Weird wooden plane innovations (i)

Some of the more interesting ideas in tool innovations require delving into patents from the past. And mostly that happens by accident. A 1928 Swiss patent (No.128789) describes a wooden plane which uses a sole made of Hirnholz, or end-grain. In an English-style wooden plane, the plane body is generally made of the same type of wood. In Germanic-style wooden planes, the sole of the plane is often made of a harder wood. For example, some planes have a body made of European red beech, and a sole made of hornbeam.


In the 1930s, a brand named “HISO” (“HIrnholzSOhle”) appeared, with near vertically oriented grain (from company Badenia). The challenge with this idea would probably be  joining the sole to the plane body, given that gluing end-grain is not exactly trivial. The solution of course is to employ the bi-directional finger-joint which is so common in plane construction in Germany. This essentially increases the face-grain gluing surfaces.


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