Handplanes #4: Custom Hand Plane Totes Stanley & LV Veritas

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Blog entry by OSU55 posted 09-14-2014 01:28 AM 16215 reads 5 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: I Want A Better Plane Part 4 of Handplanes series no next part

I don’t like Stanley or Veritas factory totes. I made modifications to the drawings provided by Lee Valley. The result is kind of in between the two designs. I start with stock about 1-1/4” thick and end up slightly less. The designs adjust the tote angle, making the Stanley more upright and giving the LV tote a little more angle. The front lower and rear upper radii are smaller and the positions adjusted to affect the hand angle and provide more vertical room for larger hands. My size 10 hands just don’t fit into Stanley totes. The LV totes were given a bit more angle, and made slightly wider, to improve ergonomics for me. They do extend past the cast base, especially in the back, but I’m more concerned with ergonomics vs looks. I made my totes from crotch walnut with matching knobs. Edited drawings are included after the pictures below.

I made router table templates and jigs, cut blanks on the bandsaw, trimmed the blanks with a router trim bit, curved the edges with a 1/2” roundover bit (taking about three passes at increasing depth to prevent tearout), and blended everything with files and sandpaper to get the final shape. All holes were drilled with a drill press using forstner and brad point bits. I used a digital angle gauge to determine the angle for each plane, and used the angle gauge to set the angle on the drill press. I also made vice “jigs” for the Stanley and LV designs that clamp through the tote long bolt holes to hold the totes for shaping. I made several oak prototypes to work out the process and final shape, including practice with handfiles since I hadn’t done much carving previously. A lot of time and effort, but I was making a dozen totes, and now I have the templates and jigs for any I want or need to make in the future.
.Stanley, Modified Stanley, LV, Modified LV
. Modified Stanley, Stanley, Modified LV, LV

. Modified Totes on planes – Stanley in back, LV in front – about the same angle

. Stanley 3&4

Stanley 5 & up

Lee Valley/Veritas – this doesn’t look like that much of a change, but it will surprise you.

2 comments so far

View JohnChung's profile


422 posts in 3537 days

#1 posted 09-14-2014 12:53 PM

Thanks for your upload. Now I need to find a straight grain from my local wood here.

View alex_laine's profile


1 post in 1667 days

#2 posted 11-05-2020 06:12 PM

Do you have a copy of the full size copy? Would really like to try these out and see how they feel.

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