Kerfing Plane

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Project by Oldtool posted 02-15-2016 07:46 PM 2554 views 5 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am in the process of making two desks simultaneously for my two youngest granddaughters, just like my earlier posting of the desk for my oldest granddaughter. In so doing, I will need to resaw some wood for thin stock for internal compartments. I’ve had “some success” at resawing, but it isn’t a sure thing, so when I saw a video of a kerfing plane in use with resawing by hand, I thought I’d give it as shot with my resawing on my 12” bandsaw.

I had an old dovetail saw, that I purchased at a box stores back about 2003, which I used once & never touched again. (Photo #2) As you can see, it has a repositionable handle for use as a flush cut saw with either hand, but the teeth were shaped like equilateral triangles, with rounded tips on top. Cut like a butter knife. I decided to repurpose it by salvaging the blade & refilling the teeth. I filed them rip with a very aggressive vertical 90 degree rake. Setting them was somewhat difficult, with 14 TPI, and my saw set being way too large, so I laid the blade on a piece of pine board & tapped the tip of every other tooth with a flat blade screwdriver, flipped the blade & tapped the other teeth.

Photo 3 shows the plane in progress, basically modeled after my Disston saw, with the new teeth and some layout lines.

Photo 4 shows all components laid out as to be assembled. Photo 5 with full assembly.

As for resawing, photo 6 shows the results. I “kerfed” the 7/8” board in the middle on two sides & one end, ran it through my bandsaw, and I am very pleased with the results. The resawing blade seemed to jump right into the kerf, and it stayed there all through the sawing process.

This plane or saw itself cuts a very thin kerf, and does so very accurately – even with my lack of ability to file saw teeth & set them, so I decided to use it to create rabbets, by defining the shoulder accurately, & follow up with chisel & shoulder plane. The results, as shown here, worked well for me.

This plane has a fence adjustable from touching the blade, to 2” out, and with the blade clamped as it is & can be adjusted for more than the minimum 1/2” depth, it should serve me well with resawing & cutting rabbets. Only time will tell, but so far, so good.

Thanks for viewing.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

4 comments so far

View PeteCollin's profile


66 posts in 1782 days

#1 posted 02-15-2016 08:17 PM


That’s an intriguing technique. Is the idea that the starter kerf must be narrower than the one made by the bandsaw? Otherwise I could see you getting haunches along the edges of your pieces.

View Oldtool's profile


2786 posts in 2671 days

#2 posted 02-15-2016 08:31 PM

I’m no expert, and any answer to your question about kerf size would be a guess. I based my idea on the thoughts behind Tom Fidgen’s statement that the saw blade will follow the path of least resistance. For his kerfing plane, see his web site The Unplugged Woodshop, or his YouTube videos, 3 of which he made, at:

My old saw just happened to have a very thin blade, that’s why big box sold it so cheap. Actually, my bandsaw blade has a wider kerf, but this still worked well on the resawing. As for the haunches, could be there, but I cut all my stock oversized to begin with, then hand plane to desired diminsions.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View recycle1943's profile


3182 posts in 2102 days

#3 posted 02-15-2016 10:23 PM

Oldtool – I’ve been pretty lucky regarding resawing in that I don’t do it too often and I’m selective as all get out on what I do resaw. I deliberately pick the thickest slab I have on hand and go from there.
I do applaud your interesting effort to ‘save’ as much wood as you can – looks like it’s working for you

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View kiefer's profile


5671 posts in 3147 days

#4 posted 02-16-2016 02:21 AM

Nice shop made plane /saw , the best .
A lot of pride and satisfaction .


-- Kiefer

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