LumberJocks

Router plane build

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Blog entry by RLA1974 posted 05-20-2020 10:42 PM 456 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After a couple of years of trying to find an antique router plane and being dissatisfied with various hags-tooth and poor-man’s-router attempts, I decided to bite the bullet and make one with all the features I like stolen from the old Stanleys.

In order to future-proof against later needs, I designed it to use the Veritas router plane blades. I found these brass knurled nuts at Home Depot and some 10/32 brass threaded rod for a depth adjustment mechanism. I had a 1” wood screw die and tap to make the collar to hold the blade firm.

The local wood supplier had some 8ft lengths of 2”x3” Beech that were offcuts and stored outside in cubbies. One end was exposed to the elements and features a lot of spalting. For $8, I couldn’t resist picking one up for several planes on my aspirational to-do list and cut off the worst part of the end but could never bring myself to throw it out. I’m glad I didn’t, for while it might be lousy for the wearing surface of a plane, it makes for some lovely handles.

From a more stable piece, I squared and marked out a 6” length and sawed, planed, filed and sanded it down to size.

The oak nut flew apart on the lathe trying to size it down, so I cut another piece of the precious beech and this time shaped it before cutting it so thin and short. I kept the cut-off as a potential spare.

I was loving the look, but something was still missing. Envious of the brass hardware I’ve seen in my Lumberjock and Pinterest lurking, I got my my father-in-law to cut me a gorgeous piece of machinists’ brass for a cap.

So much cutting and filing later, I was very happy with the results.

Being the impatient person I am, I called it good after 2 coats of Danish oil.

Lessons learned for next time:
- Leave enough waste material on the end of your spindle turning project in order to give the chuck enough to grip onto to sand properly. I have a metal turning chuck that couldn’t hold the ½” length of tenon I left on the ends of the rough-turned handles and I didn’t want it to crush the visible wood. This is why the handles look a little rough.
- Look up how to use threaded inserts before winging it. I utterly wrecked the bottom of this trying to hand screw threaded inserts into holes too small. I had originally planned an adjustable fence and “installed” 4 threaded inserts to set the fence. It did not go well.

I’ve left them in for now. The fence idea may or may not work with the inserts pointing every which way. I may remove them and plug it with something fancy to make it look totally intentional.



8 comments so far

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

2474 posts in 3375 days


#1 posted 05-20-2020 10:47 PM

that is gorgeous!

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

4651 posts in 2725 days


#2 posted 05-21-2020 10:34 AM

Beautiful !

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

11496 posts in 3188 days


#3 posted 05-21-2020 04:21 PM

Well done tool, great design and well executed workmanship. Should do you for a couple of lifetimes.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

1338 posts in 2450 days


#4 posted 05-21-2020 05:51 PM

Great looking tool – and a lovely writeup with lots of detials, enjoyed the read! Is the spalted wood hard enough for a plane bottom?

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View RLA1974's profile

RLA1974

11 posts in 1308 days


#5 posted 05-21-2020 06:10 PM

Thank you folks for the kind words.


Is the spalted wood hard enough for a plane bottom?

- kaerlighedsbamsen

To date I’ve only used it on pine, so I’m not putting it through it’s paces. The bit I used for the body seems mighty hard to me, but the part for the handles was pretty punky in places. Worse comes to worst, I can slap a hard veneer under it or something.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

1338 posts in 2450 days


#6 posted 05-21-2020 10:15 PM

That is a good slution. I have an old router plane made from beech (not spalted) and I need to flatten it fairly often in order to remain accurate.

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

1338 posts in 2450 days


#7 posted 05-21-2020 10:16 PM


To date I ve only used it on pine, so I m not putting it through it s paces. The bit I used for the body seems mighty hard to me, but the part for the handles was pretty punky in places. Worse comes to worst, I can slap a hard veneer under it or something.

That is a good slution. I have an old router plane made from beech (not spalted) and I need to flatten it fairly often in order to remain accurate.

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

2939 posts in 2927 days


#8 posted 05-23-2020 07:47 PM

Excellent tool make, and way better than any store bought. Nice work.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

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