My first hand made plane

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Project by GaryK posted 02-10-2008 07:18 PM 6757 views 17 times favorited 46 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, this is my first attempt to make a hand plane. This is the end result and I will make a blog on exactly
how I made it.

I used hard maple for the sides, sepele on the inside, and cumaru for the sole.

Now cumaru (aka Brazilian Teak) is a interesting wood. It is very hard. It feels like wax, and is real slippery.
I think that it would make an excellent sole for planes. We shall see how it works.

I will give more details when I blog it.

Wood is judged by Janka hardness scale. Here are some examples:

cherry 950
beech 1300
white oak 1360
wenge 1630
padauk 1725
cumaru 3540
lignum vitae 4500

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

46 comments so far

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 5584 days

#1 posted 02-10-2008 07:25 PM

Pretty slick (no pun intended), Gary. Can’t wait to read the blog.

How was it to cut the joints for the sole to the body?

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Max's profile


55997 posts in 5763 days

#2 posted 02-10-2008 07:32 PM

Very nice. That is some pretty fancy joinery on the sole. I will be looking forward to hearing how that was done in the blog. Nice work.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5708 days

#3 posted 02-10-2008 07:38 PM

Wow, looks great and you’ve piqued my interest in that cumaru!

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

View sharad's profile


1119 posts in 5294 days

#4 posted 02-10-2008 07:39 PM

Unbelievable work. Data on the hardness scale is very interesting. How is it done and is data available for other woods like Burma Teak, Oak etc. Eagerly waiting for your blog.

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 5370 days

#5 posted 02-10-2008 07:40 PM

great looking plane gary ! they build a lot of decks and docks with cumaru around here , its a bit hard on the equipment though

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5478 days

#6 posted 02-10-2008 07:43 PM

You can check out the hardness of various wood here:

Flooring wood


This guy sells cumaru on ebay:

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View WhiskeyWaters's profile


213 posts in 5295 days

#7 posted 02-10-2008 07:49 PM

Great lookin’ plane Gary. I hope the blog shows how to do the joinery on the sole, it looks great.

-- make it safe & keep the rubber side down.

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 5486 days

#8 posted 02-10-2008 07:52 PM

Looks like it’s going to be a user and a keeper…

What are the dimensions – and which wood is the steel and which the bronze? Also, did you forge that iron last night? Smiley goes here.

Where did the iron come from? I can wait for the blog if I have to…

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Lakey's profile


97 posts in 5262 days

#9 posted 02-10-2008 07:52 PM

Beautiful job, Gary – the dovetailed sole is fantastic. Are you taking orders?

-- "No Board Left Behind"

View Recycler's profile


40 posts in 5254 days

#10 posted 02-10-2008 07:55 PM

The wood selection makes for a beautiful plane. It’s got a vaguely sportscar-ish look to my eye.

The iron is interesting. It looks like a very thick iron with no chip breaker. If that’s the case, PLEASE tell me the source!

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4074 posts in 5553 days

#11 posted 02-10-2008 07:55 PM

Gary, you certainly are giving ECE a run for the money. Nicely joined sole and a beautiful plane. Can’t wait for the blog.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View Greg Salata's profile

Greg Salata

131 posts in 5252 days

#12 posted 02-10-2008 08:09 PM

Looking forward to the blog as well.

Tell us about the iron.

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 5364 days

#13 posted 02-10-2008 08:33 PM

That’s awesome, Gary!

Thanks for the Janka scale info, very interesting.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27248 posts in 5312 days

#14 posted 02-10-2008 08:41 PM

This is a nice plane.

You simply just couldn’t go out and buy a Lie-Nielsen or Veritas could you? Up to now they have been pretty much the benchmark plane series. Now it appears as if they are going to have trouble matching up to the Kemper line.

I like your choice of woods and thanks for info on the cumaru. I have always called it brazillian teak since I am dealing with leftover flooring and this is the term that flooring manufacturers have given it. But cumaru is the proper name.

A blog on this construction would be interesting. I would love to see the woodworking on the sole as well.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View rikkor's profile


11294 posts in 5364 days

#15 posted 02-10-2008 09:09 PM

Do you ever make anything that doesn’t look great? Nevermind…, retracting the dumb question.

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