Small router plane tutorial
another of my tool making journeys
I have a Stanley and a Record router plane, but sometimes it would be wonderful with a small router plane, I have been looking at the Veritas small router plane, but thought it could be fun to make my own, so when I purchased some stuff from Lee Valley I also ordered a 9,5 dollar Veritas blade for their small router. This little blade has then been resting in my plane cabinet until I had the right idea for a design, at first I just wanted to scale down an old Scandinavian wood router plane, but decided the handles would be too small once scaled down, so at the end I made a design that held several opportunities.
And it came!
Here are my version of a small router plane.
First some sketching of the ideas on my head, I wanted to keep the base simple, and give the handles the character.
So here we are ready to go.
Drawing, a piece of wood from an old hardwood table (I love recycle), a knurled brass bolt and a threaded insert.
Oh yes and the 9,5 dollar Veritas blade, if this is too expensive you can use a hex key to make your own.
(As you can see on the wood I first thought of using the old wood router shape, but thought this would give me a too small grip ).
Drilling holes for center opening.
Using a file to finish the opening.
Marking for the blade rod hole.
Drilling the hole.
Cutting a slice for the blade to go into, so the blade can be elevated up into the plane and be used from zero to full rod deepness. (Using my homemade mallet and it is a pleasure to use, even with my not so beautiful Bahco chisels, but I do dream of the Ashley Iles chisels.).
Flat on the table.
You can see how it goes up into the plane body.
Drilling for the threaded insert.
Mounting it, while I shake the camera…
Determining the length of the knurled brass bolt.
This is not really rocket science is it?
Flattening the back.
Christopher Schwartz would be happy…
Basically no reason to do more now!
This is a fully functional router plane.
But time to design and improve.
Cutting the front in angel.
Like this I will have a better view into what I cut.
Now for the sides.
This is done to give a good angel for gripping the handles I will make.
And I think also it fits my design.
Now we are closer to the drawing.
Again we could stop here, but we will continue.
An old hard wood table leg (more recycle).
Cut of two pieces.
Time to spin the lathe (Div you will spin the drill press).
And this is how I like it!
The finish is sand paper grid 120 – 1000 – linseed oil – compound – polish – antique wax.
Time for some shaping of the body.
And the same finish as the handles will happen.
Here we are, with that nice body!
I also made a set of small handles, this for two reasons; I wanted to be able to use it in narrow spaces and I had an old dream that I will get back to.
To find the right spot for the handles I put a little nail in the end of a knob, and then cut it so only a little part was sticking out as a marking point.
Then it was just to push when I had the perfect spot, and little marks were left.
Using an awl to mark them deeper for controlling the drilling.
If you only make one set of handles you can use a screw to fix them, but since I now wanted changeable handles I needed to add threaded inserts for the handle mounts.
So I drilled large holes to fit threaded inserts.
And shit happens…
The wood made tear out when I was trying to make a nice edge…
Now mounting the threaded inserts, I used the drill press to hold them straight and then turned the drill around slow by hand.
(As you can see I have made a little tool for this, it’s a threaded rod with a fixed stop).
After they were mounted I used plastic wood to make a nice fix of my tear.
The bolts and tape are so no plastic wood would get into the threaded insert.
Time to drill holes in the handles.
Making a thread in the handles.
Epoxy glue in the hole.
Screw in a bolt, or a piece of threaded rod (I had none in the right size).
Status, now time to clean up the mess from the plastic wood.
Cut of the bolt head.
And the MaFe small router plane is born.
Look how wonderful the knobs turned out, they are such a pleasure to hold.
A place in the wooden planes cabinet.
Ok what happens MaFe?
With the mini handles the plane can be stored and transported in an Altoids box.
Just for the fun of it, and because I wanted to follow the Altoids stream with my version.
Her ready to use, in the palm of my hand.
Link for Veritas small router plane:
Lee Valley: http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?p=57677&cat=1,41182
I hope this could inspire others to make their own router planes, to me this was a fun journey in my tool making world,
-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.