Viking Plane.

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Project by RusticJohn posted 04-01-2015 10:19 PM 1752 views 2 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Still making planes. This is my version of a Viking plane shown by Robin Wood on the Internet. It is somewhat similar to his but, as is my way, I couldn’t help putting some ornate touches in. I also made the blade with the help of a mate.

Oak from a piano was used for the body and wedge. When I got the wood it had a beautiful figured grain on the surface. Much to my surprise this turned out to be an oak veneer on oak. Fortunately the underlying wood was quite attractive and very heavy. Must have been a very slow growing tree originally. The blade is made from O1 steel with all the usual heat treatment. The construction was a bit of a mission as I departed from my usual Krenov method and went for a more traditional hollowed our approach, albeit with two halves of wood. The design is partly based on the original version and partly on my ideas about what a Viking woodworker might traditionally incorporate into the plane.

It is not the most comfortable plane to use as the raised tail and the bent back blade jam the hand into an uncomfortable holding position. However it does cut well and will make an interesting demonstration tool. I did have to do quite a bit of tuning to get it to cut well. In the beginning the shavings jammed badly and a lotl of adjustment to the throat and wedge was require to get a good clearing process.

The plane was made so I could have an understanding of the way a Viking could use and feel the plane. I was reaching back through the centuries to see if I could reproduce the experience of an ancient craftsman. Probably won’t make another like this but might try a Roman or medieval European one.

-- RusticJohn

15 comments so far

View mafe's profile


11061 posts in 2506 days

#1 posted 04-01-2015 11:19 PM

I love it.
Really fine work on that plane.
It is on my to do list, but need a place to forge a blade…
As a Dane I think I have to make one sooner or later, after all I have Viking in my blood.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View icemanhank's profile


288 posts in 1573 days

#2 posted 04-02-2015 12:05 AM

Fantastic John a real gem.

Regards David

-- "These are my principles. And if you don't like them, I have others." ... Cheers, David from Sydney Australia

View doubleDD's profile (online now)


5049 posts in 1460 days

#3 posted 04-02-2015 12:44 AM

Absolutely love it.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View kiefer's profile


4873 posts in 2084 days

#4 posted 04-02-2015 02:28 AM

That is a plane to behold and I would love to know more about the making of it .
Love the carving and general shape but the iron is like the crown .


-- Kiefer

View RusticJohn's profile


216 posts in 3008 days

#5 posted 04-02-2015 04:43 AM

Thank you all for the comments. There was nothing special about the way the plane was made. Basically two halves with the throat cut out before they were glued together. Its easier than trying to do it in one solid piece. Besides my wood wasn’t thick enough so had to be laminated anyway. Then fitted the blade and wedge, played with the sole, throat and wedge shapes until I got a good cutting action and flow of the shavings. Then shaped and carved the body. I forgot to mention that I also hollowed the sole in the manner of Japanese planes and chamfered the sides. The only tricky bit was the carving of the knot patterns. I have never done one before and found that maintaining consistency with the curves was harder than I had anticipated.

-- RusticJohn

View Phil277's profile


163 posts in 1740 days

#6 posted 04-02-2015 12:10 PM

Very well done.


View madts's profile


1661 posts in 1757 days

#7 posted 04-02-2015 02:10 PM

Wonderful plane. I see that you runer cut into the side. That is cool.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1167 posts in 1130 days

#8 posted 04-02-2015 02:12 PM

Think that my forefathers would have loved it!
The planes they use here just a few km away from my home has a longer “tail” to allow for a better grip. Tryed theirs and it is a pleasure to hold and use.
Like your work and think that it looks lige a great plane. Allso apreciate that you made your own iron. Lovely!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View crossfacecraddle's profile


131 posts in 1028 days

#9 posted 04-02-2015 02:18 PM

Fancy Shmansy! I love this plane

-- i love the smell of sawdust in the morning, it smells like victory. John

View Mauricio's profile


7115 posts in 2568 days

#10 posted 04-02-2015 03:55 PM

I love it!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View mcoyfrog's profile


3800 posts in 3011 days

#11 posted 04-02-2015 05:57 PM

WOW thats kewl

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View RusticJohn's profile


216 posts in 3008 days

#12 posted 04-02-2015 07:40 PM

Thank you all for the comments.

-- RusticJohn

View Bmwood's profile


15 posts in 1513 days

#13 posted 04-02-2015 09:45 PM

i can’t wait to see it in person at the shed!

View siavosh's profile


674 posts in 1288 days

#14 posted 04-02-2015 10:12 PM

For some reason, I want to travel in time, grow a beard, and sale the Norwegian coast. Nice work!

-- -- Discover the most interesting woodworking blogs from around the world

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16763 posts in 2522 days

#15 posted 04-03-2015 12:49 AM

Great ornate tool. You’ll be proud to push that one along!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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