell for $400. I can tell you where to go to get it if you want. Cheers RusticJohn.

-- RusticJohn

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3756 days

#4 posted 02-04-2013 11:45 AM

That is an amazing “work of art”, or is it “art for work”.....

Fantastic, that will surely be a prized possession, for an art lover or WW!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Hybridwoodwork's profile


183 posts in 3133 days

#5 posted 02-04-2013 12:12 PM

Good work, I love it!

-- How it happened that Mastro Cherry, carpenter, found a piece of wood that wept and laughed like a child.

View MShort's profile


1798 posts in 4499 days

#6 posted 02-04-2013 12:28 PM

AWESOME!!!! Love the carvings.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View ksSlim's profile


1304 posts in 3971 days

#7 posted 02-04-2013 01:06 PM

Fantastic! Wish I could afford one.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

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Don W

20050 posts in 3649 days

#8 posted 02-04-2013 01:14 PM

that’s some detail. Nice work!

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 3135 days

#9 posted 02-04-2013 02:08 PM

that’s so amazing

-- Joel

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4000 posts in 4093 days

#10 posted 02-04-2013 02:15 PM

Fantastic plane. I would use it.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Bluepine38's profile


3393 posts in 4166 days

#11 posted 02-04-2013 02:22 PM

Wonderful plane, and worth every penny, I can see why someone would buy it just for display,but I would
have to use it. Great addition to any shop. Thank you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 82 yr young apprentice carpenter

View RusticJohn's profile


219 posts in 4672 days

#12 posted 02-04-2013 06:42 PM

Thank you everyone for the kind comments. – Cheers RusticJohn.

-- RusticJohn

View NaFianna's profile


534 posts in 4107 days

#13 posted 02-04-2013 07:30 PM

That is so beautiful.

-- Cad a dheanfaimid feasta gan adhmad.......?

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4675 days

#14 posted 02-04-2013 07:55 PM

great work, any one would love a plane like this

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4415 days

#15 posted 02-04-2013 08:09 PM

A very arty and beautiful plane. The carving is super too!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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