Raney commented about my “squid” “concept”:
Maybe a wedged miter, with a grip for your back hand integrated into the wedge? Heck, maybe an enormous bulb and you could rechristen it ‘the octopus’…
… [improved mitre planes are] totally uncomfortable to use.
I gotta say, he knows what he is talking about (I’ve never used one, I think Konrad Sauer coined the term “de-proved” mitre plane, my term would be “disproved”). Even though I made the cap screw domed, it really digs into my hand, it is hard to use one handed and the ergonomics just seem vile. What to do? I decided to add shroud to the cap screw, aka poop deck, aka fake wedge, aka palm rest. It seems pretty silly, and redundant, to be adding a wedge but it does work and is reasonably comfy. It is clamped to the iron by the cap screw. I faired it around the cap in an attempt to add a bit of pizzazz.
I was calling this plane “swayback” but I think I’ll change it to “humpty dumpty”.
Notice the paper shim under the iron; the infill dried out and the back shrank (about 0.012”) when using heat to cure the finish. Which doesn’t seem like much but it was enough to keep the end of iron from contacting the mouth block. Arg. After about a week, it has now regained about half that. Which makes me wonder what is going to happen this summer, even though my other wooden bedded mitre doesn’t have any seasonal problems. Not a plane to ship to AZ. I think a vertical rod (metal or long grain wood) in the thick part of the bed will be on future planes.
The final palm rest taking a test run and some prototypes carved from fir.
Here is [most of] my collection of small planes, two high angles bookending three low angles. The Vertas is probably the best designed and constructed but, for some reason, I don’t use it much (I’m guessing it too heavy for my tastes). So I’m making this plane as a general purpose block like plane. The Gordon palm smoother is a wonderful little plane, one handed or two, very useable, useful, and comfortable, my only gripe is I have a hard time adjusting it (I need a square hammer). It was interesting to me that the shapes are pretty similar, maybe there aren’t all that many shapes that work well.