Making a 37° bed BD wooden jack plane. Some questions.

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Forum topic by AESamuel posted 03-02-2018 10:55 PM 1462 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View AESamuel's profile


105 posts in 2068 days

03-02-2018 10:55 PM


Seeing the high prices for a low angle jack plane I’ve decided to make something to have the same functions: a bevel down jack plane with a bed angle of 37° and a plane iron with a 25° bevel, so the effective angle and presentation of the blade will be the same as a bevel up low angle jack. The plan is to use the plane mostly on a shooting board, but also for general jack plane usage. Before I make a start though I just have a couple of questions to those more experienced.

The design of the plane will be a laminate using a wooden dowel cross-pin to hold the wedge in place, which will then hold the blade. Will that be sufficient for holding the blade securely or should I use a metal pin and some kind of screw lever cap?

I don’t have any thick irons so I was planning on using an iron with a cap iron/chip breaker. Will the cap iron perform the same function for smoothing at a low angle? I realise it won’t really help on end grain.
Would it be better for me to buy a thick iron and do away with the cap iron?

Any other suggestions or useful tips would be appreciated too!

6 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10569 posts in 4494 days

#1 posted 03-03-2018 12:36 AM

I think lowering the bevel below 45 invites
bulging of the sole behind the mouth. That
said, I’ve seen pictures of wooden planes
with lower bevels.

Another way to make a plane for a shooting
board is to use a standard angle but skewed,
which makes a shearing cut and also lowers
the effective cutting angle.

A wedge is fine. I’ve used a steel cross-pin
before. Never used a wood one. I have
also carved out the insides to retain a wedge
and had success with that.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19697 posts in 3413 days

#2 posted 03-03-2018 12:00 PM

For traditional terminology, a jack plane is for rough work, so it would not be conducive to shooting. If you mean general smoothing that would work.

As Loren stated, as you lower the angle in a wooden plane it weakens the back of the mouth. That’s why there are not a lot of them made, and many are found broke.

Ron Breeze makes an infill with this design. I copied his design and made a couple. They worked ok, but I don’t think they work as well as a low angle.

All that said, pick a good part wood for the sole and you may be ok. Others have been successful.

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

View Derek Cohen's profile

Derek Cohen

505 posts in 4814 days

#3 posted 03-07-2018 03:26 PM

The plane is called a strike block plane. 37 degree bed, bevel down, with a 25 degree bevelled blade. Built in solid Jarrah – not a lamination. This is a very strong plane. Effortless shooter.

Do NOT build it with a dowel for a cross pin. This is a bad design (unless you do it the proper Krenov way). I have a plan and build pictorial for a strike block plane on my website:

Regards from Perth


-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at

View Andre's profile


3692 posts in 2652 days

#4 posted 03-07-2018 03:53 PM

Thanks Derek! Have thought about the same project for awhile but was concerned the wedge wouldn’t hold the iron secure enough? Wonder if the Norris Kit from Lee Valley might be an alternative, big plus you get a PMV-11 blade?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Derek Cohen's profile

Derek Cohen

505 posts in 4814 days

#5 posted 03-07-2018 04:19 PM

Better still, use a tapered blade from LV. This, with a wedge into abutments, will not loosen. That is the traditional build. Try it – every time you use it will remind you of how you pushed the envelope!

Regards from Perth


-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at

View AESamuel's profile


105 posts in 2068 days

#6 posted 03-08-2018 09:23 PM

Derek, that looks great! I’ve never tried to make the proper abutments before but thank you for the build guide, very detailed!

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