A smoothing plane for Granpa's Christmas present

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Project by Zach DeBisschop posted 01-14-2011 06:18 AM 2411 views 4 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey Guys,

This is my first project entry at LumberJocks!

I am currently attending The International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, RI. A couple of months ago we had to make a backing out plane, which (I’m sorry if an explanation isn’t needed) is a hand plane with a convex sole. This plane is made so that we can back out the planks of a boat and put a concave surface on the back of it so that it fits on the frames correctly.

During the process of making the plane, I found that I had a new passion for plane-making. I went a little overboard with the backing out plane and it is now the most customized plane out of the 19 new planes in the shop! The plane has a dovetailed handle on the back of it, unfortunately I don’t have a picture of it.

The pictures you’re seeing now are pictures of a plane that I made for my Grandfather as a Christmas present. Woodworking runs in the family and I thought this would make a great gift for him. The body of the plane is Marble wood, some hard stuff, they beat my Lie-Nielsen Chisels up! The handle, Nob, and wedge are made of a wood that I had never heard of before deciding to put it in the plane, Quina. I encountered a lot of tear out with the Quina. The plane cuts well, having an eighth inch slot, and a Lie-Nielsen blade. I wanted an antique English blade but did not have the time to go searching for one.

The plane took me about 25 hours to make and I loved every second of it! My Granpa’s face lit up when he saw it which made all of the hard work more than worth it.

This only being the 3rd hand plane that I have made, I’d love as much feedback and suggestions as I can get!

Thanks Guys

-- Zach

18 comments so far

View B13's profile


463 posts in 2690 days

#1 posted 01-14-2011 06:31 AM

Well worth the time I say. I like the handle suggestive of a whale tail. do you have plans for making both planes? thanks!

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3056 days

#2 posted 01-14-2011 08:36 AM

That is a pretty cool design. Is that your own creation or did you pattern it after a

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

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3112 days

#3 posted 01-14-2011 10:41 AM

I don´t think you need surgestion …lol
its a cool looking plane and a great gift too
nice pictur´s :-)

and welcome to L J enjoy and have fun while you learn and share :-)

take care

View mafe's profile


11725 posts in 3086 days

#4 posted 01-14-2011 11:14 AM

That is one beautiful plane. Love your handles, are they also comfortable? I can see the deeper sport befor the front tote makes it a wonderful spot for the side of the hand.
If I was your grandfater, I would be a sun by now.
Relly wonderful work you have done, dont stop this.
Best thoughts and welcome here,

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

View Schwieb's profile


1857 posts in 3458 days

#5 posted 01-14-2011 02:21 PM

Beautiful plane! I’m betting Grandpa is real proud to have it and say it was handmade by his Grandson. I know I would be. I can appreciate the specific function of the backing out plane. I have been building a wood strip kayak and a small version of this would have helped with fairing out the inside of the hull and deck.

You’ll enjoy this site. There are a number of boatwrights hanging out here that do some really amazing work.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2778 days

#6 posted 01-14-2011 02:22 PM

Beauty !
And welcome aboard matey !

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View jcees's profile


1058 posts in 3796 days

#7 posted 01-14-2011 02:35 PM

Gorgeous design and execution, mon ami. Nice photos too.


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

View Zach DeBisschop 's profile

Zach DeBisschop

22 posts in 2687 days

#8 posted 01-14-2011 03:24 PM

Thanks Guys, I appreciate it, I did make this plane off of my own design; and after I made it my Grandfather suggested that I make patterns for it the next time I try something like this so it becomes a little easier, made a lot of sense! I do have plans for the backing out plane, which is a pretty universal design and can be used not just for the backing out plane. I will send the pattern to whoever wants it.
The planes are really very comfortable, the handle on this plane is incredible, my thumb fit right under the nob with my index finger on the lip of the nob on the other side, very nice.
The backing out plane was not very comfortable before I customized it, but now its very comfortable, Ill have pics up soon

-- Zach

View JasonD's profile


180 posts in 2859 days

#9 posted 01-14-2011 03:50 PM

Beautiful plane and by the looks of those nice curly shavings, I’d say it does it’s job very well!

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2885 days

#10 posted 01-14-2011 04:51 PM

That tote looks like it has relatives in the saw till, right? Looks real comfy to use.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Bertha's profile


13528 posts in 2690 days

#11 posted 01-14-2011 05:09 PM

It’s gorgeous and clearly made by a boat lover with it’s Viking front post. Welcome to the disease!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 2937 days

#12 posted 01-14-2011 09:31 PM

She’s a beauty! Interesting handles, very original. That slick is pretty nice too! And the photos are great man.

Welcome to LJ’s from another plane lover and ex boatbuilder!

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

View wood_maestro's profile


134 posts in 2690 days

#13 posted 01-15-2011 12:13 AM

beautiful plane and what a gift. what i want to know is: why nobody gives me a gift like that!!!!!

-- wood maestro....... Be Well, Do good work, and Stay in touch

View aurora's profile


229 posts in 3249 days

#14 posted 01-15-2011 02:25 AM

the lines and the wood speaks to me ! a wonderful gift that will bring much happiness.

View swirt's profile


2736 posts in 2969 days

#15 posted 01-15-2011 06:13 AM

Fantastic work on the plane! (I like the folding handle drawknife too).

-- Galootish log blog,

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