The Crucible Planing Stops will go up for sale on Monday in our store. The stops will be $49 plus shipping (I’m afraid they are unlikely to arrive at your address before Christmas).
These planing stops represent two years of work and almost a $50,000 investment in patterns, matchplates and ductile iron. This is our biggest-ever tool run, and we are holding our breath a little bit about how they will fare in the marketplace.
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The idea for these cast-iron stops came to me while writing “The Anarchist’s Workbench.” We have had great success with our ductile iron holdfasts, and it occurred to me: why not make planing stops out of ductile?
These stops are less expensive than a blacksmith-made stop, and they are quite easy to install. I’ve made a short video that shows the process here:
The stop is based on the planing stops shown in A.J. Roubo’s masterwork, with some minor tweaks. The stop’s teeth sweep slightly upward, instead of being parallel to the benchtop. This makes it much less likely that a handplane will collide with the stop.
Also, the teeth come sharp – but not too sharp. Beginners can get used to using the stop. Then, when they are comfortable, they can grind or file the teeth so they are needle-sharp, which is how I like mine.
Once we get our first volley of planing stops out the door, we will offer these to our retailers around the world. It is my dearest hope that somehow, someday, one of these stops makes it onto a Roubo-style workbench in Paris – completing a 240-year cycle.
— Christopher Schwarz