We often reflect on how the beautiful simplicity of the stuff we make evokes notions of cedar scents, salty spray, and graceful craftsmanship. It all feels very organic and natural. Maybe nothing we do reflects that more than our small line of hand-planes – the curving lines and unique grain patterns of simple wood with a low-tech hand-hold, finished with whey-based finishes from the Vermont cheese industry. Simple, graceful, sustainable – and built for fun.
But all that really masks what goes on behind the scenes… where we’re intensely driven by good and thoughtful design. We use cutting-edge CAD technologies and sustainable design criteria that’s prototyped and discussed Grain-wide until we’re satisfied. If our hand-planes embody a simple organic beauty, it isn’t because they just grew on trees… it’s because we worked hard to make them that way.
Case in point is the new “strapped” version of our hand-planes. Not willing to employ the standard, too-tight, non-recyclable plastic-leash-cup attachments found on many hand-planes, we thinked and thinked until we came up with a simple brass staple we could embed directly in the wood itself. It mounts just proud of the top surface of the hand-plane in a generously sized oblong “cup” carved directly into the wood. The design leaves plenty of room to get the strap in and out and it uses almost no material.
The straps themselves were a typical group-design effort with everyone chipping in ideas until we landed on an awesome bicycle-innertube strap, with strategically stitched wetsuit material and velcro – almost all of it re-purposed material otherwise headed for the landfill. The result feeds through the brass staples, velcro’s back on itself and is wrapped with the integrated neoprene flap that provides a super-comfortable, adjustable fit. It firmly grips the hand – mitts or no – with the perfect resistive flex to keep your hand tight to the deck without any discomfort.
So to all of you that’ve told us you prefer straps to hand-holds… this one’s for you. Different strokes for different stokes.