Maple and Bubinga hand plane

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Project by HalDougherty posted 07-11-2011 05:38 PM 3832 views 11 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this simple hand plane last week. It took about an hour to make, all but the 1/4” brass rod the plans called for. I couldn’t find one anywhere. I wanted to use the plane today, so I turned a walnut dowel. I did make it 3/8” instead of 1/4”. I’ve looked at a lot of other projects here and had been thinking about using some of my cutoffs to make one. When this month’s Wood Magazine came in the mail, I made a copy of the side profile and wedge that was printed in the magazine and started chopping wood. This plane is made from tiger maple and bublinga. Both woods are hard enough to last a long time in service. This is going to be a working tool. When I first glued it up, I trued the bottom on the jointer, and I should have used my sander. The throat chipped out in a couple of places. I may route out the throat and either make a insert from a scrap of the body that I saved, or make the throat from a brass plate. I’ve not sharpened the blade, or cut it to length yet, but it works!

-- Hal, Tennessee

21 comments so far

View jcees's profile


1079 posts in 4534 days

#1 posted 07-11-2011 05:41 PM

That’s a lovely little puppy. Nice work.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View Michael Hacker's profile

Michael Hacker

48 posts in 4448 days

#2 posted 07-11-2011 05:52 PM

i love the plane, makes me jealous!

i would say, stick with the joiner as its precision flat bottom would be superior to a sander, unless your sanding on substrate glued to float glass. you could always use a pine cutoff to inset into the throat and tape it in there making less room for chip-out. something that small should be safe in there.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24550 posts in 3841 days

#3 posted 07-11-2011 05:52 PM

Hi Hal,
That is one good looking plane!! Nice work. I love the wood choices!!
Where do you get the blade for these hand made planes?

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 4022 days

#4 posted 07-11-2011 05:58 PM


Very nice work


View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3972 days

#5 posted 07-11-2011 06:10 PM


I got the blade at Home Depot. It’s a Buck Bro’s., 1 5/8” replacement iron. They had two of them in stock, so I got both. This afternoon, I’m going to make another one just like this only a low angle plane this time. Oh, the price was $2.50 each. After I get through sharpening it, it will cut just like a more expensive blade.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View MShort's profile


1798 posts in 4154 days

#6 posted 07-11-2011 06:21 PM

Impressive!!! Well balance choice of woods.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View Manitario's profile


2812 posts in 3618 days

#7 posted 07-11-2011 06:31 PM

looks great; I saw the plan in this month’s “Wood” mag. and put it on my to-do list

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 3982 days

#8 posted 07-11-2011 07:05 PM

Great looking plane. May have to put ‘make a plane’ on my to do list.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View Sodabowski's profile


2388 posts in 3568 days

#9 posted 07-11-2011 09:30 PM

For some reason, it looks like a vintage racing car to me. And I love that feeling. Plus it works!

> adds to faves <

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View Bertha's profile


13586 posts in 3429 days

#10 posted 07-11-2011 09:36 PM

One hour? You’re an animal! It’s really beautiful. It makes me really happy when people go a bit further on shopmade tools and make them decorative. It really adds to the pride in the piece. Maybe someone will discover this tool in 100 years and think, “wow. this craftsman really prized this tool”. I like that thought.

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

View CharlieM1958's profile


16285 posts in 4954 days

#11 posted 07-11-2011 10:08 PM

That’s a real thing of beauty!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Napoleon's profile


788 posts in 3545 days

#12 posted 07-11-2011 10:40 PM

I second bertha on that ;) well done and well said :)

-- Boatbuilder&blacksmith

View STL's profile


68 posts in 3567 days

#13 posted 07-11-2011 11:08 PM

Very nice Hal! I’m sure you’ll be able to put that beauty to good use!

-- Dan Siggers, Alabama,

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 3571 days

#14 posted 07-12-2011 12:32 AM

This is a great tool! Hope you enjoy it.

I wrote about sanding and chatoyance on Facebook and almost used an image of one of your rifle stocks.

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 3571 days

#15 posted 07-12-2011 12:33 AM

Do you have any other hand tools…love to see a post on your workshop.

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

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