I spent an inordinate amount of time prepping the blade in my # 5 1/2 yesterday. In hindsight, It took forever to get the primary bevel dressed in flat, I think there was a slight difference between the factory grind and the angle I use. I also had to flatten and polish the back — I’d been using it until yesterday with the factory blade setup.
I wanted to use this plane on the legs because it has the high pitch iron, and this wood has a lot of grain reversals. An hour and a half to dress the blade, 10 minutes to smooth all four legs. The shavings are thin and fluffy, almost scrapings. The legs and smooth, but not glossy like a planed surface. A light sanding will polish them up nicely.
Then I started the detailing on the legs. As they are to start, the bottoms of the legs are blocky and not very appealing. The Greene brothers had some nice styling details, and I really like the treatment I’m using on the legs. First I made a jig and routed an angled notch into the bottoms. Then I cut a very slight taper and rounding on the tips. I think it makes a great improvement. I still have to sand the legs, breaking all of the edges on the four corners and the notches, and the legs will be ready for the inlay step.
I like how this is starting to come together, but I’m moving slower than I’d like. It’s going to take me eons to finish this table if I don’t pick up the pace.