The block for the body was cut out of 2" thick beech. When looking for material I was seduced by some lovely grain and forgot that the grain should be parallel to the sole of the plane. It is the most important factor when looking at material for your planes. When the grain is parallel to the sole there is less likelihood of any movement in the wood which might affect the operation of the plane.
Before I cut the sole of the plane I made a scraper that matched exactly the profile I wanted. According to a chapter in this Garrett Hack book, the final shaping of the sole could be made with a scraper blade. I wanted to use a nice clean new scraper blade but I found that it was too hard to shape. Instead, I used an old plane blade donated by my friend Justin.