1 1/4" Shoulder Plane with adjustable mouth

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Project by Mark Kornell posted 08-06-2015 06:11 AM 3749 views 9 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this shoulder plane for the 2015 shop tool swap to send to shipwright.

The body of the plane was sapele with an ipe sole. The wedge is cherry.

Iron is a Lee Valley O1 iron for their 1 1/4” shoulder plane. The plane is bedded at 35°

The finish is polymerized tung oil and wax.

The purpose for the adjustable mouth was two-fold. First, it allows fine-tuning the cut. Second, it allows the iron to be used in bevel-down or bevel-up configuration. With the iron bevel-down, the cut angle is 35°. In bevel-up configuration, the cutting angle would be around 60°, depending on the bevel angle of the iron.

The plane was made using the sandwich method. That is, I made up a wide blank, then cut off the two sides for the plane. Then I cut out the internal cavity (for an 11° wedge) and a flat for the base of the knob and glued the whole thing back together. The adjustable front piece was shaped separately from a cutoff from the initial blank.

The most challenging part was the adjustable mouth. The groove in the main part of the plane and the tongue on the moving part both need to be shaped precisely to match each other. It isn’t terribly difficult woodworking, just needs some patience to sneak up on the perfect fit.

The reeding detail was shaped with a Lie-Nielsen beading tool with the curved fence. It is a marvelous tool to do this type of detail work, but shaping the reed along outside curves takes a bit of practise.

I made a duplicate of this plane to keep for myself. It isn’t quite complete, just need to do the final shaping and finishing.

For the photograpy buffs – yes, I know my F-stop was wrong :-)

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

21 comments so far

View bobasaurus's profile


3525 posts in 3267 days

#1 posted 08-06-2015 07:12 AM

That is an incredible plane. I love the curves of the design, scratched grooves, and fancy wedge. Your adjustable mouth design is clever, too.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Ken90712's profile


17566 posts in 3272 days

#2 posted 08-06-2015 09:02 AM

A real beauty, very nice. I’m sure he will love it.

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

View Garageworkshop1's profile


23 posts in 1130 days

#3 posted 08-06-2015 10:02 AM

Looks great!

View Don W's profile

Don W

18877 posts in 2651 days

#4 posted 08-06-2015 10:10 AM

Excellent work Mark.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2864 days

#5 posted 08-06-2015 11:30 AM

Very nice Mark !

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View 489tad's profile


3388 posts in 3095 days

#6 posted 08-06-2015 12:55 PM

Mark that plane is fantastic. Your attention to detail is great. I love the tear drop mouth and how you chamfered the plane. Very well done.

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

View terryR's profile


7248 posts in 2392 days

#7 posted 08-06-2015 01:33 PM

Wow! What a great plane, Mark!
Love the shape and adjustable mouth.

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

View Hammerthumb's profile


2877 posts in 2059 days

#8 posted 08-06-2015 01:37 PM

That’s such a cool idea on the ability to use it in bevel up or down configurations. As always, another nice tool Mark!

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View john2005's profile


1768 posts in 2261 days

#9 posted 08-06-2015 01:42 PM

Excellent work Mark! Love the wood selection. Definitely draws you to it. The adjustable mouth was a great idea too. I never would have thought of that on a shoulder plane but I see the advantage. Great work!

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

View The2CarGarageShop's profile


18 posts in 1495 days

#10 posted 08-06-2015 01:44 PM

Very nice – hand planes have such potential to be beautiful as well as functional


View waho6o9's profile


8293 posts in 2660 days

#11 posted 08-06-2015 02:02 PM

Nice style and proportions plus it looks comfortable as can be.,

Excellent work Mark!

View shipwright's profile (online now)


8031 posts in 2881 days

#12 posted 08-06-2015 02:18 PM

Thanks again Mark. It is even finer in person.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Tim's profile


3812 posts in 2045 days

#13 posted 08-06-2015 04:52 PM

Adjustable mouth and the curved beading are a nice touch. Impressive as always.

View tyvekboy's profile


1783 posts in 3096 days

#14 posted 08-06-2015 05:22 PM

Looking Good.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View JSOvens's profile


78 posts in 1740 days

#15 posted 08-06-2015 08:28 PM

The adjustable mouth slider is almost seamless with the plane body – I couldn’t even see it in many of the photos.

-- Jeffrey S. Ovens, Canada

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