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Wooden planes

Posted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:25 pm
by Doug Shaker
A few months ago, I bought the book Mastering and Making Wooden Planes by David Finck.
and a few plane blades from Hock Tools

The planes were fussy to complete. I found out that the joiner that I use had its fence out of true. I found out that my band saw table wasn't perpendicular to the blade. I found out and fixed a whole bunch of stuff. It was a pain, but I made three planes: an apron-pocket-sized block plane, a regular-sized block plane, and a smoothing plane - and I made them flat and true. Then I made a brass adjusting hammer so I could whack the back or front of a plane and move the blade a tiny bit.

MAN, are those planes useful. And a delight to use. I can plane funky-grained walnut burl. I can plane darned near any wood. The shavings are thin thin thin so I can realistically try to work to tolerances of 0.2 mm with hopes of going to 0.1 mm. It takes a while to build the planes and get them right, but they are SO nice to use.

Highly recommended.

Re: Wooden planes

Posted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:10 pm
by Steve Senseney
Where are the Pictures!?

I also like wooden planes. They are fun to make.

Re: Wooden planes

Posted: Thu May 01, 2014 2:01 am
by Nate Scott
Yes pics, please. I made a small wooden block plane years ago and set it up with a pretty crappy thin blade that I had floating around. The throat is too wide to do much more than rough work, but I do still like using it.

Re: Wooden planes

Posted: Thu May 01, 2014 2:16 pm
by Doug Shaker
Here are the first three planes I built. All are block planes. The bottom one is an "apron pocket" block plane.
The camera angle distorts the sizes and makes the apron-pocket block one seem larger than it is. It is the same width as the other two and about 2/3 the length. Two are made of purple heart and teak. One is made of ash and padauk. Later I made a smoothing plane of maple and, darn, I forget the sole wood and I'm at work, so I can't check. Goncalo Alves, I think.

The hammer is made of oak, with a brass rod cut to length and drilled out for the handle. Since taking this picture, I have drilled a hole in the handle of the hammer for a leather strap, so I can hang it above my workbench.

Here is a close-up of the throat of one of the block planes. I usually adjust the blade to take a minimal shaving - you can't read through them, but close.
The Hock blade is pretty sturdy, so I don't get much chatter, if any.

Re: Wooden planes

Posted: Fri May 02, 2014 8:01 am
by Steve Senseney

Re: Wooden planes

Posted: Wed May 07, 2014 3:06 pm
by Bob Hammond

There;s an article by D. Finck in FWW #196 that you can read, if your nearby library has it on the shelf.

Re: Wooden planes

Posted: Wed May 07, 2014 8:25 pm
by Jason Rodgers
Purdy wood. Purdy tools. Good stuff.

Re: Wooden planes

Posted: Fri May 09, 2014 1:18 pm
by Dave Sayers
Scraper plane next?

Re: Wooden planes

Posted: Sun May 11, 2014 12:00 am
by Doug Shaker
Yes, actually, I think a scraper plane is next.

Re: Wooden planes

Posted: Sun May 11, 2014 10:17 am
by Adam Savage
Regarding scraper planes, if you follow the HNT Gordon route and use a 60degree bed, then you can use an iron with a 30 degree cutting angle as both a normal plane blade and, when presented bevel-up, a 90 degree scraper....
Nice plans, btw.


Re: Wooden planes

Posted: Sun May 11, 2014 11:45 am
by Mario Proulx
Doing so will quickly dull the plane iron such that it will be useless for either use without an extensive re-sharpening session. Better to just build a scraper plane...

Re: Wooden planes

Posted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:11 pm
by Jim Hepler
I don't want to contradict Mario, who has much more experience than I do, but my own experience with flipping over plane blades to get a higher angle has been positive. I have both home made wooden planes usually with 50 to 55 degree bed angles and normal 45 degree commercial metal planes, and I've flipped the blades on both kinds. The resulting effective angles would range between 70 (45 + 25) and 85 (55 + 30) degrees. I believe that the higher the angle, the less prone to tear out, but 70 degrees seems to be ample for all but the trickiest wood I've encountered. In any event, I haven't felt the need to make a dedicated scraper plane and I have yet to find wood that had tearout problems with an 85 degree angle.

I think that with angles of 90 or more degrees, it is common to turn a hook on the blade - like with a card scraper or cabinet scraper, and that would require a larger resharpening job to use the blade bevel down, but when I do it, I don't turn a hook, and just sharpen the blade as normal. If sharpening is a problem, I guess another way to go would be to just have a dedicated scraper blade for one of your existing planes. Making planes is fun though, so nothing wrong with making a scraper.

Of course at these high angles you're only going to remove a very thin shaving (think card scraper) on each pass, but it does work well for me at least, and I don't find resharpening to be really any different than under "normal use."

I do find that better blades work better. No surprise there.

I second the recommendation for the David Finck book. I found it to be full of good information and it gave me everything I needed to make my own planes.