Set of Bubinga Krenov-Style Hand Planes

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Project by Anapolis7 posted 05-31-2010 09:50 PM 6625 views 18 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finished 3 of the 4 bubinga, krenov-style hand planes I have going in my workshop. My local woodcraft offers a class on how to make these planes which i took back in february. I decided that rather than spend the money on a fancier plane, I would rather keep myself busy for a few months. I attended the class, taught by Howard Hale, at Woodcraft and made the #4 smoothing plane pictured in the front. I’ve spent the last two months making the #5 jack pictured in the middle and the jointer in the very rear. All of the plane bodies are made out of 8/4 bubinga book-matched. They use Hock blades—wow, that’s hard steel.

By far, the most challenging part for me was shaping the cross-pin. I dimensioned 1/2”x1/2” strips of bubinga and cut them to length. Then I used a plug cutter to dowel the ends and created a round over on the side that faces away from the blade.

I am still getting the hang of adjusting the depth of cut by tapping, but it’s coming along. If you are interested in making your own and are in the Dallas area, I recommend the Woodcraft class. If you are more adventurous and independent FWW #196 has an article entitled “Wood Planes Made Easy” which offers virtually identical plans to what I used to build these.

Now I just need to finish instructing my father on how to build these so I can get my matching block plane! Overall, it’s a fun project that gives me an appreciation for the precision and craftsmanship of our ancestors as well as a hearty understanding of how lucky we are to how 42” jointers and 13” planers and the like.

20 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117119 posts in 3603 days

#1 posted 05-31-2010 09:51 PM

Wonderful beautifu andl so well done

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 2966 days

#2 posted 05-31-2010 10:03 PM

Sweeeet planes and very nice photos! Nothing like making your own tools and using them! A lot of plane projects lately….I like. Hey this is your first posting! Welcome to LJ’s.

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View tinnman65's profile


1357 posts in 3440 days

#3 posted 05-31-2010 10:06 PM

Very nice work, I think the money spent on that class was well spent. I’m going to have to look for that class at the nearest Woodcraft.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View degoose's profile


7234 posts in 3380 days

#4 posted 05-31-2010 10:08 PM

Seriously fine planes.

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View mafe's profile


11730 posts in 3115 days

#5 posted 05-31-2010 10:56 PM

Beautiful planes, there must be a special pleasure using planes you made your self.

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

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3044 days

#6 posted 05-31-2010 10:58 PM

Beautiful looking planes!

Erwin Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View jcees's profile


1060 posts in 3825 days

#7 posted 05-31-2010 10:59 PM

Very nice indeed. What pitch did you use for the irons in these puppies?


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 2948 days

#8 posted 05-31-2010 11:57 PM

Very nice and functional. How about sharing one to join my babies? Joke, joke, joke.
The center pin probably better looking and easy to make if iron rod will be use. Here in the Philippines, innovatively and economically we use 4” nail and the locking wedge is bended flat bar. The blades are recycle old hacksaw blades. But I really like yours, how I wish the style here will change the way you have done..
Excellent planes,

-- Bert

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3085 days

#9 posted 06-01-2010 12:14 AM

Those are some pretty planes. I have been on a tool making kick lately. I suppose eventually, I will try to make some planes too.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View Anapolis7's profile


50 posts in 2943 days

#10 posted 06-01-2010 12:34 AM

Paul, if they offer the class, it was worth my 250.00. The article I mentioned in FWW is a good start and I’ve seen several good blog articles/walk throughs on how to do it. Once you understand the construction it’s fairly straight-forward. Best of luck!

Jc, the rear bed is at 45 and the front is 63 with a curve cut on the band saw to make it easier to clear chips. The blade pitch I’m not sure of I would guess 35-45. It is a hock blade made specifically for this style of plane. Someone else might be able to give you the exact pitch but it is near parallel, or just under, to the sole. The blades are thicker than normal and come hollow ground and fairly sharp from hock. They are sharpened with Japanese water stones. It works well but the steel is so hard you should probably block out an hour to hone the first time.

Doc, go for it! They are fun. If you look in the background on the workbench you can see the , mallet I made from bloodwood and vernidillo. You are right about the pleasure. It is hard to explain that joy to someone that hasn’t tried it.

Thanks to everyone for your compliments! I have been lurking lj for about a year and your tutorials have helped my skills and your projects have inspired me to push the envelope of my technical skill in hopes of being half as good as some of you some day! At this point vie been doing woodworking for about 5 years and I’m 27 now, so maybe there’s enough time left for me to reach the goal! If anyone has any questions, feel free to message me. I’ll do my best to help or tell you what I did, though I don’t claim to have the correct answer, just a workable so

View BarryW's profile


1015 posts in 3932 days

#11 posted 06-01-2010 12:40 AM

I made one years ago out of oak…tthese are just incredible…

-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3591 days

#12 posted 06-01-2010 12:40 AM

As everyone else has said, very nice! and Welcome.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Knothead62's profile


2584 posts in 2987 days

#13 posted 06-01-2010 12:51 AM

Very nice. The finish makes it look like something you would put in a display cabinet to be admired. My Mrs. and I went antiquing in Blue Ridge, GA today. I saw a couple of old wood planes but nothing like yours.

View Anapolis7's profile


50 posts in 2943 days

#14 posted 06-01-2010 03:53 AM

There are actually three glue lines. The cheeks on either side are 3/8” and the interior block varies depending on the size of the plane and the width of the iron being used. In terms of the seam, the bubinga that I used was quarter sawn as best as I can tell, so there shouldn’t be that much expansion or contraction, especially with the moderate climate I live in. Knock on wood (pun intended) I haven’t had a glue joint fail yet, so I very seriously doubt that it is going to start now. If you were really worried about it separating, I don’t see why you couldn’t put dowels through the block when you glue it together.

In terms of time, the smoother I did in 8 hours. This was over two nights with the help of an instructor at woodcraft. The other two probably took 2.5 months, mostly because I have been doing other things and just piddling with them when I had the time. Really the only limiting factor I can see in how quickly you could make them is the set/dry time of the glue you use. You place the plane under tension with a wooden wedge between the cross pin and the back ramp when you joint the sole. So, it might be possible to separate the joint if you didn’t allow enough time for the glue.

Just as a general note to anyone making this project, the cross pin in this design IS NOT glued in, so it can swivel to hold the wedge, it doesn’t move easily, but it will move.

Knothead, the finish is actually the Beall buffing system (EEE, white diamond, and carnuba wax) done on my lathe. Not super durable, but easy to repair or freshen up on occasion and doesn’t gum up any wood. As with most things in wood working, I am sure there are many other ways to do this and they are probably all equally valid, but for my needs it is a good balance. Also I am thinking of making another set out of fancier wood to put on display, but we will see.

Thanks again all!

View mpmitche's profile


428 posts in 3002 days

#15 posted 06-01-2010 05:15 AM

These are so very nice. I am going to check my local Woodcraft for the class as well.

-- Mike, Western New York

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