Pics will be on in a few min- will edit when I’ve got em all, hang in there ;)
After making my small cherry smoother which worked great, I decided I wanted to up my game and build a more traditional styled plane. I also wanted it to be toted and have a harder wood for the sole of the plane.
I chose to use cherry again because it’s what I had and it is very beautiful. For the sole I chose purpleheart- mostly because its what I had, but its also extremely hard and it is actually quite a nice accent to cherry. The tote is bubinga but any reasonable wood works. I prefer a darker wood to hide staining if I am working with metal or whatever.
I drew up some simple plans using my other smoother as a reference just to get the proportions right and so I could make a 1:1 template for the handle. Plus I’ll have some shop art when I’m done ;)
The core of the plane is constructed just like a krenov plane, however instead of a crosspin and wedge, I glued on cheeks to make abutments like in a traditional style plane. It is quite a lot easier to build this way ( rather then chopping it from a solid block) and no special tools are required. I think that the abutments look more classy then a crosspin, and Larry Williams think they hold the wedge and blade better.
For this plane I started with the tote and then moved on to the body. Using my plans I cut the outer shape out on the bandsaw, and finished the middle up with a drill press and coping saw. After that I routed the edges with a .5 in. round-over. Some rasps and sandpaper did a fine job of further rounding and smoothing. I find the easiest way to work on totes is to clamp them in a handscrew, and clamp the handscrew in a vise. You can get much better angles and the work is at a much much better height.
So once I had the body glued up with about a 3/8 mouth due to the thick blade I will be using, I glued on the purpleheart sole. Using the bed to reference my chisel I chopped out the mouth and adjusted the wear angle.
After that you cut out the razee for the tote, and give the sides their coffin profile. A spokeshave and sandpaper make quick work of smoothing the bandsaw cuts
Next its chopping the mortise for the tote, and for the chipbreaker screw. The mortises went very quick with my new narex mortising chisels- so much more power then a bevel edge. With a little paring I managed to get a fairly tight fit.
Use the scrap cutoff from the handle to help you glue the tote in.
Making the wedge is pretty standard, just like in a krenov style other then you carve out the area in the middle for the chips to flow easier.
I put the blade and wedge in the plane aswell as a piece of paper. I used the top of the wedge to scribe the paper for the right angle for the cheeks. Cut the cheeks out of the waste from the bed and glue them in. I gave the wedge a few light taps once the clamps were on so that they fit perfectly. You can’t possibly screw up the angle this way. I’ve always had trouble fitting the wedge for traditional style planes but no more!
Plane the cheeks flush, and then pare them back towards the front of the plane so it forms a sort of trapezoid. This gives you more room to pull shavings out- and helps to prevent jamming of the plane.
Now all that’s left is to give the plane some nice chamfers and throw on some finish. The chamfers on the cheeks are called the eyes. These are a real nice detail and make it a lot more comfortable. For a finish I simple used tung oil. It really makes the bubinga pop, the cherry turned out quite nice too! I figure I will keep throwing on layers of it over the years. I figure that is what the old timers used and I see no reason to end that trend. It is a traditional style after all…
Final touches are making sure the sole is flat and give it plenty of wax. You may have to true up the bed with a mill file after a few week depending on humidity, but as long as you used a fairly dry wood you should be okay. With a sharp blade these plane like no other, and leave a surface to prove it.
Thanks for reading!