If weasels, doughnuts and diseases can have an official day, then why not the jack plane? I’d be hard-pressed to name a plane that is more useful to me (the block plane would be in second place).
My $12 jack has a heavily cambered iron. And yes, I still use the plane’s original iron and chipbreaker. In fact, except for the engraving, my jack is all factory equipment.
The engraving, which was done by Catherine Kennedy, has elicited some surprising comments from students. But my favorite one – and the dude was dead serious – was this:
“It was lucky that you found a plane that has that square already engraved on it.”
Today I’m working more on installing the Benchcrafted Crisscross and Classic vise on my Holtzapffel workbench, which lives in our sunroom. I’m taking this opportunity to make some long-time-coming modifications to this workhorse of a bench.
1. Tweaking the vise’s screw blocks for the twin screw so they cannot be pulled forward of the benchtop. This involved some planing, tweaking and shimming. And without the jack plane the process would have been a chore.
2. Adding the leg vise, which will be swappable with the twin-screw.
3. Adding a long-overdue shelf between the stretchers.
4. Adding some additional holdfast holes and (perhaps) a little tallow dispenser below the benchtop.
5. Finally, toothing the benchtop with a toothing plane and enduring the slings and arrows of internet idiots when I do it.
— Christopher Schwarz