Small hand planes making #2: More of MaFe's fooling arround making them...

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Blog entry by mafe posted 04-12-2015 12:05 AM 5174 reads 3 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The making of 11 small hand planes Part 2 of Small hand planes making series Part 3: Some call it terrible, I call it charm and life... »

Small hand planes
more of MaFe’s fooling arround making them…

So I spend some wonderful hours in the sun, Copenhagen are really in the mood for springtime now, I think a few woman will have a cold wearing too little clothes and I have a wee pain in my neck from the disturbance…
But also a warm and happy smile on my lips.

Ok where did we stop?
Ohhh yes the glue were drying.
So lets go somewhere new…

Here marking the shape of the sole for a convex from front to back mini plane, flat sideways.
Compass plane I believe it’s called, even I have no idea where the compass points, since I once again make this one free hand and free of heart.

Shaping on the disc sander making sure I hold it 90 degrees.
(Otherwise the mouth will be off center).

Also shaping the sides.
Am I the only one thinking of clogs now?

Ok we better do something about that.
Prefer to think of a boat and not clogs.

I use a bolt cutter, this is fast. ;-)

Shaping one end flat and the other pointed so I can pin it through the plane body.

Compass plane.

Kind of sweet.

Iron from a old file.

Ohhh yes and in my hand again…
It is called a hand plane after all.

First couple of planes can stand next to DIVs planes and some of my own.

Here rounding the sole on a half round.
Side to side, straight length wise.

Nice end grain here.

Shaping a iron for the half round plane.
Free hand sharpening on the water grinder.

That’s a good fit in my world.

Ohh yes back to that chisel plane.
I did make a chisel plane long ago, but that was a different version and different story.
Just thought it would be cool to be able to have this in the tool roll, when bringing the chisels, in this way there are always a chance for some detailed work.
If it will work…
We will see!

Things are happening in that box.
In the front you see the small block plane I will make.
Think we can agree the iron needs to be shortened.

A wonderful old iron I bought in France.
Perhaps I should call it: Plane of the two roosters.

Glue is dry and the new sole shaped.
Sorry to jump again, or not sorry, just how it was.

Time to cut the French iron.

Cut and shaped.
Fast and easy, plenty of years in this iron.

Back to the palm handle plane idea.
Now a new idea…
Drilling a hole in a palm shaped handle.
(Turned this on the lathe a while back, It’s been waiting for the right project.

Same old story, but not same old song.
This time I will try to drill into the plane body.

A brass rod are added to the handle.

Then we have a new version, where the tension will be on the body, not on the iron and this works!
Yes it works really well.
So sometimes it’s good to make mistakes.
Learning by doing as I think I wrote.

So back to the plane with no iron…
Measure twice cut once and perhaps once more…
I prefer to make it a wee big and then grind to perfect fit.
Like this there are room for mistakes.
Not that I do mistakes…
But I heard of people doing them.

Transfer measure to iron and scratch it into the metal.
I have bad experience with the sharpie, I tend to get too loose on the lines.
With a hard point metal you can scratch deep into the metal.

Then it’s just to cut again.
And enjoy that a worn out Record plane iron will now get a new life.

You see how fine I can follow the line.

When 2/3 through it can be braked of.

Then it’s just fine tuning and fitting to the plane body.

Remember to dip in cold water often so you don’t destroy the heat treatment.
Or burn your fingers.

We got a match!

This time I will try shaping the plane from the users point, forget about esthetics and Krenov for a while.
What do we need when working with a small plane?
To have something to hold on to.
So I try to shape it for maximum grip from all sides.

That gives birth to this design.
I think actually it has a elegancy, funny how function and beauty often go hand in hand.
The eye likes what the hand likes.

Now I need to make it work.
Choosing a contrast color for the wedge here.

After carefully marking where the wedge top are, I can drill a hole just a wee below that line, like this I will have a firm hold on the blade and can shape the wedge after.

Now I can hammer the pin in place.
Flat top.

Pointed where it round through, to avoid tear out and to make it run in the right direction.

Then sanding the pin ends of, be careful not to over heat it, so you burn the wood, then your tight fit will be lost.

Now flat and following the curves of the plane.
If the fit is not perfectly snug, use some epoxy to glue it in place.

Kind of like it, but will think about the wedge shape.
Now it works.

Just for fun, I will make one of the mini plane irons from something you all can get hold of cheap.
A saw blade for a construction saw, pick a thick blade, these you can buy cheap or even better find a used one for free.
Again I mark up the size before cutting.

I have the wedge shape.
It have to be shaped for grip of course if I shall follow my own theory.

Back to cutting.
Now cut.
Save the cut offs, they can be used for a small carving knife, marking knife, marking gauge or what ever your imagination tells you, it is fine steel.

Again I shape it to fit the plane body and I also sand what is going to be the back of the blade, so it can be sharpened properly.

Like this!

Other side I will leave as is, just for the fun of it.
Like this one fine day, someone might say; look it’s made of a old saw blade.
Perhaps I think too much, but I like to think some of all the work I do, will some day end up in new hands when I am not here any more. Kind of liking the thought of, some of my spirit will pass on and bring some smiles in the future, perhaps it will all end up in the trash, but that’s fine also, I did enjoy the ride.

Sorry back to real life, right now, right here.
Sharpening the little iron.
Again I like to use the water grinder, amazing how much I have used this relatively cheap grinder, I am on my third stone now.

Here are the body that will be housing the blade.
Will shape it as a mini jointer, even this shape will be really bad for the fingers to grip, but this plane will be more about humor and smiles, than practicality. A conversation plane…
Ohhhhhh yes and drilling again for the pin.

Hole in one…

Sawing out the shape.

Her we got it after the body has been shaped and sanded.

Now in my hand and with a wedge.
Hands on woodworking…
Shut up MaFe.

Ok, time to go to bed here, I will see if I can post last part tomorrow.

This blog is dedicate to a old LJ friend DIV , you are missed, but will not be forgotten, often in my thoughts and a special place in my heart.

Hope it can be to some inspiration perhaps even some small planes.

Best thoughts,


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

16 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 4936 days

#1 posted 04-12-2015 12:25 AM

Now that is an inspiring set of blogs.
Well done Sir, I need to go play in the shop.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View lew's profile


13332 posts in 4810 days

#2 posted 04-12-2015 12:48 AM

You make it look so easy!

Thanks for the idea of using the saw blade.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View 7Footer's profile


2575 posts in 3003 days

#3 posted 04-12-2015 01:07 AM

^+1 You really make it look easy!
Fantastic stuff Mafe..


View shipwright's profile


8703 posts in 3852 days

#4 posted 04-12-2015 02:51 AM

Makes me :-) Mads.
I miss DIV too. He’s a boat builder like me.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Druid's profile


2205 posts in 3850 days

#5 posted 04-12-2015 03:49 AM

Well done Mads. I find it very interesting to see your step-by-step explanations for each of these beautiful tools.
Thanks for taking the time to post this.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1126 posts in 3367 days

#6 posted 04-12-2015 08:29 AM

Great stuff, once again. I hope you will find a good home for the two roosters. It seems a shame to discard them.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View Sodabowski's profile


2399 posts in 3887 days

#7 posted 04-12-2015 10:53 AM

Mads you can always send the roosters back home, I can really use that blade part ;)
I have repurposed crappy saw blades as plaster scapers in the past (tools for my father who needed someting to carve details on a statue he was doing) but I actually didn’t think the thickest saw blades could make proper plane blades. Really going to give it a try, I need a small rabbeting plane anyway. Thanks again for the inspiration, love the shapes, particularly the last one: I’m so copying that! :D

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

View ruddhess's profile


117 posts in 2265 days

#8 posted 04-13-2015 01:30 AM

Very nice! Thanks for sharing so many pictures so people like me who have never made a plane can get an idea of how to do it!! Awesome!

-- Rodney, Arkansas

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 2685 days

#9 posted 04-13-2015 06:04 AM

That is ridiculously cool. I am probably never making a handplane, since it seems to difficult and here you are making handplanes by the boatload, in sizes which would be way too small for me to even handle.

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4389 days

#10 posted 04-13-2015 02:28 PM

You are the tool man Mads. Beautiful little planes.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View mafe's profile


13089 posts in 4144 days

#11 posted 04-13-2015 11:05 PM

Hi there,

View on YouTube
Last blog Don choose the music, this time I will.

SPalm, this is what it is all about.
Lew, it is easy! Really you will be shocked.
Footer, thanks.
Shipwright, if you smile I am happy, thanks.
Druid, jump by jump it might be…
JimR, thanks.
Sodabowski, I think the roosters are dead in the trash…. Sorry, But send me a email with your address and I have a small gift for you to work on.
I will look forward to see what you get build, all can be done with a fine handsaw, no power tools are needed, they just makes it faster.
ruddhess, just go for it!
Jake, it is not difficult, it is easy, that’s a promise, so give it a go. Make a block plane, that’s a good size to begin with.
Stefang, rhykenologist please… ;-)
Thank you all, I am so happy to feel how it seems to inspire, this is why I blog.
Best of my thoughts from the smile center of my heart,

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

View erm's profile


6 posts in 2191 days

#12 posted 04-17-2015 02:20 AM


View mafe's profile


13089 posts in 4144 days

#13 posted 04-17-2015 03:39 PM

Thanks, ;-)

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

View madts's profile


1954 posts in 3394 days

#14 posted 04-17-2015 03:51 PM

All those small planes are just great Mads. I hope that you get to wear each one of them out.


-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3859 days

#15 posted 04-17-2015 05:26 PM

Some maximum results with miniature tools. Nice stuff Mads

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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