Shop made router Plane

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Project by cdaulton posted 02-05-2014 03:19 AM 19437 views 20 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been wanting a router plane for a while as I continue my journey into madness, I mean hand tool work and the inevitable tool collecting that so often goes with it. Being on a limited budget I thought I would try my hand at making my own. I looked at several designs for wooden planes but I wanted a metal one so I came up with my own.

The plane started as a piece of 1/4” plate steel, I tried a couple of different cutting methods and ended up using a cutoff wheel in my 18v circular saw for the straight cuts and a jig saw with a metal blade for the curved cuts after drilling around my cut out lines as shown in the third picture. Drilling all those holes made cutting the plane out a whole lot easier but left the edges very rough. I cleaned them up with a straight tungsten carbide cutter in my rotary tool (Dremel) that was mounted in a router base. Then I spent several hours flattening the bottom on sandpaper spray glued to a granite cutting board I usually use for my sharpening plane and chisel blades.

Once I had the bottom flat it was time for the adjuster. I used a short piece of 1/2” square stock left over from making my own carbide tipped lathe tools. I cut a piece about 1 1/2” long and welded it to the the base making sure to keep it square. Then I marked the center and drilled and tapped for 1/4” x 20 tpi. A small piece of all thread goes into that. The adjuster mechanism is a 1/4” x 20 tpi nail in threaded insert chucked into my drill press and filed till the nail holes were gone pressed into an aluminum crimp for wire rope that I found at my local Ace hardware. The clamp is a 5/8” ground rod clamp that I sanded smooth and polished a little. The blade is the biggest hex key I could fit in the clamp, 9/16” or so I think.

The handles I turned out of curly Maple I saved from the firewood pile. It came from a huge tree, probably 6 or 8 feet in diameter that was cut near where I used to live in New Jersey. It had lots of dark mineral lines and is really gorgeous. I wish I had saved more of it from the fireplace.

Looking back on it I definitely should have welded the adjuster base on before flattened the bottom because though I was careful to take my time and not let it get too hot it warped and I had to reflatten the bottom. I also would not have made the cut outs so big.

It turned out a lot better than I though it would and it works great. Now I just need to make a box to store it in.

25 comments so far

View Wally331's profile


350 posts in 3479 days

#1 posted 02-05-2014 03:31 AM

Excellent work, You put a lot of creativity, ingenuity, and work into this plane and it definitely shows. Awesome router plane.

View lepelerin's profile


498 posts in 3779 days

#2 posted 02-05-2014 03:42 AM

very cool, well done

View Oldtool's profile


3503 posts in 3644 days

#3 posted 02-05-2014 04:01 AM

Awesome. Excellent build, great work. Now enjoy.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 3881 days

#4 posted 02-05-2014 04:30 AM

Very nice … show us more!

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Quixote's profile


206 posts in 5092 days

#5 posted 02-05-2014 04:55 AM


-- I don't make sawdust...I produce vast quantities of "Micro Mulch."

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5031 days

#6 posted 02-05-2014 05:07 AM

very creative and great job.


View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1607 posts in 3088 days

#7 posted 02-05-2014 05:17 AM

very ingenious.
Enjoy using it. I love mine.

-- Jeff NJ

View Ken90712's profile


18113 posts in 4642 days

#8 posted 02-05-2014 12:18 PM

What a fun project…. Great work…..

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

View BigDawg's profile


52 posts in 5174 days

#9 posted 02-05-2014 12:48 PM

That is, in a word, AWESOME.

-- Shawn DuGay, Wallingford, CT

View Don W's profile

Don W

20381 posts in 4021 days

#10 posted 02-05-2014 01:39 PM


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

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

556 posts in 4510 days

#11 posted 02-05-2014 02:31 PM

Very impressive, especially without a laser cutter and machinists tools.

-- Glen

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3746 days

#12 posted 02-05-2014 02:46 PM

Outstanding! Obviously a labor of love that turned out very well.

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

View 489tad's profile


4153 posts in 4465 days

#13 posted 02-05-2014 03:09 PM

Using a drill, circular saw and jig saw your results are impressive. Well done.

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

View ScaleShipWright's profile


253 posts in 3339 days

#14 posted 02-05-2014 08:09 PM


-- God exists... But relax, He's not you!

View Ripthorn's profile


1459 posts in 4439 days

#15 posted 02-05-2014 08:37 PM

I’m going to have to make one of these now. Curse you for giving me more project ideas! :). For the record, I think the cutout proportions are very attractive.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

showing 1 through 15 of 25 comments

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