2013 Swap Plane for LJ Hammerthumb

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Project by Don Broussard posted 10-21-2013 01:14 AM 1531 views 1 time favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I call this a “junior jointer” plane. It’s made of purpleheart wood that served with the US Army in Afghanistan as supports for outriggers on heavy equipment. It’s just under 18” long, 2-3/8” wide, and about 2” tall and made of purple heart, including the wedge and pin. IIRC, the plane weighed about 3 pounds. Bed angle is 50 degrees and the toe angle is 60 degrees for shavings ejection. Iron is a Nice Ash, 1-1/2” wide, hollow ground with a 25 degree bevel. I installed a strike button on the front—I embedded a 2013 penny under the strike button. The mouth is square to the plane’s edges and cuts well, even though the mouth is a bit wide. The plane’s top edges were rounded over with a 3/4” roundover bit on a router table. I also included a front strike button for depth adjustments. I filled the package with shavings from the plane on ash and pine.

I made the fitting of the iron a bit too tight. With the change in humidity from south Louisiana to Las Vegas, NV, the iron doesn’t fit the opening. I wanted it to fit tightly to avoid side-to-side movement, but I made it too tight. Sorry ‘bout that, Paul!

Hammerthumb, JayT and terryR all have shop-made tools from that batch of purpleheart now. Y’all are “connected”.

Inspired by this plane swap, I am now working on two additional planes: a jointer and a high-angle smoother.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

18 comments so far

View bondogaposis's profile


3373 posts in 1389 days

#1 posted 10-21-2013 01:19 AM

That’s a gorgeous jointer plane.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View JayT's profile


3777 posts in 1249 days

#2 posted 10-21-2013 01:26 AM

Nice job, Don. The penny is a cool touch.

-- "My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right." Abraham Lincoln

View terryR's profile


4555 posts in 1347 days

#3 posted 10-21-2013 01:29 AM

Don, love your plane! Thanks for the story about where the wood came from…I had no idea!

Cannot thank you enough for tha sweet marking gauge…it’s a bit more scratched up now. I tried to include it in my photos from the swap, but that purpleheart is so dark. LOL

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View ShaneA's profile


5779 posts in 1637 days

#4 posted 10-21-2013 01:32 AM

Really cool plane. Well done.

View CFrye's profile


6162 posts in 878 days

#5 posted 10-21-2013 01:48 AM

Wood with a history of service and a great plane! Beautifully well done Don!

-- God bless, Candy

View Mauricio's profile


7061 posts in 2190 days

#6 posted 10-21-2013 02:01 AM

This plane is really cool, a very versatile style of plane.

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

View LukieB's profile


962 posts in 1368 days

#7 posted 10-21-2013 02:10 AM

That thing is sweet Don. I love the story of the wood and I really like the penny idea, wish I’d thought of that…

-- Lucas, "Someday woodworks will be my real job, until then, there's this"

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5489 posts in 1330 days

#8 posted 10-21-2013 02:24 AM

Great looking plane with interesting history and nice touch with the 2013 Inlayed penny.

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

View Tugboater78's profile


1895 posts in 1230 days

#9 posted 10-21-2013 02:28 AM

thats a nice plane, love the darkness of the wood. Girlfriend loves it too

-- Justin - the tugboat woodworker - " nothing changed me like the first shnick from a well sharpened, decent hand plane"

View bobasaurus's profile


1936 posts in 2222 days

#10 posted 10-21-2013 02:40 AM

That is one enormous piece of purpleheart and a beautiful plane. The curves of the sides look really clean and the strike button is a good idea.

-- Allen, Colorado

View 7Footer's profile


1799 posts in 987 days

#11 posted 10-21-2013 03:18 AM

Very nice Don, looks awesome.. And what the others said about the penny, great idea.

-- Known agitator --

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

5666 posts in 1418 days

#12 posted 10-21-2013 03:21 AM

Even at 18” it looks like a beast. Nicely done.


View Don W's profile

Don W

16660 posts in 1606 days

#13 posted 10-21-2013 11:08 AM

That’s a lot of purpleheart. Well done. It will be tough to use it and not smile.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View 489tad's profile


2809 posts in 2050 days

#14 posted 10-21-2013 12:55 PM

Nice. You made a beauty.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View GMatheson's profile


475 posts in 2007 days

#15 posted 10-21-2013 03:12 PM

Great plane. Purpleheart is great for tools, I use it all the time. I really like the junior jointer idea. I might have to borrow it.

-- Greg in Ontario, Canada

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