My new handplane--inspiration from WOOD, innovation by me

  • Advertise with us
Project by Anapolis7 posted 05-10-2012 11:30 AM 4640 views 12 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So, if you have looked at my past projects, you know that I have built a full set of Krenov style handplanes. Within the last year, my father and I have completed the building of our first workbench(more him than me, I want him to post it). However, my past planes, though sharper than I want to think about, didn’t cut or adjust well.

One day I found myself at Woodcraft buying one of everything and decided that it was time to buy David Finck’s book on Krenov planes. BEST $25 I HAVE SPENT IN YEARS!!! I’m not going to lie to you and say that it’s exciting reading, but it is so informative that I think anyone interested in wooden planes should read it.

The project that you see below is my version of the WOOD magazine “Smoothing Plane” that they published last year. It’s made of Coccobolo, Bloodwood, and some random veneers that I had lying about the shop. It’s sexy to look at, though I will admit, I didn’t devote the effort to removing all the flaws that I would on a piece of furniture. It feels great!

Having said all of that, I “improved” upon the original plans a little bit and I need some advice from more experienced builders. I cut this plane to be bedded at “York Pitch” (50) rather than the standard pitch that the plans called for. I didn’t really consider that this was going to effect the depth of the wedge or the location of the cross pin, so I put those in the same place. Please note, this plane has a crumby “Buck Bros” blade in it from Home Depot. Others had success with it, but I loathe the thing. After using Hock irons in my others, I’m spoiled.

My main problem is there is A LOT of chatter. I can tell the blade is flexing in the cut because the finish is rippled. With the position of the cross pin, I can’t drop in a hock blade, and certainly not with a chip breaker without some heavy modifications. So I am looking for suggestions on what to do to support the blade better. The wedge stops pretty high and I can’t get it lower without making it more of a flat piece of wood than wedge.

Advice is appreciated.

I have considered getting a piece of brass and trying to make a combo chip breaker wedge. Basically it would be like on a veritas plane where you turn the screw to tight the blade in. I could use a 1/4” piece of brass sharpened like a chip breaker that fits over the iron, goes under the cross pin, and then has a tapped hole at the top that allows me to tighten a bolt to put pressure on the blade.

Thanks for looking and thank you for any suggestions you may have!!!!


19 comments so far

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4611 days

#1 posted 05-10-2012 11:45 AM

It’s as pretty a piece of sculpture as it is a plane, well done.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View IndianJoe's profile


425 posts in 2455 days

#2 posted 05-10-2012 12:49 PM

I love the looks of your plane’s as for giving you help I don’t know that much about hand plane’s to help

-- Nimkee** Joe

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3265 days

#3 posted 05-10-2012 01:56 PM

That is some seriously wicked grain on the wood on the sides. What is that wood? Very pretty.

I’m not an experienced builder of wooden planes, but from what you are describing, your problem with the wedge is due to the fact that by using the steeper York Pitch effectively made the bed for the iron closer to the pin. Your idea to use a brass cap iron is a pretty good idea. I had a small plane that had that type of cap iron and it worked well. Otherwise, the only thing that come to my mind would be to knock out the pin and redrill and move it a little closer to the front of the plane.


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

View BenjamenJohnson's profile


21 posts in 2463 days

#4 posted 05-10-2012 02:36 PM

Beautiful. Too bad it’s not working right for you. I’m not a plane expert, but the difference in irons can be night and day. For high quality plane like that I’d see if I could buy a Hock iron to fit it.

-- Benjamen Johnson, Burbs of Minneapolis

View zwwizard's profile


210 posts in 3915 days

#5 posted 05-10-2012 03:05 PM

can you thin down the wedge and let it move further down on the blade? It would give you more support to the cutting edge of the blade. Or bit the bullet and move the pin and use a thicker blade, Either a Hock or make your own out of some 0-1. Learning to make your own will open up all kinds of ideas of new planes. And its easy.

-- Richard

View Don W's profile

Don W

19018 posts in 2773 days

#6 posted 05-10-2012 04:44 PM

I agree with Richard. Get the wedge lower. Either build a longer wedge, or thin the existing one to get it lower.

Oh, and great looking plane!!

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

View gavinzagreb's profile


210 posts in 2525 days

#7 posted 05-10-2012 05:00 PM

It looks great, but I have always wondered if a show pony can also be a work horse.

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 3231 days

#8 posted 05-10-2012 05:19 PM

I agree with the sculpture atribute. It looks like a formula 1 plane..

-- Dreaming patterns

View bondogaposis's profile


5098 posts in 2557 days

#9 posted 05-10-2012 06:48 PM

I agree with the others, thin up the wedge before you try anything else. It looks from the pictures that you have some wood to work with on that wedge. I also freely admit that I have never built a hand plane, so what do I know. It is a nice looking plane and would be worth some work to get it functional.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View MacSteveT's profile


55 posts in 2899 days

#10 posted 05-10-2012 09:01 PM

How is the throat set? With a steep angle, an incorrectly spaced throat might cause chatter. Just a thought. Plane looks AMAZING – hope you get it tuned up!!

-- "Do, or do not. There is no try." ~Yoda

View Anapolis7's profile


50 posts in 3123 days

#11 posted 05-11-2012 12:02 AM

Thanks everyone for the compliments and input.

@MacSteveT—The throat is definitely wider than I would have liked. It got a little out of square when I was jointing the bottom and I couldn’t stand that. I have already been looking at mortising in a block to close the gap. Maybe something that is replaceable or brass. Dunno.

@bondogaposis, zwizard, Don W—I agree with you on the wedge. The only aspect of playing with the wedge that is a little dicey is once you lose a certain slope, the wedge tends to be super tight and doesn’t adjust with a hammer like it should. However, I would prefer having to reset the blade to having to move that pin. I could hide it, but you know how it goes. You know it’s there, and it just jumps out at you even if everyone else misses it. ;)

Also, I was just playing around with it after work and I noticed that part of my problem is that the blade is not sharpened square to the sides. It’s only out by 1/32” or so, but this blade doesn’t have a lot of play on the ramp, so this out-of-squareness is causing me to set the blade deeper to get a cut across the full width. Given how soft the metal is, I should be able to fix that almost effortlessly. WAY easier than squaring an A2 blade.

@zwizard—I would be interested in learned how to make a blade. I tend to avoid the grinder because I end up bluing the steel.

Thanks agains, guys.

View NormG's profile


6283 posts in 3210 days

#12 posted 05-11-2012 02:42 AM

I thought it was a lounge chair until I read your description and looked at a larger picture, great looking tool and wonderful job, thanks for sharing

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2512 days

#13 posted 05-11-2012 04:15 AM

Awesome looking piece, nicely done.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View Anapolis7's profile


50 posts in 3123 days

#14 posted 05-11-2012 11:25 AM

This morning, I took my 1 1/2” Hock blade out of my block plane and tried it. The chatter issue went away entirely. I think I am going to buy another Hock iron and just call it a lesson learned.

The wedge is going to get interesting to accommodate the additional thickness of the new iron. I could just barely get the tip under the pin and I am afraid that thinning it might make it too brittle. Would it be completely crazy to make a combo wedge/chip breaker using my old blade? I am thinking that if I thinned the wedge and used epoxy to laminate the old blade to the back of the wedge it would protect the wedge and i could have some semblance of a chip breaker, though I haven’t really seen that the Hock iron is bothered by the lack of one.

Any thoughts?

View RusticJohn's profile


219 posts in 3797 days

#15 posted 05-11-2012 11:28 AM

I don’t think the problem primarily is with the wedge. I have made a lot of planes and the usual cause of the problem is the blade not bedding against the body properly. You can blue the back of the blade with vivid marker and then rub it against the body to show where it is touching and where it is not. Scrape down the high points until the blade beds down all over. Check that the bottom of the wedge is not jamming the shavings and blocking them from coming out. If so thin the bottom of the outer edge of the wedge.

Check that the blade is flat. They often have a curve in them. Gently whack with a hammer to straighten. A thin blade is not a problem in itself provided it cannot vibrate.

If you have trouble bedding the blade cut out a piece of paper or two and slip them between the bade and the body. An old Japanese trick. This works well mostly.

-- RusticJohn

showing 1 through 15 of 19 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics