Fish Block Plane

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Project by RusticJohn posted 05-29-2013 04:59 AM 1664 views 6 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A small block plane I have just finished. About 150 mm long by 75 mm high and about 60mm wide. It is made out of Mahogany with an Oak sole in the shape of a stylized fish. Has a bit of a Chinese look although this was not my intention. There were a couple of problems to resolve in the construction. The bottom half of the blade is much wider than the top. I wanted a nice closed in look around the top of the plane where the blade protrudes. The traditional Krenov type pin was replaced with a rather complicated cross piece with 5 joints in the space of a 50 mm length. Rather delicate cutting out but the result seems very strong as it has good glued joints.

The Mahogany was rather coarse and stringy to carve. Its not my favorite wood for carving or making planes but it does come up nicely. I always want to get the best out of the wood I have rather than seek out the ideal piece for the purpose I have in mind. After all we can’t eat cake all the time, sometimes stale toast is OK, especially if your hungry.

The plane cuts well without any serious chocking up of the shavings in the throat. I had to do a bit of shaping on the inside to get a nice flow through.

The knife is one that I made and was used on the carving of the plane. I find that when making knives, despite using exactly the same materials and processes, 1 in 10 is just a little better than the rest. I put a nice handles on and use them as my “knives of last resort”. These are a few elite tools that will cut the most difficult of wood well. I only need them occasionally but when I do they are invaluable.

-- RusticJohn

12 comments so far

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 2864 days

#1 posted 05-29-2013 09:49 AM

It looks realy cool

-- Dreaming patterns

View michelletwo's profile


2700 posts in 2854 days

#2 posted 05-29-2013 10:25 AM

who wouldn’t want to plane with this beauty? super plane!

View Ken90712's profile


17527 posts in 3027 days

#3 posted 05-29-2013 11:37 AM

Great work and real beauty….

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

View Oldtool's profile


2517 posts in 2029 days

#4 posted 05-29-2013 11:57 AM

Fantastic work on the carving, looks awesome.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Tallahassee's profile


48 posts in 2205 days

#5 posted 05-29-2013 01:25 PM

That is beautiful! It’s an instant heirloom.

-- Dana, Tallahassee, FL

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 3172 days

#6 posted 05-29-2013 01:33 PM

Wonderfully creative and nicely carved plane. It must be a real kick to use it. I love the knife too. I like the way you did the whipping on the blade end.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Mauricio's profile


7139 posts in 2990 days

#7 posted 05-29-2013 04:55 PM


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

View RusticJohn's profile


218 posts in 3429 days

#8 posted 05-29-2013 10:00 PM

Thank you All for the comments. The plane wasn’t too hard to carve and was easier than the head on one of my tramping sticks. I don’t usually go for such elaborate carving on a plane but the people who buy them seem to prefer the looks to the practicalities of use. That said, its comfortable to use for 10 or 15 minutes at a time. Gets a bit wearing on the hands if used for longer periods. You will see some of my earlier planes are very simple in comparison. Cheers – RusticJohn

-- RusticJohn

View sweetsawdust's profile


15 posts in 1665 days

#9 posted 05-30-2013 01:48 AM

A 2nd WOW!!!

-- sweet sawdust

View Dark_Lightning's profile (online now)


2920 posts in 2947 days

#10 posted 05-30-2013 02:04 AM

Not to take away from the design, but it reminds me more of a crouched FU dog instead of a fish. Very nice, in any event.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View Woodbridge's profile


3503 posts in 2256 days

#11 posted 05-30-2013 03:18 AM

beautiful plane, the carving is great.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View jcees's profile


1046 posts in 3637 days

#12 posted 06-03-2013 01:52 PM

Instant Favorite! Bravo.

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

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