Hand-build Bench Plane


hand-plane-1One 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:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to-plans/woodworking/1273456

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cm/popularmechanics/images/7E/tb_lg_plans-lg-1.jpg