Shop made shoulder plane #1: Finally finished

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Blog entry by parkerdude posted 11-03-2009 04:27 PM 8737 reads 18 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Shop made shoulder plane series no next part

I wanted to try my hand at making hand planes, the shop needs several.

Struggling with the design concept, I bought a book “Making Traditional Wooden Planes” by John M. Whelan, it was no novel but a good source of wood plane design info. It’s worth reading if you’re researching wooden hand planes.

Trying to keep the first plane simple I decided on making a small shoulder plane in the Krenov style.

Looking around my shop I found an old 1” chisel. It is harder than heck, so I took it apart and used my Dremel tool to narrow the tang to within about an inch of the edge.

old chisel-1

old chisel-3

Having already made 1 attempt, the results weren’t as desired. I had however thicknessed the oak slabs for the infill and sides.


25 degrees was the chosen bedding angle and I cut the front and rear pieces.

fitting the infill

Using small pieces of double stick tape to hold the front and rear infills in place so I could fit the wedge.

fitting the wedge

I chose the lay-out and drilled and holes for hardwood reinforcing pegs through all three layers. I also drew up the relief cuts for the outer layers, and cut them out with my scoll saw.

glued and pegged

I used a piece of ash as the plane sole, fitted the rear portion, and glued it in place. After that dried I screwed the front in place taking this time to adjust the throat opening.


With all of the components at hand, I worked toward final fit-up. When the plane was completely assembled, I tensioned the wedge and started to flatten the front and rear portion of the sole. (Notice the change in sheen around the first inch or so near the mouth. That’s how much the plane nose flexes with the wedge tightened).

tensioning the plane

I didn’t glue the nose portion on so that I could replace it to compensate for wear. Any thinning of the plane sole will only make the mouth opening larger.

At this point the plane of technically complete, so while it was still all square I decided to add a front tote and either a provision for a rear tote or “tap button” so that hammer blows for adjustment doesn’t damage the plane body

adding a tote

Now it’s time to start smoothing the edges for comfort.

Smoothing the body

It’s almost done but I have made a few shavings with it 8-)

it's alive

Now I have to learn the feel of adjusting the blade with hammer taps 8-)

Thanks for looking guys.


-- dust control

12 comments so far

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3494 days

#1 posted 11-03-2009 04:47 PM

That is a great plane! Thanks for sharing. I just love home made tools!

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View lew's profile


12019 posts in 3724 days

#2 posted 11-03-2009 05:04 PM

Super little plane.

Neat idea using the chisel for the blade.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3303 days

#3 posted 11-03-2009 07:06 PM

Nice job. It’s very satisfying when you make a tool and it actually works. Especially a handplane. Well done and thanks for the informative blog. Looking forward to your next one.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3843 days

#4 posted 11-03-2009 07:32 PM

This is cool! I love how you used the old chisel as an iron.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Cindy's profile


14 posts in 3396 days

#5 posted 11-03-2009 08:51 PM

Really impressive. I like the simplicity and it looks like it makes very nice shavings.

-- Cindy

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3411 days

#6 posted 11-03-2009 10:59 PM

Thanks for the detailed pics. Having just made my first plane the bug has bitten. Will put this in my favorites list.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3255 days

#7 posted 11-03-2009 11:46 PM

very nice

Thanks for sharing


View helluvawreck's profile


30765 posts in 2835 days

#8 posted 08-19-2010 02:15 PM

I love handmade shop tools. This post was very interesting and you did a very good job of posting this and also have made an excellent plane. Thanks

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3303 days

#9 posted 08-20-2010 01:22 PM

I like it! Handy and very nicely made plane. I’m favoriting it for future reference. Thanks!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3084 days

#10 posted 08-20-2010 09:58 PM

nothing like a handmade tool to use
well done


View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3681 days

#11 posted 08-22-2010 05:29 AM

Thanks for writing this, it is very clear and makes me want to find an old chisel and follow in your footsteps.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Brian S's profile

Brian S

108 posts in 2562 days

#12 posted 04-22-2011 03:45 AM

That’s really nice. I think I might have to do as others have suggested and try this out for myself. Thanks for posting.

-- Brian

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