There are Impulse Buy tools that you just can't pass up.
You've probably seen Lee Valley's special deal on a pair
of "squirrel tail palm planes" - a flat and a double curves.
Buy the set of "only" $62 US (I think that's about $50 CAN
or 40 euros these days. THANKS Dubya!)
Well I ordered the pair at the San Mateo WWing show, kind
of bummed that I couldn't actually buy and walk away
with a tool. But they came today - like an early Christmas
Present - and they're SO DAMN CUTE. In a subdued beige -ish
reddish purple sort of plum color, they go with just about
everything - even Dewalt Yellow and Rigid's light burnt orange.
If you're looking to accessorize your shop, I mean REALLY
- all that gray and dark green they put on power tools
- or that absolutely hideous bright yellow, green and orange
they're using - everything is either so TOTALLY boring or
so LOUD you practically need ear plugs - a pair of these
squirrel tail palm planes are THE answer to a shop decorator's
dream. They go with ANYTHING! You just HAVE TO get a
pair. And they're so CUTE and absolutely ADORABLE!
(Sorry - guess I got way too in touch with my feminine side)
The "flat" one came with a lapped sole - a pass or two
with 1000 grit confirmed that it's flat. The double
curved one looks like is was ground to 220 whereas
the flat one was done to maybe 600 grit. Sides are no where
close to square to the sole on the flat one - but you wouldn't
use either of these little palm planes with a shooting board
The throat opening is pretty big for their size - about 3/16"
so you won't be doing any one sided curlies with either plane.
Well you can - but you need to sharpen and polish the edge
on the iron - and set your depth of cut very carefully. That's
a bit of a chore since the iron locking mechanism is a small,
somewhat hard to get to sprocket type wheel.
The irons are 0.085" - a tad over 2 mm - about the same as
a stock Stanley iron.
Ironically, for an iron plane, to adjust the iron for more depth
of cut they recomend tapping it with a small hammer - a
method usually reserved for wedged wooden planes. Unlike
a wedged wooden plane, I don't think tapping the back of the
these planes will reduce the depth of cut.
The little flat one won't replace your block plane but it's
fine for little touch up work.
But the little double curved one - radiused on its width
and a long 12" radias on its length comes in handy for
concaving - a chair set or the inside of coopered parts.
Conclusion: Should've gone with just the curved one
- but they're so damned cut as a set.
And now I get to take FOUR kids to The Mall.