When I first acquired a Miller’s Falls No.9 smoothing plane, I found the feel in my hand, the weight, and the balance, to be very pleasing and comfortable, however, the seller on the online auction site where I found it did not mention it had been “improved” by cleaning the rust off the body using coarse sandpaper, possibly with a belt sander! The blade was also rusted and pitted, making it unusable. It was quite a mess!
I soon acquired another Miller’s Falls No. 9 plane, I think at an antique mall, with yet another rusted and pitted blade and some missing parts, so I cannibalized parts from both planes and created what some woodworkers refer to as a Frankenplane. In addition, I replaced the useless blade with a Hock plane iron and lever cap. After a little oil on the moving parts and some lapping to remove a slight twist from the sole, I had what has been one of my favorite smoothing planes for the past 20 or so years.
Every wooden part of the dulcimers I make has been touched by this plane.
I once wrote a post about another smoothing plane I referred to as a favorite. Well, when it comes to planes, I am polyamorous, and each plane has a function that is best for particular situations. When it comes to difficult hardwoods that want to tear out, I reach for this one.
I sporadically add a post to this blog, but I regularly document the thrill and adventure of making dulcimers on Instagram.