Monday, 17 January 2011

Great Minds Think Alike...

Over the past few weeks I have noticed that articles regarding the engraving of tools by Catherine Kennedy have been popping up all over the place. The Village Carpenter had one just the other day and a while ago, Chris Schwarz wrote about her work in his Lost Art Press blog, having just had the beauty of his No. 5 increased dramatically by her.

I have been aware of Catherine's work for some time now as she has been a major feature on so it was nice to see that the true movers and shakers in woodworking tools had the same thoughts about Catharine's work as I. For sometime I have had an idea forming in my head regarding some special engraving I would like to have done on my set of Stanley Bench Planes and as I'm still missing a few, I was waiting patiently to accumulate them before going at it. I did end up getting a plane engraved by her earlier than expected, though, and I'm extremely happy I did.

One Sunday morning a couple of months ago I was cruising Jim's site looking at his latest offerings and a block plane caught my eye. Jim had it listed as a "Jim Bode Tools Rabbeting Block Plane" and I immediately jumped to the conclusion he had finally started his own line of tools, something I expect him to do at any time. Instead of asking if my assumption was correct, I fired off an email saying I'll take it, and given I thought this was the first example from his new line, I asked that it be enhanced a bit by having Catharine engrave it. I figured this was apropos as I know Jim is into engraving tools big time.

After considerable back and forth, Jim finally caught on to what I had assumed and set me straight. It wasn't a tool of his design and no, he hadn't come up with his own tool line. I took the tool anyway as I thought it well made and well designed.

It is a beautiful low-angle, rabbeting block plane with a seriously hard and heavy blade.

In fact, this plane makes as much sense to others as it does to me as Rob, over on the Blogbloke, wrote about it late last week as he plans to pick one up soon. 

Not only is this a great little plane, but after Catharine got through with it, it now looks a hundred times better than it did "naked". I only had two wishes for the engraving so I asked Catharine to match the contemporary feel of the plane's design and to add a Jim Bode Tools logo to the adjustment wheel. It was Catharine who suggested adding the logo to the box lid as well. She pulled this off for me like she can read minds and here is the proof...



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