The Hairy Biker Plane.

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Project by RusticJohn posted 807 days ago 2444 views 6 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Some planes go well from the first moment of construction and work straight off. Others don’t and this is one of them. Its about the size of a Stanley 5 1/2 and made of Cocobolo. You can’t get wood like this here so my son bought it from Canada for me. I found the wood to be oily and hard to glue. Normally I have perfect glue joints but some on this opened up a little. The shaping of the long flowing curves was easy but the carving on the front was quite horrible. A much more detailed face was intended but the wood seemed to chip and tear even when using by very best knives. I finally got an OK result by using a small fine knife and a tiny scraper. The Hairy Biker head actually took longer than the rest of the plane.

The tool works well enough but require a bit of minor tuning. I am not too concerned at the moment as sometimes you just need to get used to working it and gain an understanding of what it will do best. This one is certainly a fine finisher of long-ish flat boards, particularly those to be glued. Likes the softer woods but not so much things like Maple. It does have a 55 degree blade angle which normally suits the tougher woods. I have a smaller plane with a 63 degree angle that handles Maple very well.

Where to from here? Well I am going to use it for 6 months or so and see how things go. I might make another with a 45 degree jack blade and a rear tote to handle heavier work. Think I will avoid Cocobolo though. We have a wood here called Maire that is apparently the 5th densest in the work. Got plenty of this and I know it will do the job.

By the way, the inspiration for the head came from the large, leather clad motor bike gangs we have roaming our highways. They look quite menacing until they stop at coffee shops and antique markets. You then realize they are all older people reliving their youth in designer leathers.

-- RusticJohn

14 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


14878 posts in 1814 days

#1 posted 807 days ago

Nice wood choice, tough wood to work with at times. Hope your tool work well for you! Nice job!

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

View RusticJohn's profile


181 posts in 2216 days

#2 posted 807 days ago

Thank you for the comment. I was beginning to think I had lost my woodwork skills at times.

-- RusticJohn

View mafe's profile


9483 posts in 1714 days

#3 posted 806 days ago

A wonderful plane.
Once more so full of personality.
Best thoughts,

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

14825 posts in 1192 days

#4 posted 806 days ago

That is one damn nice looking plane. I love the last sentence. It kind of reminds me of someone i know. :-)

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View JuniorJoiner's profile


444 posts in 2065 days

#5 posted 806 days ago

to glue cocobolo, try wiping the surface first with var-sol or similar quick drying solvent before gluing. it cleans off the wax and oils from the wood surface so the glue can adhere.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


4478 posts in 917 days

#6 posted 806 days ago

Very organic—I really like it!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Mauricio's profile


6798 posts in 1776 days

#7 posted 806 days ago

Beautiful plane, it looks nice and comfortable to hold.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View jacob34's profile


454 posts in 889 days

#8 posted 806 days ago

That is awesome, I realized that bikers are just good ol guys when my dad told me he was thinking about joining a gang because there were several of his friends also in it. Nice job on the plane.

-- so a bear and a rabbit are sitting on a log

View RusticJohn's profile


181 posts in 2216 days

#9 posted 806 days ago

Thank you Guys for the comments and the advice.

-- RusticJohn

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

890 posts in 1798 days

#10 posted 806 days ago

This is great! Love the design.

-- Tim-; Twitter-@asliceofwood; Facebook-

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1979 posts in 3030 days

#11 posted 805 days ago

now this I really like. Well done.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View jcees's profile


946 posts in 2424 days

#12 posted 805 days ago

Cocobolo is my favorite wood and hand planes are my favorite tools. Superb! I’ve had great luck with West Systems slow set epoxy and cleaning the mating surfaces with denatured alcohol prior to glue up. Also, in working cocobolo in small detail I choose power over manual. A Dremel or Foredom both work wonders. After all, we’re talking about a wood that won’t float when tossed into a bucket of water and will take a polish as fine as lacquer without the lacquer!

Great design. I’m sure you’ll make it sing soon enough.


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

View RusticJohn's profile


181 posts in 2216 days

#13 posted 805 days ago

Thank you J.C for the advise. Its the first time I have used Cocobolo. I still have a small piece left which I will have another go with. That’s a good thought with the power tools. I will try it

-- RusticJohn

View bhog's profile


2069 posts in 1315 days

#14 posted 805 days ago

Really nice.I would put him in a display with a nice long curly walnut shaving flowing from his mouth. :)

-- I don't drive a Prius.

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