Building handplanes #1: Adjustable compass plough plane

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Blog entry by toolchap posted 09-28-2011 11:29 AM 4958 reads 5 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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A while back I mentioned a commission for a circular plough plane similar to the Falconer plane. The client wanted it to look as close as possible to the original. Now research only brought 5 photographs to light and armed with these, I had to start delving into the mind of the designer and how to overcome the myriad of problems this plane presented.

To be frank, I would rather rebuild a Stanley 55 in bronze than this little beauty with its problem plethora. After many weeks I am finally ready to start the finishing of components and the assembly.

I have showed the plane in component parts for those of you who are interested.

8 comments so far

View Bluepine38's profile


3393 posts in 4334 days

#1 posted 09-28-2011 04:38 PM

You definitely have my interest and curiousity factor climbing. I had to go look at the original Falconer plane
to find out what you were talking about. I notice that it sold for a record price (large enough that they dare
not mention it) and hope you will be amply rewarded for this technical and artistic prototype. Since his was
made in 1846 and Stanley never even tried to make one, I can see why you might have had some design
problems. Please show this in its finished state. Thank you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 82 yr young apprentice carpenter

View toolchap's profile


150 posts in 4169 days

#2 posted 09-28-2011 04:47 PM

Hello there Gus. For the record: As far as I know it sold for US$ 22 500-00 in 1999. Mine is probably about a week or so from finished and one of those projects that having been done, does not want to be repeated.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4364 days

#3 posted 09-28-2011 10:55 PM

now that is an interressting project :-)
count me in to read a toturial picturebook on how you did build it
and what you troubbles you had :-)
thank´s for sharing
looking forward to the next installment :-)


View Bertha's profile


13624 posts in 3942 days

#4 posted 09-28-2011 10:57 PM

Holy Moly. Subscribed. How’d you come across the sole mechanism? Is that a homebrew?

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View toolchap's profile


150 posts in 4169 days

#5 posted 09-29-2011 06:05 AM

Barring the depth-stop screw I had to make everything myself. Bert, the funny mechanism is actually the fence, it adjusts its radius to suit the side of a workpiece.

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 4247 days

#6 posted 10-04-2011 07:18 PM


Are the hinges rolled from the fence material or soldered/brazed on?

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View toolchap's profile


150 posts in 4169 days

#7 posted 10-04-2011 09:56 PM

I tried rolling David, it did not come as crisply as I needed so I resorted to turning and silver-soldering and just tempered the ends. The fence was made from an old Mathieson saw-blade.

View minitool's profile


7 posts in 3661 days

#8 posted 10-19-2011 04:15 AM

I have had two aborted starts on a 40% scale Falconer plane, even though I have a full-scale copy of a Falconer done several years ago by Bob Baker (unfortunately left us early this year) that I use as my pattern. My challenge will also be the fence couplings, complicated by finding an appropriate piece of steel for the fence at a 40% scale. Your project looks great so far! I’ll continue to watch the progress. Good luck!

-- John's miniature woodworking tools

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