Question for people who have made moulding planes with boxing, and I know this doesn't leave a large group...
.. what is the traditional grain orientation for the boxing in a moulding plane? "Straws" in the wood facing forward, or are they facing backward?
For anyone not initiated, I know that the boxwood was cut askew (i.e., the grain doesn't flow with the cut or perpendicular), but I don't know that I'd trust any of my boxed planes (too modern) to know if they're correct or even if I'll be able to see the direction of the boxing (I don't have the planes handy right now).
Also, woods to use - cocobolo OK? It's not like you can get large sheets of boxwood, and I think i read somewhere that boxwood dust comes with an NPG (cancer) warning, anyway. Any other alternatives, particularly if there's anything with interlocked grain that works well? I have macassar ebony and cocobolo on hand and dry. Both may be a bit splintery for boxing.
Wife wants something that's going to require me to make a beading plane. I have a decent beader to copy, the bead is just too big on it. Be nice to make my own plane, anyway, and get away from trying to find tools for a decent price when I have a need.
Where historical accuracy isn't important (which is the case here), anyone have any qualms about making a sole of the beading plane out of cocobolo glued to QS cherry, QS birch or QS maple? They all have different shrinkage rates, but all are dry. I don't have the tooling to set the bead deep like most planes do (no TS now, but that's not the kind of cut i'd like to make on a TS, anyway), and that would avoid the issue of how to make (the deep narrow dado for) the boxing. The cocobolo could also be set in to the base of the plane via a dado to keep it from moving laterally too much.