DIY HAND PLANES #1: shoulder plane based on Mafe and Div info

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Blog entry by cyclops4069 posted 05-04-2014 01:56 AM 4011 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of DIY HAND PLANES series Part 2: shoulder plane -part 2 »

Having now made my first hand plane, I was eager to try something a little more challenging. Something about the shape and delicacy of the components that made up a shoulder plane (and in particular the small shoulder planes that Mafe had been playing with in one of his Blog builds, also based on Div’s beautiful shoulder plane that he gifted to Mafe)....I think I was just hypnotised by the beauty of both of these planes and needed to make one.

Firstly I decided on the style and the design of shoulder plane I was going to make. There is something in my version that brings together a bit of both of the two planes I mentioned before. The overall shape of Div’s plane together with low-angle configuration of Mafe’s plane. in the end I played with some shapes and came up with a hybrid. Probably not that unusual as a final DIY hand plane – but nonetheless a good learning curve for my plane making.

The timber selection for this build was governed by a wish to use some contrasting colours. For the body of the plane I’ve decided on a darker hardwood (I haven’t been able to confirm for sure but it looks like either Kwila or a Redgum – typical hardwoods common to Australian Timber Merchants)...(if I’m wrong on the species, please correct me). The wedge is Jacaranda – a lovely light cream/pink coloured timber that has a pearl velvety finish once you given a good sanding using 320 grit.

Anyway, the first task was to prepare the 3 slices of timber that were going to make up the 2 sides and the central part piece of the body. Taking into consideration the direction and slope of the grain, I settled on a particular piece and made the cuts. I kept these 3 pieces together and preserved their positioning by drilling holes that would eventually take wooden dowels to hold the elements in place. The central piece was cut to prepare for the wedge and I used a forstner bit to prepare for the edge of the mouth for removal of shavings. Here is show all 3 main pieces cut, shaped and ready to glue.

The bed is set at 12 degrees. One thing I would change the next time I build one of these planes is to keep the bed connected to the toe of the plane (and not remove the small narrow piece for the mouth). I found out in the gluing up process that alignment is much easier when you have fewer pieces to worry about. Luckily I had 2 timber dowel locations through the bed that it didn’t create any noticeable issues later on.

So this is how the components looked in assembly/dis-assembly prior to gluing up. One main consideration at this point was to make sure that my calculations for the introduction and removal of a blade were going to work. I also spent some time in making sure that the location of the blade when intersecting the sole of the plane was correct, and that the mouth was perpendicular to the direction of the plane. Also, that the bed was horizontal to the sole. All these are very important considerations in eliminating problems and too many unnecessary adjustments down the track.

So for now, I prepared some small dowels for the pre-drilled locating holes. These I’ve shaved from the lighter coloured Jacaranda. The glue I’ve used is a 2 part epoxy – Techniglue. I’ve glued, clamped and set the jacaranda dowels….I’ve also removed the glue that’s been expelled from the opening into which the wedge will be slotted…....and fingers crossed….........will see how all this comes out tomorrow.

-- regards, cyclops4069

4 comments so far

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 4029 days

#1 posted 05-04-2014 03:02 AM

That looks fantastic, I’ll be watching this one. Have always wanted to try my hand at making one.

-- I never finish anyth

View luv2learn's profile


3158 posts in 3793 days

#2 posted 05-04-2014 03:38 PM

Kudos to you for jumping into making your own planes. Homemade tools are the best!!!

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View mafe's profile


13872 posts in 4579 days

#3 posted 04-02-2015 06:06 PM

Wohooo a beauty.
I did not see this before now.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View cyclops4069's profile


66 posts in 3067 days

#4 posted 04-03-2015 05:36 AM

thanks Mads…best wishes to you. Good to hear from you. I haven’t been on this forum that often this year….been pretty busy with work. however…I have a few tools on the make – so will bring those in soon to share with people.

-- regards, cyclops4069

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