I’ve used the best of all planes from Scottish Spiers, Norris and Edward Preston to the old and not so old Marples, Stanleys and Records. Being raised with the conventional Bedrock’s and Bailey’s, I am most familiar with the styles and the idiosyncrasies surrounding them and I must say they’re my strong favourites in the smoothing plane category of the bench plane range. A new plane on the block comes under the unusual name of ‘Juuma’. It’s made in China and bears all of the signature marks of a finely crafted hand plane. I did a review on it for The Woodworker and Woodturner magazine recently and because the plane so impressed me I thought it best to let you all know what I felt about its performance.
The Juuma is fully a Bedrock pattern-plane made from stress-relieved gray cast iron. The frog is made of brass. The 3 mm thick high carbon steel cutting iron is hardened to 61 – 63 HRC and is supported by a robust and neatly made cap iron (chip breaker USA). Replete with a beautifully finished overall profile, this plane matches the very best of the very best. With regard to engineering standards, I doubt that you’ll find better. This plane has phenomenally tight, perfectly corresponding threads that result in minimal whiplash and uptake. The hardwood handles made from highly polished Bubinga needed no reworking to fit my fairly large hands. A truly well crafted plane to match the demands of the most discerning artisan.
As always, because I think first looks, though important, can be deceiving, I put this plane through some gruelling at-the-bench stress work working oak over a prolonged period before I passed my final judgement. I am so glad that it’s now a part of my permanent collection of user planes.
If you have any questions about this or any other plane type I will be glad to answer them. You can buy the Juuma #4, #5, #6 and a very neat little block plane from Dieter Schmid Fine Tools in Berlin, Germany www.fine-tools.com . Takes about three days delivery to the UK, longer to USA.