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Project Information

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.

Gallery

Comments

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

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3,611 Posts
Awesome. Excellent build, great work. Now enjoy.
 

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207 Posts
Wow…
 

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118,619 Posts
very creative and great job.
 

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18,205 Posts
What a fun project…. Great work…..
 

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62 Posts
That is, in a word, AWESOME.
 

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20,610 Posts
Excellent!!
 

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

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5,820 Posts
Outstanding! Obviously a labor of love that turned out very well.
 

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4,189 Posts
Using a drill, circular saw and jig saw your results are impressive. Well done.
 

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1,505 Posts
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.
 

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7,179 Posts
Wow! That is Cool! I need a large one of those for tenon cheeks.
 

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472 Posts
Very nice results from using what you have on hand, I had a similar bench to the one you have in your pictures. I replaced it with a discarded plastic version. Never let a dumpster go unexplored. Enjoy your new tool.
 

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30 Posts
@Ripthorn, the reason I wanted to make the cutouts smaller is because it flexes too easily with the webbing that thin.

@Mauricio, if you're making your own you could make them rectangular and put the blade down at the end instead of in the center.
 

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7,179 Posts
Yeah, that's what I was thinking. But, ill probably get lazy and just use a 2×4 with a chisel stuck through it.
 

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11,472 Posts
Very Nice Project Indeed! Beautiful Work! Thanks For Posting!

Rick
 
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