Monday, August 23, 2010

Strap on, Strap off

When I started making handplanes, one of my main goals was to make a strap that was functional , but also blended with the design.  I always liked the idea of a hole in the board to hold onto.  Well, let me re-phrase that, I always liked the clean look of a handplane with the hole.  Something so basic.  The aesthetics are so pleasing.  A piece of wood and some fins.  Nothing else.  Very natural, not quite as just some fins, but, you get my point.  The problem is, function has to fit into the equation somewhere.  I think the best function of the hole-handle, is that you can switch hands very quick and easily.  Other than that, I am having a problem with any other functional attributes.  Is it functional to have your hand in a fist when bodysurfing?  Does anyone bodysurf that way?  Everyone that I have ever seen in my life, has always had thier palm open, and used that open palm as a planing surface.  This is not bringing up the hydrodynamics of having your fingers go through the board, and hang out in the planing surface.  Most that make these hole-handle type handplanes, and many that use them, claim it has no effect.  I'm just not a believer.  It is probably just a more of a naturalist approach.  I would personally always pick function.   A handplane should be an extension of that open palm when bodysurfing.  Another counter to the hole-handle theory, is that we don't swim with a closed palm.  Michael Phelps could probably beat me swimming with closed palms, but, I'm not counting on getting out in the line-up by swimming that way.  A light handplane, with a good comfortable strap system, allows you to swim somewhat naturally, with an open palm.  I pretty much put my hand it strap, and swim out to the line-up.  It's pretty natural and feel like a paddle on your hand.  This makes getting out and getting around the line-up much easier.   To make or buy a handplane with a strap or a hole is your choice.  I just hope to share my theory, and would love to hear any counter theory's.


An extremely well designed and beautiful Hole-handle Handplane

Another Option

4 comments:

justin said...

i'm in your camp of thinking about the strap debate. doesn't make sense to have the hand hole.

BillyBoarder said...

Strap.....All the way!

Eef said...

i like the hole personally, it feels more solid for me. And i makes the board easy to carry around and hang up at home. But that's just personal taste i guess :D

Eef
monstercult.org

obproud said...

I like a hole better than the strap on. But I would like to add that not all holes are created equal. If the hole is placed correctly and shaped correctly there is very little hydrodynamic inefficiency. If designed correctly (doing my best Roy impression) the fingers that stick through become a part of the hand plane hull.

The number one reason, as you state, that the hole is better is that you can switch hands quickly (mid-take off). It also provides more give (which is good for pull outs), and mid ride adjustment (you can hold it tight in a fist; or in your fingers like a golf club should be held).

I don't think the fist argument holds water because the plane becomes an extension of the palm whether the grip is flat or in a fist.

As with everything different people have different preferences (I can see how some would like the strap better). I think you should consider making both types of grips. With your hull shapes, and nice finishes I think the hole-grip option would be nice. I'll send you one of mine so that you can see how I think the hole should be designed.

-Ian