CNC Handplane #2: Plan B

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Blog entry by Matt posted 05-04-2009 04:35 PM 2549 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: CNC Handplane - Failure #1 Part 2 of CNC Handplane series no next part

After several failed attempts, I have development a new strategy for the CNC hand plane. The travel on my Z axis was making things a little too ‘tight’ for comfort and would drastically limit the flexibility in designs. This one should also allow a whole lot more of that. I’m curious to know what anyone’s thoughts might be. Please leave a comment, drop me a PM, or shoot me a mail. I would love to get some collaboration going too if anyone is interested.

Here are the initial models I’ve created.

1# The basic concept. The overall shape could be modified to suit just about anything you could imagine. The joinery for the laminations will also involve having the CNC drill holes (Visible or invisible from the outside. My/Your choice) through the layers to make assembly simple with dowels or rods. (Hole placement has not been added to these models yet) I’ve also planned to mill ‘cheeks’ to allow for more ease of alignment of the components.

2# Exploded. This is just an exploded model to show the various components that would go into creating ‘CNC Hand Plane Version 2’.

3# This is the actual model that would be imported into my CAM software to generate the toolpaths I’ll need for milling. I though about using thicker wood to limit the amount of slices but with this model, I should be able to make everything from 3/4 inch stock.

-- Matt - My Websites - - Hand Tools :: - Small Shops

5 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117127 posts in 3605 days

#1 posted 05-04-2009 04:50 PM

This looks like a real winner

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Matt's profile


181 posts in 3400 days

#2 posted 05-04-2009 05:17 PM

Thanks Jim!

I have another design that involves cutting rabbets into what would be the the bottom of some of the pieces to make sliding a hard sole (CNC milled, of course, with matching rabbet and mouth) onto the whole thing. The rabbets would also ensure everything stays put over time. With the my particular machine, I am, supposedly, accurate down to .001 – .005 inch. That’s pretty good for wood. :)

This design would probably also have applications for rabbet and shoulder planes as well.

If anyone has good pictures of the dovetail shaped openings in the top of the Japanese planes, I would like to see them. I’m pretty sure I could even incorporate those into this type of design.

We’ll see.

-- Matt - My Websites - - Hand Tools :: - Small Shops

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3470 days

#3 posted 05-05-2009 04:33 AM

Haveing just used a similar idea to made a plough plane by hand out of stack laminated plywood I can see no reason that this should not work on a CNC. you will have accurate realignment when you reassemble the block and it will also allow you to recover thinner and different species of wood makeing for interesting colour combinations. Best way to find out is “just do it ”.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View Matt's profile


181 posts in 3400 days

#4 posted 05-05-2009 01:55 PM

My thoughts exactly. I ran some test cuts last night with pine and was able to get the holes to align perfectly. I will, more than likely remove the cheeks on the outside pieces as I don’t think they are necessary. I have the model set to place 4 holes (2 on each end) in the blocks and, after glue-up, the thing should be rock solid. The beauty is I can surface the inner blocks down to a thickness that gives me the exactly sized mouth that I desire. Length is going to be limited to around 18 inches for this machine. That’s a pretty good size.

I’m still toying with the idea of rabbets on the bottom of the outside pieces to allow for sliding on a hard sole that is machined to match. Hmmm, wonder if I can pull this off with a dovetail bit in my machine? Muaaahahaha (evil scientist laugh). Pictures tonight after another run, fellas.

-- Matt - My Websites - - Hand Tools :: - Small Shops

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3952 days

#5 posted 05-06-2009 05:42 AM

I was wondering why you making these? Is it just so you can get in some practice on the CNC? I go to a lot of auctions, yard sales and what have you. There are planes of all shapes and sizes for dirt cheap. I saw one being sold in its own matching box with gold leaf embossing for $50.00 and it was like brand new, it may never have been used. But for the most part there around $5 – $20. I picked up 3 for $25.00 at a flea market in WV last summer. “Pretty cool idea though”. I am looking for someone to run a number of door panels with my own design I made in sketch up I wounder if it would be worth wile to ship them from your shop plus what you want to do the job The material is a fiber board product that I will paint. Shoot me an email if your interested.

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