The 30 minutes MaFe chisel plane.
It gets short for all of us one day…
I have seen plenty of different versions of the so called ‘chisel plane’, and all had the same problem for me – they simply took too long, and was too complex to make compared to then just making a real hand plane right off.
Why make a chisel plane?
1. I can’t afford different – that is a good idea then to make one.
2. I have a hand plane but could use a ‘plane’ for cleaning up rabbets, creating a quick and dirty helper – fine choice.
3. I want to make serious woodworking and need a shoulder plane – bad choice, bud or buy a shoulder plane.
4. I’m a child and just have to try – it’s you MaFe.
So When I finished my shoulder plane I was in the mood to give it a go, since I had a piece of scrap wood on the table.
I decided it should be a plane you could construct on site with simple tools and should be done fast! 15-20 minutes.
We can call it the emergency chisel, shoulder, rabbet, router, scrub and even smoothing plane…
Big words yes!
But it actually is possible, so next time you forgot one of the above and you are long away from home, try to remember this:
So lay your chisel on top of a block of wood, it should be as flat and square as possible.
Mark the width of the chisel on top.
On the side now make a 45 degree angle, lay your chisel on top and draw this line.
Make a third line for the wedge, this one should be with an 8-10 degree angle, not to high.
Mark where you will drill a hole for getting the shaves out. If you don’t have a big drill you can use a jig saw to cut the round hole.
I also marked for the front and end of the block with a compass to give it a nice feel.
Mark up carefully.
Here you can see where the mouth of the plane will be.
Drill or saw a hole.
If you have a table saw set it for the size of the chisel.
And cut 45 degrees, this can be done just as well with a handsaw.
Here we are, step one a fit with the chisel.
Now with a saw cut out for the wedge, but only at the top part of the plane body, we want a tight mouth after.
Time for a wedge.
You can use any wood.
Cut it in length.
Take the chip you cleaned out and use to see the angle.
Cut up with any saw you wish.
Shape if you want.
Shape the wedge.
A good rounding near the mouth makes it easy for the shaves to not get stocked.
Now put it together, adjust the parts, and open the mouth as much as needed.
Look at the wood in the back, quite rough yes?
And after a little shaving with this primitive hand plane.
Nice curly shaves.
KISS – keep it simple stupid! Laugh.
You can make one like this and throw it in your tool box, then you have every plane you need when you need it…
You can always shape the sole of the plane, so it can be made with a smaller chisel size as a rabbet plane, plough, or whatever.
And I will say it clear: THIS IS NOT A REPLACEMENT FOR ANY TOOLS, perhaps an EMERGENCY EXIT.
But my ohh it was fun to make it, and now I know I will never be lost without a plane as long as I have a chisel.
I just spoke to my 85 years old grandmother who told me my grandfather’s biggest wish as a boy was to become a carpenter, so who knows there might be a little wood in my blood.
Links on the subject:
An old book tells the story:
A man in a garage:
And one that take it to the higher level:
Best thoughts to all of you,
-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.