Hand plane DIY blog #1: Hand plane DIY convex (Krenov style)

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Blog entry by mafe posted 01-26-2011 01:17 AM 63689 reads 32 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Hand plane DIY convex.
Or Mike meets Mads style…

Our dear Mike (Stefang), started a ‘master class here on LJ, a blog on how to make a traditional Nordic bucket, and part of this class was ‘making a convex hand plane’, so this was why I did it. Thank you Mike!
Also it was a dream for me, a dream to make my own hand plane, not that I needed one, but to prove to myself I could, and in the future be able to make special purpose planes when needed.

Since I’m a bad boy, I did not follow the class completely, I had to try and do things my way.
So this is why I decided to make this blog, to document the process, and to be able to share with others if it ends up as a success.

So this is where we will end:

A hand plane, ‘block plane’ size, made for a rounding of 22 cm (app. 4 inch).
As you can see Krenov style, and a touch of Japan, at least this was my wish…

A piece of wood, here Oak.
Choose a size that will be 1 – 2 cm wider than the plane iron you are going to use.
I choose a block plane iron only because I had some so it would be for free.

Cut up in desired length, I choose to make it short, block plane length, due to the fact I would probably not use it a lot later, and then it will be easy to store.

mark up the width of the plane iron, and a little extra for adjustment (app 1 mm extra).
I marked with a marking gauge, and went quite deep so the saw would have a spur to run in.

Cut the sides of.
It can be done also with a handsaw (I’m lazy, and have a health issue).
Note I marked also the wood with a triangle, so it’s possible to place it in the right spot after.

Enough about wood!!!
Time to lap the back of the plane iron.
I use grid 100-1200, mounted on glass plates so it will be dead flat.

To mark the new radius on the plane iron, I made a line on a piece of wood, the set my divider for 11 cm (4 inch app.), put the new front of the iron almost to the point, and centered the blade, then it was just to draw the radius on the iron with a marker in the divider.

The new radius is grinded.
I grind it flat first – remember to dip in water all the time, to avoid it to overheat (become dull).
I like to do it this way, to make a fresh edge.

Close up.

Here we go.
(I also see a little heating in the corner…).

Back to wood!
Now time to mark the angels, 45 degree for the plane iron.

- and 60 – 65 for the opening.

The shave opening will easier let go of the shaves if curved, also the shaves will have more room in front of the cross pin, so they will not get stocked.
You can use a flexible ruler for this.

The lines are set.

Another tour on the band saw.
(Yes I should have changed the blade for the curve, but I was lazy again, and the angel is more 44 than 45, so it’s a semi low angel version…).

Now we are talking!

Now time for the curve of the mouth, since the sole will get curved also later, and if the mouth doesn’t get a curve, it will be wider in the sides when the sole are rounded.
So draw a 22 cm (8 inch) circle, this circle needs to be gently offset from the mouth, so you get some height for rounding and adjustment (I offset app 6 mm).
(Logic? If not, just do it).

I made some PDF’s to explain:

The idea, and facts (yes I’m old fashion, I draw and calculate).
Press here for pdf of calculation.

My conclusion and sketch.
Press here for pdf of conclusion.

This is how it looks when cut.
My original plan was to round before making the opening, but I lost it, and this is equally good (I suppose).

And here you see why we need the rounding, and all my calculations…

And from the side… Wauuuu, I’m really excited at this time. My first ever hand plane, and it seems that my thinking are not all wrong.

Time to start to put the plane together.
Mark up for dowel holes, and find some wood for the dowels. (I had some dark wood mahogany).

Drilling the holes.
(You should not freehand as I do, use clamps or tape).

Before drilling second hole, mount a temporary dowel to hold it in place.

Making dowels.
Low tech.

First glue up.

Clamp in place, hammer in the dowels, and drink coffee.

Cut the dowels of.

Here the sole.

Now you should adjust the opening.
The top of the plane iron must touch the front of the mouth, this will make a zero shave opening after gluing, and make it possible to adjust the mouth for the desired opening later.
Also it leaves a little room for mistakes when rounding.

Mark it up.

Glue and clamp the front piece.

And action!

Time to make the cross pin.
I use some hard wood the Krenov style.
Cut in square a piece that is a little longer than the width of the plane.
The ‘diameter’ is a matter of wish, I made mine 1,2×1,2 cm app.

Here you see it.

I found a suitable size of plug cutter 9 mm app.

Giving the pin a ‘cheek’.

Like this!
And then find the wit.

Repeat and it should look like this.

Now mount the pin in a vice, and find the center.

Drill, and this should be the result.
(Mine a light offset… We can’t win them all.).

Leave one side flat, and round the upper side, this will make an easier pass for the shavings, and make a firm grab on the flat surface.

I choose to polish (not on the flat side, we want good grip).

And mirror polish.
This just for the contrast to the rest of the plane.

Mark up for the pin.
I set it app. in the middle of the hight to ensure a good grip and no ‘dancing’ in the blade. If you use a round pin, I recomend you place it a little lover.
Set the plane iron hold the pin, and make an app 3 mm gap between for the wedge.

Drill for the cross pin.

Test mount.

Other side.

Drill through the hole made, so you hit the same spot on the other side.

The M and M, are for Mike and Mads…


I said clamp!

Here you see the sole.

Since the download for some is a problem, I will break the block in two.
Press here for part two.

Hope this can be useful, perhaps even someone will try and build a plane after seeing this. I promise you, it’s not too difficult, but most of all its really rewarding and fun.

Best thoughts,


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

12 comments so far

View Dez's profile


1174 posts in 5242 days

#1 posted 01-26-2011 01:43 AM

WooHoo! Looking Good!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 4099 days

#2 posted 01-26-2011 01:43 AM

This great Mads,

Now I have an idea of how to make one.


-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Sodabowski's profile


2400 posts in 3998 days

#3 posted 01-26-2011 11:20 AM

Way to go Mads! BTW the “hollow drill” is a plug cutter :)

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View snowdog's profile


1179 posts in 5148 days

#4 posted 01-26-2011 02:30 PM

Great project post, thank you for taking the time. I think this is another one I will have to try.

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 4242 days

#5 posted 01-26-2011 02:58 PM

There is so much about this project and blog I really like Mads. First off you and Stefang both have added fuel to the fire as far as me wanting to try my own hand at some DIY planes. Nothing like building your own tool and then put it to good use in the very shop they where created in.

Also I seen a few tricks in this blog which is new to me….. using the plug cutter to make the ends for the cross pins & making my own dowel was definitely an eye opener. Learned a good bit on this post Mads.

Thanks for sharing my friend….

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Schwieb's profile


1917 posts in 4626 days

#6 posted 01-27-2011 02:41 AM

Mads, Wow man, extremely well done. I could follow your process and thinking very clearly from your photos. To think I always thought that plane building was to much trouble to do. I could have used such a plane to fair out the interior surface of the kayak. You inspired me to look around in the shop for suitable material to make a plane. You’ve proved again that you are a very clever and talented woodworker.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View mafe's profile


13204 posts in 4254 days

#7 posted 01-31-2011 02:42 AM

Ho ho,
Ken, I had the same feeling that plane building was almost an expert thing… But no! This method makes it possible to all, even with hand tools only. Happy that my blog makes it clear. To hear that I’m a talented woodworker is over my hopes ever, so this compliment I lick like the cat with the fresh milk (Unless allergic). I still feel like I long travel is in front of me, before I have the guts to call me a woodworker, but I will whisper it now.
Dan, I’m happy to inspire, you know that – probably I got a taste for this, when I was a teacher in construction and building materials (for constructing architects), it makes me happy to see the impact, to see others can learn, and especially like this where my own learning can make others ride the wave, that is so giving, thank you.
Snowdog, the pleasure are also mine as you can see, remember to post it if you do, I will be more than happy to see the result.
Thomas, Merci, and Merci, corrections are made.
Ian, go for it!
Dez, wi hiii…
Best thoughts to you guys, thank you so for the comments, as you can see some of these touched me a lot, actually so much that I felt a little embarrassed (only nice) to answer, but now I did…

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

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 5079 days

#8 posted 01-31-2011 03:36 AM

Thanks Mads, this helps a lot. I hope to catchup with my own version soonish.

Now I am conflicted between doing it Mike’s way or your way!

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View mafe's profile


13204 posts in 4254 days

#9 posted 01-31-2011 12:08 PM

Steve, do as Frank Sinatra ‘I did it my way’!
Glad it could help, I’m the same, a picture tells more than a thousand words.
Best thoughts,

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

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 5079 days

#10 posted 02-05-2011 08:47 AM

Mads – my plane will of course be my own – different from both Mike’s and yours. Pictures to follow soon.

About the wooden pin – is it necessary to glue it in place or is it more important to leave it float, so that it adjusts itself to the wedge?

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View mafe's profile


13204 posts in 4254 days

#11 posted 02-05-2011 01:05 PM

Steve I dont think it need to be glued, I left mine loose and it works fine.
Look forward to see your version.
Best thoughts,

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

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 5079 days

#12 posted 02-05-2011 10:40 PM

Thanks for that Mads. That makes sense to me.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

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