First handplane

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Project by schwingding posted 12-16-2007 12:09 AM 2090 views 4 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
First handplane
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I decided to make a handplane – actually I decided to make a lot of them this is just the first one. I made it out of a wood probably not suitable for plane making – mahogany. I don’t mind as this was just a trial run and it was nice working with such a workable species. Plus, I have tons of 12/4 mahogany on hand.

I made lots of goofs – the throat is nearly 1/8” with the blade inserted. (Houck, btw). I know what I did wrong for next time. Also, I left too much space for the blade’s horizontal width, but it will register against one side nicely. I also think the metal rod is too near the top – all things I can easily adjust. The plane is about 12” long.

I’m going to make another, better, similar one for my Dad for Christmas out of bubinga I think. Comments and suggestions welcome!

-- Just another woodworker

16 comments so far

View rpmurphy509's profile


288 posts in 4003 days

#1 posted 12-16-2007 12:16 AM

Excellent first (or twentieth) attempt on a hand plane!

You can use any wood for the body of the plane, usually with
no problems with actual use. The sole is the area that’ll wear quickly.
You could easily plane the sole down a bit and add a harder species.
That would also tighten up the throat a bit for you.

-- Still learning everything

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4111 days

#2 posted 12-16-2007 12:50 AM

That is a very racy shape for a plane. It will be interesting to see how it holds up to hard work. Just a thought; I believe the reason that wooden planes have always been thick and wide is to maintain flatness through changes of humidity. A thick board does not change as much(flatness wise) as a thin one. I use Jarrah for the sole of my planes because it is hard and it will get really slick with wax. It also adds the stablity of a lamination. You could fix the throat by adding a 1/4 inch thick sole and re-cutting the throat. Mahogany would work just fine. I use 3/8 brass rod on my planes and when it is inserted, I take it to the anvil and center punch each end. This swells the brass a little and anchors it in the hole. Try to start the throat with the iron touching the front edge of the throat opening. Then open the throat until the iron will just clear. You can add shims to the side of the blade to tighten up that area. Keep it up. We will look forward to the next one.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Harold's profile


310 posts in 3996 days

#3 posted 12-16-2007 01:14 AM

It is a neat shape, now your fingers won’t drag will they? my fingers are alittle sensitive today from the belt sander yesterday, so maybe i’m just being overly cautious.

-- If knowledge is not shared, it is forgotten.

View schwingding's profile


133 posts in 3974 days

#4 posted 12-16-2007 01:20 AM

Thanks guys. Appreciate the insight and suggestions.

I don’t think plane will get used actually. I wouldn’t have made this shape for use, rather it’ll sit on my shelf and just look pretty, and if someone happens to grab it and draw a shaving, so be it!

-- Just another woodworker

View WayneC's profile


13775 posts in 4246 days

#5 posted 12-16-2007 01:46 AM

The form is appealing. Hopefully it will not find too much time on the shelf.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View bryano's profile


546 posts in 4082 days

#6 posted 12-16-2007 03:25 AM

keep posting your progres with the plane building, Im interested in making one myself.

-- bryano

View GaryCN's profile


341 posts in 4083 days

#7 posted 12-16-2007 03:29 AM

I have quite a few made by my grandfather, he worked for Fisher Body
as an auto body modeler in the 1950’s
a few are in this image
homemade planes

-- Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

View RobG's profile


71 posts in 3971 days

#8 posted 12-16-2007 04:05 AM

Great job! This practice of plane making is an addictive one. So I wll look forward to seeing a few more of these. One of the kids thinks it looks like it came from a Dr. Seuss book!!

-- Woodworking is Life. Anything before or after is just waiting.--S. McQueen sort of

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4215 days

#9 posted 12-16-2007 06:02 AM

That’s a nice plane. I’m anxious to see you progress as you make more.

Gary – that’s quite a collection of beautiful planes that your Granddad made. I sure hope that you use them.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Karson's profile


35134 posts in 4549 days

#10 posted 12-16-2007 06:42 AM

Great model plane, and if it becomes a user then even better. But you better make shavings so you will know what works and what doesn’t work.

Sitting on the shelf gives you skills in making it, but not making it better.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14178 posts in 4132 days

#11 posted 12-16-2007 08:37 AM

very cool shape !

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4023 days

#12 posted 12-16-2007 11:08 AM

I like it. Just glue a shoe of a harder wood on the bottom.

View Alin Dobra's profile

Alin Dobra

351 posts in 4037 days

#13 posted 12-16-2007 06:28 PM


If I would get a plane like that I would promptly display it and show it to all my friends (it seems that this was your original purpose). I do not think the plane would be particularly convenient to use but I think wood planes in general are not convenient enough compared to modern metal planes (my opinion of course).

If looked at as an artistic object, I really like the end result and, especially for a man, it is a great gift. The fact that it could be used adds a lot of charm to the work but, at the same time, it is a nice display item that involves a great amount of skill to build and looks unusual. I think you should continue to explore this direction since interesting things are bound to result from it.

Oh, and please continue to write the sanding blog.


-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

View SPalm's profile


5322 posts in 4031 days

#14 posted 12-16-2007 11:45 PM

Beautiful. I would think I would want something more to grab on to, maybe more of a knob in the front, but that is really cool. Nice photo too.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4027 posts in 4213 days

#15 posted 12-17-2007 12:46 AM

Looks a little like the roman plane example that Yorkshire Stewart posted awhile back. Looks good!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

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