Adjustable Mouth Smoothing Plane and Hammer (2013 Plane Swap)

  • Advertise with us
Project by bobasaurus posted 10-20-2013 06:10 PM 3583 views 10 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is the plane I made for the 2013 Hand Plane Swap (I slept in today… hopefully I didn’t miss the plane submission party). It’s an adjustable mouth 8 1/4” 50 degree smoother made from jatoba, hard maple, walnut for the knob, a brass pin, and some mystery wood for the wedge. The iron is an O1 steel 'half ashed' blade from Rhett at nice ash planes. The adjustable mouth is accomplished with a loose toe piece that has a threaded insert, and it moves in a slot in the fixed part of the toe. Loosening the knob allows for mouth opening adjustments, and it locks down firmly to prevent setting changes in use. I actually had to put some graphite powder between the toe pieces to keep them sliding… the finished parts kept sticking together before this, even after waxing. For the finish I applied a few coats of danish oil, then a few coats of waterlox, then paste wax buffed with a rag.

I found this plane to be surprisingly functional for being the first plane I’ve ever made. I was able to take very fine shavings in any direction with or against the grain, and it seems to hold the setting pretty well with just the wedge. I sent this plane to fellow Lumberjock bondogaposis , and he reported getting shavings down to 0.001” thick. Here are some pictures of the plane in action:

Planing some jatoba.

Planing some knotty hard maple.

Using a neat trick I learned while knifemaking, I etched the blade using an electrolysis method and my laser printer to put on my logo and some text. I sharpened the blade freehand using my shapton pro waterstones up to 15000 grit. Rhett’s blade sure takes a nice edge and holds it for a surprisingly long time for O1 steel.

So I hope bondogaposis makes good use of my plane… it was hard to send it away (like a parent sending their child out into the world I imagine). I did receive a beautiful plane from zwwizard in return, which I will post in the 2013 hand plane swap forum.

For a full build progress log and more finished pictures, visit this link:

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

16 comments so far

View Mauricio's profile


7170 posts in 4485 days

#1 posted 10-20-2013 06:24 PM

Very cool! I love the adjustable mouth and the etching on the blade.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View LukieB's profile


966 posts in 3663 days

#2 posted 10-20-2013 06:29 PM

Allen, that thing is sweet, love the adjustable idea. And the etching is one of the cooler things I have ever seen. Very cool.

-- Lucas, "Someday woodworks will be my real job, until then, there's this"

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5431 days

#3 posted 10-20-2013 06:32 PM

Very nice. Looks like a wonderful plane.

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

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3932 days

#4 posted 10-20-2013 06:44 PM

Wonderful details, the hammer is great looking too.

View LukieB's profile


966 posts in 3663 days

#5 posted 10-20-2013 07:33 PM

When Don said he would try to match sender’s and receivers by region, and you posted pictures of your progress, I was kinda hoping this one might be headed my way since we’re both in CO, LOL I know I already said this, but that thing is sweet, well done sir.

-- Lucas, "Someday woodworks will be my real job, until then, there's this"

View 489tad's profile


4115 posts in 4345 days

#6 posted 10-20-2013 08:09 PM

Cool plane. I like the front knob there. I think everyone will want to try etching now.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View terryR's profile


7694 posts in 3642 days

#7 posted 10-20-2013 08:15 PM

Wow, over the top, Allen! The adjustable mouth, logo on the iron, and a great mallet!

Best of Swap IMO! :)

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View CFrye's profile


11407 posts in 3173 days

#8 posted 10-20-2013 08:59 PM

There is a picture of Allen in the dictionary next to overacheiver! LOL All this on your FIRST plane! WOW! I can’t wait to see your New and Improved model.

-- God bless, Candy

View Don W's profile

Don W

20277 posts in 3901 days

#9 posted 10-20-2013 10:24 PM


-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

4093 posts in 3585 days

#10 posted 10-21-2013 01:24 AM

Top notch, Allen! Thanks for teaching us how to etch the iron. I might just try that on a future project.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Tugboater78's profile


2796 posts in 3525 days

#11 posted 10-21-2013 02:30 AM

real nice, some neat ideas :)

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1628 posts in 4898 days

#12 posted 10-21-2013 01:16 PM

Most excellent work. Too bad about the shavings only being 0.001. ;-)

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

View bondogaposis's profile


6096 posts in 3685 days

#13 posted 10-21-2013 02:47 PM

All I can say is that this one nice plane. I’ve had occasion to use it quite a bit since it has been in my possession and it works like a dream. The knob on front is very ergonomic. I’m willing to bet if I played with it enough on the right board I could cut the shaving thickness in half from .001”. The adjustable mouth is a great feature and when I think of all of the time I spent fiddling w/ the mouth of the plane I made, I wish I would have made it adjustable. It is a great feature on a smoother. The etching is really a nice touch and the hammer is really nice, much nicer than the Lee Valley hammer that I have. Thanks again Allen, and rest assured that your “baby” is in good hands and will be used and appreciated.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View GMatheson's profile


478 posts in 4303 days

#14 posted 10-21-2013 03:24 PM

The etching is really cool. Lots of goodies built into this plane. I’m really looking forward to seeing what your second and third plane will be. You set the bar pretty high with your first.

-- Greg in Ontario, Canada

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3626 days

#15 posted 10-21-2013 03:58 PM

Outstanding—extremely well made!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics