A Wood Carving Float.

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Project by RusticJohn posted 04-15-2014 04:08 AM 2613 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I use floats for plane making and cabinet work and have being playing with the idea of one for wood carving. This is the result. It has a cranked handle and hand cut teeth. Originally the blade was going to have a curve in it but I thought this was going too far for a first version. This was not the easiest thing in the World to make with a very steady hand and lots of patience needed to cut the teeth. The blade started out as hard, had to be softened, worked and then re-hardened. Good temperature control was important.

The float cuts really nicely and has a good bite to the teeth. Its cutting ability compares well to a top line commercial version. The cutting action is a cross between planing and rasping.

I will go on to make a few more variations on this specifically intended to cut away and smooth the surface of my carvings. It will be a while before I get onto it but will post when finished.

-- RusticJohn

7 comments so far

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 2402 days

#1 posted 04-15-2014 04:11 AM

Good idea, nicely done John!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25190 posts in 3958 days

#2 posted 04-15-2014 12:02 PM

Very neat tool, John!!.............Jim

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

View murch's profile


1380 posts in 3477 days

#3 posted 04-15-2014 12:03 PM

Nice handy looking tool. Nothing like making your own and being happy with the results.

-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1404 posts in 2487 days

#4 posted 04-15-2014 01:35 PM

good job… I have a file just like the teeth in that, I love it for wood. Makes the smoothest cuts.
Great for finishing after a rasp, cleans it up. If I ever get around to building a plane from a single piece of wood, I will give it a try.

-- Jeff NJ

View RusticJohn's profile


219 posts in 4444 days

#5 posted 04-15-2014 07:23 PM

Thank you all for the comments. It took about 16 hours to make the float so its a good job for some rainy days.

-- RusticJohn

View recrecrec's profile


1 post in 875 days

#6 posted 05-05-2018 11:00 AM

Hi RusticJohn,

I’ve seen you can build very good floats. I’m a flute maker and I would need such a float (with a side curved to a certain radius), and I was wondering if I could order one from you. Please send me a private message. Thank you!

View RusticJohn's profile


219 posts in 4444 days

#7 posted 05-07-2018 07:43 AM


Regrettably I don’t make the floats for sale as I just do it for fun. Lie Nielson offers a good product that I can recommend.

-- RusticJohn

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