Wooden Planes #8: Checker board block plane

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Blog entry by Mark Kornell posted 04-15-2014 02:57 AM 4039 reads 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Laminated Block Part 8 of Wooden Planes series Part 9: Curly smoother »

This is a bevel-down low angle block, bedded at 37°

This one was also an exercise in lamination. Cherry and walnut, with a white oak sole.

Finish is Waterlox and wax. It darkened the cherry considerably (and the cherry has continued to darken all on its own), so the contrast isn’t what I was originally going for.

Again, the glueup was done with UF glue. While the number of pieces would have been manageable with PVA, I didn’t feel like rushing. It took 3 separate glueups to make the blank. The first glueup was alternating layers of cherry and walnut, which was then sliced into small strips. Every other strip was reversed and then the whole thing was reglued. The tricky part was to get the checkers to line up corner to corner, and get them to say put under clamping pressure. Glueing the sole on to the blank was dead easy.

Bed angle is 37 degrees, and this time I used another iron intended for an LV low-angle block but without a chipbreaker.

The plane is a bit light. Neither cherry nor walnut are very dense, and the combination in a plane meant to trim end grain doesn’t work as well as I’d like. Not enough mass, and even with a very sharp iron, tends to chatter. A double iron would have been a good idea just for the extra mass, or making the plane out of something heavy, like jatoba.

The effect where the pieces appear to elongate as the back curves is kind of neat.

The plane feels really good in the hand, but sadly, doesn’t get as much use as I’d hoped.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

5 comments so far

View ToddJB's profile


8222 posts in 2275 days

#1 posted 04-15-2014 03:14 PM

That looks like a lot of work. Beautiful exicution, Mark

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View stillkicking's profile


1 post in 2706 days

#2 posted 11-22-2014 06:43 PM

I tried a similar glue up several years ago. Mine was an attempt to mimic a patchwork quilt. It’s tedious. But it occurs to me, after looking at your plane, that having blocks of wood glued up like this might be really benefit a carving student. You can almost immediately see when you are drifting away from symmetry. Nicely done from every angle.

View Buckethead's profile


3194 posts in 2013 days

#3 posted 03-05-2015 01:42 AM

Two comments for this work of art? Holy cow!

Mark, like Todd said, a heap of work, but it paid off. Beautiful plane!

I’m perusing to get ideas for some shop made plane innards. I’ve bee working on an outline, but I’m not sure how to achieve what I want in terms of iron, wedge and mouth. I trying to get a 1/4” – 3/8 dado that holds a back panel in place within a carcass. About the same distance in from the outside edge. (Allowing for a dry, loose fit as opposed to a rabbet and screws.)

Anyhoo, mine is with a specific project in mind, and I stumbled into this. You’ve inspired me to spruce my build up a notch.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View ShaneA's profile


7035 posts in 2743 days

#4 posted 03-05-2015 02:07 AM

Oh my goodness, that is sweet.

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2675 days

#5 posted 03-05-2015 05:03 AM

Thank you, all.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

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