Router Plane for Shop Made Tool Swap - 2015: Hand Planes and Spokeshaves

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Project by sepeck posted 08-02-2015 07:27 AM 3882 views 4 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

One too many times I wanted a router plane. I’ve seen them used on various YouTube video’s, various TV shows and articles. I have had a few times where I had a little slot to flatten and my skill with a chisel was lacking so I would set up and fiddle with my router table for a bit. This Shop Made Tool Swap - 2015: Hand Planes and Spokeshaves was a great time to try out something new and make something I hadn’t before. The one on the left in the pictures is the one I sent my swap partner and he has some nice projects on his page you should check out.

Unlike the last tool swap, I wanted to make extra. So I started with three and worked my way down to two. I had some Ipe cut offs my neighbor gave me and it seemed a nice, pretty hardwood to use as a base. This combined with some Maple and the Shopmade router plane by MrDan was the inspiration. I think I will avoid Ipe for a while now until I get some more experience. It worked, but the successful finish options seemed to be wax, or wax or wax for it. Some of the other things I tried came with less then satisfying results. For the maple, I did what I used for turning, mineral oil while sanding, then Mylands friction polish. It seemed both pretty and a nice option for where your hands will be gripping the light color wood. The nut is a piece walnut I drilled a hole and put some epoxy on the thread and hammered in a brass screw and then turned the knob shape. The end peeked out a bit but it sort of looks deliberate so I will go with that story.

For the size, I did a BING image search for wood router plane and that ended here so I used that as a guide for size. The overall size is approximately 4”x6” and the hole was the largest Forstner bit I had 2-1/8”. I got the M router blade from LeeValley because in no way am I set up to play with heat treating metal where I am now. Having played with it and used it I will be ordering a more traditional flat blade (M) instead of the pointed blade to see what the difference is. The hole for the blade was done with my mortising machine.

Overall I am fairly happy with it but need to practice some more things. MrDan’s plane had the contrast in wood that I thought striking and I liked the curve in the walnut. I tried to make the curves in a way that was as smooth as his but that seems to be something I will need to work on more (which is partly why I only made two, not three). I ended up being more conservative on the shaping on the two I finished with shallows filed out for the fingers. They provided a good grip to me, but I miss those visually smooth curves. Maybe I need to get some more/different files for this? Regardless, something to practice on for future projects.

Overall, it was a great learning experience, if you haven’t participated in a tool swap I urge you to try one. They make you stretch yourself and stick to a fairly public deadline despite irritating disasters at work :)

-- -Steven Peck,

6 comments so far

View 489tad's profile


4046 posts in 4226 days

#1 posted 08-02-2015 10:48 AM

Steve nice job on the router plane. It’s giving me some ideas for one of my own. I too had to deal with a wood I never used. anyway the wood combo looks great. Well done!

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Jerome's profile


163 posts in 3344 days

#2 posted 08-02-2015 03:59 PM

rice…i think one of these would have worked nicely on my recent project that i posted!

-- Jerome, Marietta, GA

View JayT's profile


6430 posts in 3426 days

#3 posted 08-02-2015 04:46 PM

Very well done. A good router plane is one of the most useful tools in my shop. I like that you used a Lee Valley blade instead of using a allen wrench or similar. Gives a lot more options for drop-in replacement blades.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Woodknack's profile


13584 posts in 3595 days

#4 posted 08-05-2015 04:01 AM

Looks like a simple and effective design, nice one.

-- Rick M,

View Hammerthumb's profile


3102 posts in 3190 days

#5 posted 08-05-2015 10:06 PM

Very nice router planes Steven.

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

View Don W's profile

Don W

20164 posts in 3782 days

#6 posted 08-06-2015 02:28 PM

Excellent work.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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