From frog to prince

Prototyping totes and buns for the smoother and not doing so well. They feel really good but look like crap. Having even more trouble picking out wood for the infills. Cut open the apple log that has been sitting in the shop for many years; the heart wood is very pretty, the sap wood is very boring and the checks immense. Got some nice mahogany but don’t have enough of the dark, dense (Cuban?) stuff, got enough of the light orange fluffy stuff. Or, really beautiful walnut (the wood in the photo (under the plane, apple in the background) but you can’t see the colors or figure). Decisions,  decisions. I also want a movable frog, as I’m not a believer in the super tight mouth but want that option. After lots of drawings, one welded and machined chunk of steel and getting nowhere, I pulled out the first infill smoother I ever made to see if I could reuse any ideas (the infill moves to adjust the mouth). I never liked it all that much (aesthetics aside), it was a total pain to set the blade depth (the wedge works very very well), you can’t remove the wedge without backing off the infill and it clogged. So it was stuffed into a dark hole and I tried to forget about it. Two of the problems were easily fixed – the wedge was too long and seems to have been causing the clogging and tapping the bun backs out the iron. The wedge still stays wedged but if I don’t hit it with a sledge hammer, it is merely annoying vs impossible. Anyway, short story long, it works wonderfully. As in “Wow, this is really sweet”. So I had a lot of fun making boards thinner very slowly. And I think I know how the new frog will work.
The caliper is a bit pessimistic, the shaving are actually closer to 1 thou than half a thou (I checked with another caliper and micrometer).

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