Hand Plane Swap 2015

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Project by Hammerthumb posted 08-04-2015 08:03 PM 1299 views 3 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is a handplane made for fatandy2003 for the 2015 handplane swap. Below is the letter that was included with the plane.


Here is my attempt at a wooden jack plane. It is made of Brazilian Cherry in a traditional style. Blade bed angle is 45degrees and is a little over 14” long. The main body is Brazilian Cherry with an Ipe sole on the bottom.
I made a blade from O-1 tool steel and heat treated it in a home built forge. Please notice that the blade has an “HT” stamped on one face near the top. It is an odd sized blade at 2-1/8” wide, with ¼” thick steel. I made the blade so that it is a good fit to the body and mouth opening, but due to wood movement, you might have to grind a little off the side for a good fit. I cambered the blade to about a 10” radius, but during initial sharpening it may have ended up at 11” or 12”. I sharpened it to 6000grit and then stropped with green compound.
I made the handle with a 3 piece lamination. The center lamination has grain running vertical. I would hope that it would never break as the lamination makes it real strong. The handle was mortised into the body.
I gave the plane a little test run and it seems to work fine. There is no chatter, and the Ipe sole with a little wax glides very smoothly over the wood surface. Please remember that I made this plane for roughing out material. The camber can be ground out for other uses.
The finish is Danish oil and 2 coats of paste wax. I finish almost all of the tools I make with oil and wax finish. They just feel right when holding them.

As I live in the desert, I am a little concerned with the fit of the wedge when it gets to your shop. It fits perfect right now, but I think the wood moisture content was below 5% when I made it. I recommend that you check it periodically in the first couple of weeks to see if the sole remains flat and the wedge fits. You should probably take the wedge out when not using it until it acclimates. You can re-true the sole if needs it after a few weeks also.

Please enjoy your new plane. If you have any questions or problems, please let me know.

Your LJ friend,


-- Paul, Las Vegas

17 comments so far

View AnthonyReed's profile


8614 posts in 1864 days

#1 posted 08-04-2015 08:10 PM

It’s beautiful Paul, I particularly like the sole.

-- ~Tony

View JayT's profile


4688 posts in 1635 days

#2 posted 08-04-2015 08:19 PM

Nicely done, Paul. Love the sole. It’s shape looks familiar, you’ve changed the nose, however.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View ShaneA's profile (online now)


6431 posts in 2022 days

#3 posted 08-04-2015 08:29 PM

Bravo Paul, it is classy looking. Very nicely done.

View Hammerthumb's profile


2514 posts in 1399 days

#4 posted 08-04-2015 08:33 PM

Thanks Tony. That turned out to be the hardest part of the build. The sole was assembled after the rest of the body. It made matching up the passage for the blade difficult. It was done as an afterthought and created twice as much work for me.

JayT – although the nose is different, I did put a groove on each side. They are shallow and not very noticeable in the picture. I did not mold the handle into the body like I did on yours as I was running out of time due to the process explained to Tony above. On this one I made my own blade, Yours has a blade from Rhett. I used 1/4” O-1 as I have a bunch for knife making. Never made a plane iron before. It sharpened up real well. The most similar thing between this one and yours is the way they feel when planning.

Thanks for the compliments guys.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View waho6o9's profile


7125 posts in 2001 days

#5 posted 08-04-2015 08:56 PM

That’s a beautiful plane Paul, very nice work!

View 489tad's profile


3086 posts in 2436 days

#6 posted 08-04-2015 11:21 PM

That’s a beast of a iron. I’m impressed you did the heat treating yourself. Home made forge, very cool.
The wood combo is nice. Well done!

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Tim's profile


3032 posts in 1386 days

#7 posted 08-05-2015 01:20 AM

Very nice, Paul. I agree heat treating your own iron is pretty cool.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

7735 posts in 1804 days

#8 posted 08-05-2015 03:57 AM

Nice work. I love the understated but elegant wood combination.


View john2005's profile


1741 posts in 1602 days

#9 posted 08-05-2015 04:38 AM

You have a very nice and clean way about your work. Looks great!

-- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

View fatandy2003's profile


258 posts in 1668 days

#10 posted 08-05-2015 04:38 AM

Beautiful plane and smooth in use. I am really looking forward to using this frequently in the arsenal. Thanks Paul!

-- -- Andy, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of liberty must undergo the fatigues of supporting it” - Thomas Paine

View bobasaurus's profile


2587 posts in 2608 days

#11 posted 08-05-2015 05:33 AM

I really like these planes with the wedging integral to the body instead of using a cross pin, it seems elegantly done. I’ll bet that ipe sole is hard as a rock and really smooth (did you see that weird yellow powder that ipe sometimes contains?). Your blade looks really hefty as well. I’d be curious to hear more about your home-made forge, it sounds useful.

-- Allen, Colorado

View Ken90712's profile


16864 posts in 2613 days

#12 posted 08-05-2015 08:24 AM

Very nice!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View terryR's profile


6235 posts in 1732 days

#13 posted 08-05-2015 01:40 PM

Very nice work, Paul!
The subtle wood combo is great!
I also like the absence of the cross pin.

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View CL810's profile


3405 posts in 2412 days

#14 posted 08-05-2015 03:57 PM

Great work Paul – I think I stared at the pics for about 10 minutes!

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View August McCormick Lehman III's profile

August McCormick Lehman III

1753 posts in 914 days

#15 posted 08-05-2015 04:28 PM

very nice plane there Bud,
someday i wish i can learn to make one,.
nice workmanship


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