A few months ago I found the 1975 version of “The Fine Art of Cabinetmaking James Krenov” at a flee market. It was well worth the $5 I paid for it. I think its well worth the read. One of the chapters explained how to make a plane that I found intriguing. I have wanted to make a plane for a while, and this chapter just added fuel to the fire.
The Kenov book probably isn’t the perfect book for making your first plane though. I really liked the planes in the book, but it was’t real deep with detail. Luckily I have also read “Making and Mastering Wood Planes” by David Finck. Its the perfect companion.
I decided to use a piece of white oak. I just did some work on my table saw, and to test it had cut these blocks out of a large piece of firewood. I used wenge for the cross pins, and ash for the wedge.
Next was to decide what blade to use. I picked through the pile I had and came up with a 2” Millers Falls blade and an older cap.
I chose this one because it needs to be cut, and since this was stamped wrong, I would be cutting off the mis-stamped part anyhow.
I used the power hack saw to cut the blade and cap to about 4”.
Into the evapo-rust, then back to the wood work.
I decided to make the plane about 7” long. As James Krenov suggested, I made it 2 1/2” high.
Next I cut the groove for the cap bolt. David Finck shows how to create a jig for the process. I decided to just use the router with the fence.
James Krenov didn’t describe how to make the cross pin. David Finck has a good description however. I followed his advice with some modifications.I used the radial arm saw to rough out the ends instead of the table saw as David Finck recommended. I thought it was quicker and I didn’t need to make the jig. I believe the results would be the same. Neither book gave me a dimension of the pin. I made it 3/4×3/4.
I made the jig to cut the pins with a plug cutter. I used a drill bit to make sure it was lined up properly, and cut as directed. Then I finished the cut and cleaned it up with a knife.
Then it was off to the belt sander to shape it.
I didn’t go through the process of making the alignment pins. I marked the pieces as I laid it out and took the time and glued it up.
After putting it together and testing it, I noticed that there wasn’t enough room for the shavings to come out. I’m not sure what happened, I just knew I had to fix it. After a bit of contemplation, I grabbed a sharp chisel.
Now lets test it again.
Here it is all finished. I used BLO (boiled linseed oil). The wedge got a coat of Danish oil first. I’ve found the Danish oil makes the grain of Ash “pop” a little more.
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