Router Plane #2: Spalted Birch Router Plane

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Blog entry by MikeB_UK posted 04-09-2021 08:02 PM 585 reads 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Low angle beech router Part 2 of Router Plane series no next part

Going with a traditional hag’s tooth design, so iron is at a high angle, works closer to a scraper than a plane. Just used for the final finish after a chisel.

Grab a likely looking chunk of wood, spalted birch in this case.
The log behind is elder if this goes wrong :)

Clean it up to more or less the right shape.

Couple of suspicious looking cracks, so I’ll have to split it off there as well.

Work out the angle for the iron, doesn’t need to be too scientific, plough planes have a lot of tolerance for different angles.

Drill a pilot hole to get the angle right.

Square it up with a chisel, then extend the top to create the wedge angle.

Create the wedge from the bit I had to split off earlier.

Fine tune the shape and angle of the wedge, just a trial and error, fit and trim.

And it works, it’s a bit longer on one side, you can’t see what your cutting and it’s really uncomfortable, but it does work.

So now it’s just basically :- remove bits to make the grip comfortable and remove a section at the front so you can see what’s going on at the pointy end.

Time to break out the moulding planes (You can tell I don’t make any big mouldings)

That went better than I expected to be honest, I thought I was going to have to blend in the edges with a gouge but it’s fine as it is.

This spalted birch is a bit soft, so add a plate to the bottom.

You can either measure everything to position the screws or just square off some lines and connect the corners, no prizes for guessing which way I went.

Broke my drill bit, but carry on regardless

Clock it in for all you retentives out there.

And file for final fit, slowly, really slowly, I need to get some rougher files.

Smooth off the edges of everything and flatten the bottom.

And finish, going with a varnish to add a bit of protection to the birch.
Wax up and I’m done.

Works great

-- Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

4 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7463 posts in 1666 days

#1 posted 04-09-2021 08:34 PM

Nice, Mike! Pretty and handy!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View MikeB_UK's profile


396 posts in 2119 days

#2 posted 04-12-2021 07:37 PM

Yeah, turned out well this one.
Definitely going to keep an eye out for more spalted wood while I’m out and about.

-- Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

View Brit's profile


8324 posts in 3927 days

#3 posted 04-18-2021 06:06 PM

Congrats Mike. Nothing like using a tool you made yourself. BTW, Axminster do some nice files. You have to fit the handles yourself, but that’s no biggy.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View MikeB_UK's profile


396 posts in 2119 days

#4 posted 04-18-2021 06:56 PM

Cheers Andy, I’ll check them out

-- Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

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