One of the projects that I have been thinking about it a hand-build wood hand plane. I have a couple planes that I love but they are small and not appropriate for squaring large pieces of timber. I wanted to get a jointer or jack plane for this but the cost is simply not in my budget. Then I found some plans for building 3 wood planes on the Popular Mechanics site. With this, I think I might be able to get somewhere.
About a month ago, I was trolling in the local WoodCraft store and found a piece of Poplar that is 2x3x20 in the scrap bin. I thought that this might be a good starter piece with a separate sole, and some sides, I can make this work.
Now, I just heard someone groan. Yeah, its poplar… maybe not the first choice but was going to build it with pine. I generally like to build a prototype out of something cheap or reclaimed so that there isn’t the fear of jacking up a $40 piece of timber. It cost me $5. Prototype started.
Days later, I was trolling through Home Depot and found 1/4x3x24 timbers of Red Oak. Looks like I found my sole (finally) and my sides. While I was there, I picked up a couple cheap plane irons so that I had a close approximation to what the size of the iron will be. Later, I will discuss my choices for materials for the real thing. Oak planks were $15 for three.
I next picked up a 1/4″ piece of steel for the wedge cross-pin. $2 for 36″ rod.
Sunday night, I laminated one of the red oak planks to the poplar body and clamped. Sorry, but I don’t have any pictures of that but thats not really interesting. Then last night I unclamped and cut off the excess red oak from around the poplar and began planing the sides. There’s something fundamentally ironic about planing a plane.
That is where I ended up last night. This weekend, I hope to get in a couple hours so that I can cut the body, fit the iron, and get the sides glued to the body. Maybe I will have enough time to gift this to myself for Christmas. Maybe.
Here’s the link to the site and plans that I am referencing: