handmade wooden plane

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Project by AaronK posted 06-06-2011 03:39 AM 4765 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first attempt at plane making. I guess this is what’s known as the krenov style – it seems that the use of a laminated body combined with a dowel cross pin defines that style. Anyway, it’s made out of mahogany and cherry. Blade is out of an old craftsman block plane that I got in a bulk purchase and was missing a key piece. So after all the great inspiration here on LJ I decided to re-purpose it and build my own tool.

I didn’t use any plans, just went along in the most logical way I thought. The “frog” (for lack of a better term) angle is 40º, the other side is 60º. I originally wanted the blade to be bevel up so that with a 30º microbevel I’d get a blade with sufficiently high angle to use on squirrelly wood…. well it turns out that it doesn’t work that well in that mode. Either the blade quality is too poor, 70º is too high, or my adjustment technique for wooden planes is still underdeveloped – or all three – but it is very difficult to get the blade set right. When I do hit the sweet spot, the high angle worked really well on some interlocked mahogany. But I’m finding it too finicky. So I flipped the blade over, so now it’s just at 40º like lots of other planes. It works well enough in that mode (as you can see from the shavings of cherry).

Overall, I would prefer a longer body – there’s not enough in back for me to hold on to, and it’s a bit bulky to use like a little metal block plane. since it’s made out of scraps and went together SO easily (really these things are so easy!) I might just make a new body. It is pretty fun to use though, since it’s so light weight. I’m also surprised that such a simple wedging design can hold the blade so well. pretty nifty.

to give you an idea of dimensions: that’s a standard size block plane blade in there, and it’s a 3/4” dowel pin (poplar – all I had!).

anyway, questions and comments appreciated!

12 comments so far

View saddletramp's profile


1180 posts in 3610 days

#1 posted 06-06-2011 04:00 AM

It looks effective and well made. Good job.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5069 days

#2 posted 06-06-2011 04:00 AM

Well done. Looks like it was a great learning experience.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View dubsaloon's profile


622 posts in 3766 days

#3 posted 06-06-2011 08:57 AM

Nice work. I love how wood feels in hand tools.

-- The works of evil people are not the problem. It is the "Good" people standing by and watching not speaking up. Dubsaloon

View Ken90712's profile


17919 posts in 4160 days

#4 posted 06-06-2011 02:48 PM

Well done! Should serve you well.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3626 days

#5 posted 06-06-2011 03:18 PM

Looks good. You nailed the front ramp angle (I put mine a 62 degrees). On your next one, I would up the ramp for the blade to 45 for most woods, or 50 for difficult grain. And as a rule when you make the plane longer having the mouth about 5 9ths of the way from the back of the plane usually give you adequate room to place you hands. My smoother is about 9 inches long.

As far as adjustment goes, a 2.5 oz brass hammer is a godsend.

This is a good one, but I prefer one that has a brass insert and a nylon insert.

Here is mine.

Keep up planemaking, it’s addictive.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View AaronK's profile


1512 posts in 4436 days

#6 posted 06-06-2011 03:28 PM

RG – thanks for the input. OK, so 70º IS way too high!

in any case, my next one will probably be made with a nice Hock blade – probably a 50º smoother.

View Bertha's profile


13588 posts in 3665 days

#7 posted 06-06-2011 03:30 PM

You’re approaching scraper at 70;) I absolutely love this little guy. Love it. Excellent job!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View bigike's profile


4057 posts in 4260 days

#8 posted 06-06-2011 04:12 PM

very nice job, FYI there is a place that sells them on ebay (the adjusting hammer) but their located in the UK it is a top quality hammer though.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 3912 days

#9 posted 06-06-2011 10:03 PM

Bet you had fun making it! As RGTools said, Planemaking is addictive…
70degrees will make your life difficult, here some info on angles:
What are the advantages of the different set angles?
45º – Great for planing softwoods and North American hardwoods such as maple and walnut and such. It can handle figured maple well, but will have problems with figured cherry and walnut. This angle is the easiest to push/pull.
•47° – A good compromise between good tear-out performance and effortless use.
•50º – Great for North American hardwoods with some to lots of figure. It can handle pine, if needed, and can take on straight grained tropicals, too. This plane takes more effort than the 45 but is not hard to pull/push.
•55º – For highly-figured American hardwoods and figured tropicals. This plane takes more effort to push/pull than the others, but easily gives good results on figured woods.
•60º – For extremely hard-to-work woods and for use as a scraper plane. It takes the most effort to use this plane.

Have even more fun with the next one!

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

View AaronK's profile


1512 posts in 4436 days

#10 posted 06-06-2011 10:17 PM

cool – thanks for the breakdown. I think I’ll try 55º then :-)

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3626 days

#11 posted 06-07-2011 03:04 AM

one addition lower than 45 (such as 40-37 range) good for end grain, but 45 can do this ok with the right edge and precautions to prevent blowing out the end of the cut.

Recommend on Blades David Finck (good book too)

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View CFrye's profile


11147 posts in 2811 days

#12 posted 08-15-2013 10:20 AM

Nice job Aaron! Join us over at the 2013 Hand Plane swap here and Making a Plane. Swap the knowledge here.
Plenty of first time plane makers scratching our heads and hand plane gurus (probably shaking their heads) helping us figure it out!

-- God bless, Candy

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