A Roman Plane - my 21st century re-creation #4: Towards the first shaving..

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Blog entry by YorkshireStewart posted 06-08-2008 02:45 PM 4969 reads 1 time favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: bringing it all together Part 4 of A Roman Plane - my 21st century re-creation series no next part

Having finally fitted the cross-pin and riveted the end over, I could do a trial assembly of the whole plane. After polishing the iron and honing its cutting edge, I was able to set up the plane ready to see whether it was going to work!

Roman Plane 28

Roman Plane 27

With trepidation and excitement, I put a piece of oak in the bench vice, ran the plane over it and was thrilled when the first shaving emerged from the mouth of the plane. It was a little bit on the coarse side but a slight adjustment resulted in oak shavings just 5 thousandths of an inch thick. The resulting surface is very smooth, although the width of the cut is narrower than what I am used to.

Roman Plane 29

The plane felt really different to my modern ones due to its unusual hand grips. Three fingers fit into the rear grip and just two into the front one which is a little small for my big knuckles. The thick steel sole plate gives the plane a sturdy feel and the body contours are comfortable in the hand. Overall, I believe that the project has been really worth-while and the plane could certainly one that I could use in my workshop, as well as being a showpiece.


-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

23 comments so far

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4140 days

#1 posted 06-08-2008 02:57 PM

Well, it sure is pretty. The fact that it works is an extra bonus. Well done sir.

-- Working at Woodworking

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3969 days

#2 posted 06-08-2008 03:16 PM

thats awesome! well done, these posts have inspired me to now go and try to make a hand plane! thank you for that and thanks for these posts.

View bhack's profile


349 posts in 3921 days

#3 posted 06-08-2008 03:17 PM

One word comes to mins. CRAFTSMAN

-- Bill - If I knew GRANDKIDS were so much fun I would have had them first.

View Al Navas's profile

Al Navas

305 posts in 4076 days

#4 posted 06-08-2008 04:50 PM


I have been doing some research on how best to tackle a Krenov-type hand plane, separated from the Roman types by so many centuries. I am just about to the point of cutting some lumber, dimensioning it, and starting the process. Your post helps immensely – THANKS!

-- Al Navas, Country Club, MO,

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4086 days

#5 posted 06-08-2008 05:13 PM


-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4023 days

#6 posted 06-08-2008 05:26 PM


This was an informational and well documented blog series. You have taken a lot of the mystery out of constructing a hand plane for me. If I ever decide to go this route I will be using this as a reference.

Well done.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4075 days

#7 posted 06-08-2008 05:28 PM

You, sir, are an impressive craftsman. The plane is beautiful, and it works!

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 4315 days

#8 posted 06-08-2008 06:21 PM

Nicely done. I just read through your other blog entries, loved it. I haven’t ventured into metal work yet, but maybe some day.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4189 days

#9 posted 06-08-2008 06:56 PM

That’s one fantastic job, Youkie!

I bet after all that work, that you’re glad it works.

I see it resting on your velvet purple miniskirt. :-)

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View WayneC's profile


13789 posts in 4298 days

#10 posted 06-08-2008 10:45 PM

The final result is great. You should show the folks at the musem where the original is on display.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View SteveKorz's profile


2139 posts in 3915 days

#11 posted 06-08-2008 11:01 PM

Wow, that is really nice. You, Sir, are a master.

Let us know if you take it by the museum, and what they thought…

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View jcees's profile


1070 posts in 4000 days

#12 posted 06-08-2008 11:48 PM

That’s so cool! Great job. AND it works too. Schweeeeet!


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 4102 days

#13 posted 06-09-2008 08:21 PM

Thanks, one and all, for your comments.

Al Navas – Good luck with your Krenov plane. Separated by nearly 2000 years from the Roman model, but so many parallels!

Gary – Yes, it was a relief when that first shaving emerged and yes, well spotted; that’s my favourite garment at the moment :-)

WayneC & SteveKorz – Two of the curators visited me this afternoon & they were really enthusiastic about the project. We (the plane and I) could end up in the local press. 15 minutes of fame, here we come! I’ll keep you posted.

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View Karson's profile


35148 posts in 4601 days

#14 posted 06-09-2008 10:09 PM

Yorkie: A great looking plane and a user also. What more could be asked of a tool.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View SPalm's profile


5325 posts in 4083 days

#15 posted 06-10-2008 12:28 AM

Gal dang it Sir, you do some nice work. It is always such a pleasure to witness your projects.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

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