shoulder plane

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Project by james3one posted 04-30-2012 01:54 AM 2661 views 6 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been looking for a shoulder plane for some time now. As I’m not willing to fork out $200.00 for a new Lie-Neilsen or Veritas, I keep looking for a used one at the local flea market and other places. Alas, to no avail. Nary a once has an old Preston, or Record made an appearance. Mr. Stanley hasn’t seen fit to help out either. I got tired of not having one of the tools I needed, so I decided to go ahead and make one. I did a little research, looking at both the old beech planes and a few of the new ones made of more interesting bits of lumber, and went to work on a design.

The only wood I had available for this was a chunk of 8/4 white oak. Most annoyingly it was almost perfectly rift sawn, instead of quarter. Not to be deterred, I marked out the plane dimension on the end grain, tilted to make it quarter sawn, and went about removing the waste to reveal my new plane. Once this was cut out and cleaned up, I had a 1×5x12 block, ready to be worked. Before doing so, however, I took a lesser piece of white oak and made a test plane. This proved most helpful and provided plenty of insight as to technique and tools needed to get the job done. A jig, Iwasaki rasp, needle rasp and fair amount of sweat later, I have a new tool.

It still needs a bit of tweaking but will soon be cleaning up my parts.

You can see in the original Sketchup design that the blade was placed further back. I decided that I’d like a little room for my hand so I moved the blade and wedge forward a bit.

The blade is set at a fairly steep 60 degrees. I can turn the blade over and get an almost 90 degree cutting angle for difficult grain.

-- James, Tulsa OK,

6 comments so far

View jjw5858's profile


1135 posts in 3613 days

#1 posted 04-30-2012 02:17 AM

Very nice plane! It is very rewarding to create something you use and helps your work, thanks for sharing!

-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 4009 days

#2 posted 04-30-2012 02:28 AM

You sir, have discovered the secret to the universe. Great looking plane.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1124 posts in 3323 days

#3 posted 04-30-2012 08:03 AM

Great plane. It’s a very satisfying experience to create fine shavings from a plane you have made yourself. Well done!

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View vakman's profile


301 posts in 3414 days

#4 posted 04-30-2012 09:38 PM

Excellent job. I wish I’d done that, I found a steel stow-away in my $25 ebay rabbet plane while I was planing the underside.

-- - Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true. -

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 3317 days

#5 posted 04-30-2012 10:37 PM

Nice looking plane, great craftsmanship.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

1118 posts in 4184 days

#6 posted 04-30-2012 11:32 PM

great looking plane. I’m sure it will see plenty of use.

-- Follow me on YouTube-

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