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Review by lumberjoe posted 04-08-2014 03:43 PM 3990 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I have recently taken an interest in making wooden planes. I did the usual browsing around and found some free content with the basic ideas. I made a few planes based on some youtube videos and other articles. It went pretty smoothly. The problem is the planes sucked. While well constructed adjustment was always an issue and they required a lot of tinkering to get right.

Then I happened upon Scott Meek and learned he produced a video on how he makes his smoothing plane. I purchased the digital copy from Shopwoodworking. Man, I was doing everything wrong. From bed angles, wear ramps, cross pin location and design to creating the proper mouth opening and overall construction method.

Building a good plane that works consistently and I actually want to use was far easier than the hacked together ones I was making previously.

If you are into or curious about building your own planes, this is where you should start. Scott’s instruction is thorough; but to the point and not long winded. In his video he uses mostly handtools aside from a bandsaw, drill press, and spindle sander but offers many alternatives to the power tool crowd or those of us just starting with handtools and may not have the required skill or tooling just yet.

Also while this details how to make a smoothing plane, the technique is the same for virtually any bench plane you could make. I created this small jointer following his instructions and it is an absolute pleasure to use. This was my first attempt following Scott’s instruction and construction was completed in a weekend (allowing ample time for the laminations to sit in clamps)

As soon as the UPS man drops off the rest of my Hock irons, I am going to be making quite a few more.


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#1 posted 04-08-2014 05:10 PM

I took a one week course in Plane Making at Inside Passage and built 3 Planes, smoother, jointer and a coopering. course, it was well worth the time and cash. You really need to have the knowledge of how to tune a wooden plane and sharpen the iron to make it cut lace shavings.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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#2 posted 04-09-2014 01:40 AM

Very good review, thanks. This is an area that I would like to get into.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

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#3 posted 04-09-2014 08:40 PM

Thanks for the review. There are tons of plans and instruction on the internet for making wood body planes, can you elaborate any on how the book is an improvement over any of that? I’m not setting the stage for an argument, I just haven’t made a wood body bench plane yet and am curious. Thanks.

-- Rick M,

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