To use a finely built handplane is a pleasure. The tools themselves are beautiful, with an industrial aesthetic borne of pure form-follows-function. But there are a handful of craftspeople who can make them even more beautiful by applying an art largely reserved for the firearms world: Decorative engraving.
Indiana-based Michael W. Dubber has over four decades of engraving experience, which explains why he is able to do things like this:
Louisiana-based Layne Zuelke is another gun engraver who's turned his skills on handplanes:
Finally, New-York-based Catharine Kennedy also does beautiful work in this field:
Kennedy has snagged some high-profile clients from the woodworking world. Below are custom planes she's done for Jameel Abraham, the chap behind Benchcrafted, and Christopher Schwarz of Lost Art Press.
Up next we'll show you another trick that can be borrowed from the gun world, this one conferring an ergonomic benefit.