Check out this gentleman's blog entry
This guy makes Norris style hand planes and his work is top notch. The photos I've seen of his planes show the high standards he has and his quality workmanship. I'd never be able to afford one, but it's nice to day dream about having one. Through another blog I found this toolmaker's blog. I started reading his posts and was marveling at the photos showing how he makes his planes. Then, while reading the post I posted the link to, I saw a photo of him closing some dovetails with a hammer and punch. Scroll down until you see that particular photo. Did you see the size of the mushroom on the punch he's using? Anyone who's taken a shop class in junior high or high school knows that having a mushroomed head on a punch or chisel is a big no-no. When a punch or chisel starts to develop a mushroom you take it over to the grinder and grind a slight taper on the head. It's a safety thing. When a mushroom develops there's a good chance that one of the pieces can shoot off while striking the tool with a hammer. You'll never see a mushroomed head on my chisels or punches. Ever. But I know how much it hurts when a chip flies off of a mushroomed head. A coworker was holding a large punch while I was swinging the hammer and his punch was mushroomed pretty bad. I thought about grinding it for him, but the job would "just take a minute." Well, a chip flew off and hit me squarely in my left thigh. It went deep enough that I had to dig it out. Since that incident I will never, ever use a punch or chisel with a mushroomed head. If someone gets a punch or chisel out of their tool box and it has a mushroom growing on it, I'll ask them if I can grind it down for them and then do it. I only ask for permission as a courtesy. If they say "no" I'm grinding it anyway. Back to the plane maker. After building up a favorable image of this tool maker, I was really disappointed to see him using such a poorly maintained tool. He should know better. I'll bet he doesn't wear eye protection either. Have you ever read a woodworking magazine? They preach safety all the time, but you'll constantly see photos of people operating machinery without eye protection.