Purple Heart Shoulder Plane

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Project by MactheKnife posted 04-19-2014 09:13 PM 2443 views 4 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my 45 Deg Shoulder plane. Its 3/4 inch by 7 1/2, made of purple heart and brass. The blade is an old chisel. Finish is BLO.

I followed Div’s guide on his blog, which is excellent and easy to follow, thanks Div. His blog is here

Took about 5 hours, the shaving is its first cut, still need to do some more adjusting on it.

Woudl I do it again? Yup! great learning experience.

The hardest bits were in order of frustration:
1. Sawing the purple heart by hand (no bandsaw)
2. Grinding the blade to shape
3. Bedding in the blade.

10 comments so far

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1404 posts in 2485 days

#1 posted 04-19-2014 09:46 PM

wholly … that’s a lot of glue there.

You ground a hardened blade to shape… whew… that must have been a lot of work.

Looks good, hope it cuts as well. I may want to make one of those.

-- Jeff NJ

View MactheKnife's profile


81 posts in 2719 days

#2 posted 04-19-2014 09:54 PM


Erm, yes I did over do it a bit, but its thin walled and I wanted no air gaps, I cleaned it off before it set.

Took about an hour to grind the blade, follow Div’s instructions and keep the blade cool (dunk it in water before its too hot to hold) or you’ll lose the hardness.

Yes it cuts great, I’m going to use it on some tenons for my next project.

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 4315 days

#3 posted 04-19-2014 11:55 PM

Sweet little plane. That looks like a great shape and size.
I made a chisel based shoulder plane a couple years ago but I can see the height of this one will probably make it work better with less chatter. One upgrade I did to mine was to inset a utility knife blade in the side to make a nicker blade. It really helped make a sharp clean cut at the shoulder.
I really like this design.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View steve_in_ohio's profile


1195 posts in 2462 days

#4 posted 04-20-2014 12:08 AM

very cool plane, great work

-- steve, simple and effective

View bit101's profile


106 posts in 2728 days

#5 posted 04-20-2014 12:19 AM

That’s great. I’m adding it to my ever growing list of projects I want to do. You did a beautiful job on it.

View Wolfdaddy's profile


300 posts in 2685 days

#6 posted 04-20-2014 01:06 AM

Nicely done. I need to make one or several of these. I have a couple beater chisels I could repurpose.

-- "MOM! I think there's something under our house! I'm gonna need a jackhammer, a fish bowl, some air tanks, and maybe a few pipes."

View cutmantom's profile


407 posts in 3886 days

#7 posted 04-20-2014 12:40 PM

What did you use for a blade, how do you adjust the blade, I made one but the blade sticks out past the wedge a little bit so it can be tapped to advance it

I chiseled the mortise for the blade tang, if I make any more it will most likely be laminated like you did

View MactheKnife's profile


81 posts in 2719 days

#8 posted 04-20-2014 08:10 PM

Thanks for all the comments everyone.

I have just enough room behind the wedge to tap the tang with a small mallet.
I used a 19mm chisel I had for the blade, you can see the bevel under the blade, I didn’t fancy grinding a long tang and I thought it may be uncomfortable so I ground it just long enough to be able to adjust it. Its a bit thicker than a regular shoulder plane blade which helped.

I had a look at your chisel plane, I think the chatter is caused by the wedge. I didn’t follow Div’s advice initially and made the wedge with a straight edge touching the blade, he advised putting a hollow in it to make it touch at the top and bottom, this made all the difference to mine.

Just about had time to try it out today, made a quick rebate:

View cyclops4069's profile


66 posts in 2428 days

#9 posted 04-21-2014 07:53 AM

nice work!!

-- regards, cyclops4069

View cutmantom's profile


407 posts in 3886 days

#10 posted 04-21-2014 11:51 PM

thanks for the reply, I didn’t think about a hammer like that

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