Drawer bottom plane

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Project by DonH posted 10-17-2010 06:27 PM 8912 views 12 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had been intending to build one of these planes for some time and finally got around to it as a lead up to building some night tables with drawers. This plane cuts a 1/4 inch wide groove 1/4 inch deep and 3/8 inch from the bottom of the drawer (other dimensions are possible by varying the thicknes etc of the component parts). It works fast and accurately – I think it is faster than a router (for one drawer anyway) when considering set up time for the router. This plane does the job as well or better with no noise, dust, tear out or chip out at the end of the groove.

I built it from birds eye maple for the body, lignum vitae for the centre portion that guides in the groove being cut and mahogany for the wedge. The 1/4 inch wide blade I purchased from Rob Cosman on line.

In some of the pictures is a board which I cut my first groove in – it took 2 or 3 minutes total. I am very surprised how easy using this tool is.

-- DonH Orleans Ontario

24 comments so far

View ChrisinOttawa's profile


45 posts in 4564 days

#1 posted 10-17-2010 07:07 PM

Hi Don in Orleans. Good idea and great execution! I can see this being a handy plane to have! I use a noisy router table currently. I’ll have to move it to the top of my list. Maybe a left and right version too.

-- Chirs in Ottawa

View StumpyNubs's profile


7854 posts in 4254 days

#2 posted 10-17-2010 07:35 PM

That is not only very useful, it is BEAUTIFUL!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View swirt's profile (online now)


7664 posts in 4425 days

#3 posted 10-17-2010 07:40 PM

That’s a great looking fixed plough plane. Could also be the start of a match plane pair.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4569 days

#4 posted 10-17-2010 08:26 PM

great looking plane I like you used lignum vitae for the mittle part
but what I don´t undstand is in picture 2 and 6 the top side of the plane in the picture
Question : why is that bottom on a higher level wjen the plane is raised for use
those I am fammiliar with there is the bottom parts on both sides of the plov/grooving part/mittlesection
in the same level and match tipicily another plane when its a set for making floorplanks forinstens


View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 5478 days

#5 posted 10-17-2010 08:36 PM

I have GOT to make one of these! I’ve thought about getting the LV plough plane, but really only need a 1/4” for drawers. This is cheaper AND simpler. Perfect!

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 4394 days

#6 posted 10-17-2010 08:36 PM

Sweeeet! I am a BIG fan of wooden planes, especially shopmade ones. You guys are lucky in being able to get blades so easily.

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View DonH's profile


495 posts in 4271 days

#7 posted 10-17-2010 09:01 PM

Hi all – thanks for the kind comments. This is an inexpensive alternative to commercially available plow planes and it works perfectly.

Dennis – I copied the design from Rob Cosman who is a hand tool expert that I have taken training from. Like you I thought that the level of the support surfaces on both sides of the lignum vitae portion should be the same hieght (depth?). But…having “reinvented” other designs to meet my perceptions and having to deal with the required “refinements” I decided to stick with what works. It works and I have no good explanation why the outside of the plane is higher – I think that it does not matter as it is only on the last stroke that the depth controlling surface comes in contact with the work.

Swirt – I agree, a matched pair is next (I will share the blade between both planes). The current version will be relegated to prototype status. Having looked at Chris in Ottawa’s work on his site I intend to jazz the next versions up a bit.

-- DonH Orleans Ontario

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4569 days

#8 posted 10-17-2010 10:05 PM

thank´s for the explanation DonH :-)
I gess he most have seen too much on a plov when he made it…LOL

take care

View doorslammer's profile


108 posts in 5022 days

#9 posted 10-17-2010 11:52 PM

That’s great. These are on my list of to do’s after reading Matt Kenney’s FWW article on the pair he made.

-- Aaron in TN -

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 5478 days

#10 posted 10-17-2010 11:58 PM

Dennis, perhaps having a higher side for the escapement aids in chip clearance?

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View Brit's profile


8508 posts in 4296 days

#11 posted 10-18-2010 12:28 AM

Excellent work and the fact that you made it will make it all the more enjoyable to use. I’ve been meaning to make one ever since I saw Rob using one on his drawer making DVD.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4569 days

#12 posted 10-18-2010 12:37 AM

Robert (Gravedigger )
no I don´t think so
that can be done and have been the last few hundreds years
by making the wedge and the side of the hole with a slant
to make it easyer for the shave to escape and not glocking the mouth


View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


24538 posts in 5129 days

#13 posted 10-18-2010 12:53 AM

Noce job!! Are there any little nippers to pre-cut the edge like Roy always talks about?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1628 posts in 5018 days

#14 posted 10-18-2010 01:21 AM

Very nice, bet it is a joy to use! I wonder if an old 1/4” chisel would work for a blade?

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View DonH's profile


495 posts in 4271 days

#15 posted 10-18-2010 01:27 AM

Hi Timbo

I think a chisel blade would work fine. I have already been looking at my chisel colection for a 1/8 blade to make a plane for small boxes.

-- DonH Orleans Ontario

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