Toothing Plane--Resurrecting a reject

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Project by JayT posted 11-03-2013 08:56 PM 2587 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Building a plane for the recent Hand Plane Swap, I ended up having a couple of rejected prototypes before coming up with one I was satisfied sending to a fellow LJ. Rather than throw out the early attempts, I decided to try and make something out of them.

Since the planes were built around using a 1-1/2” Nice Ash iron, I ordered a Ray Iles block plane toothing iron from Tools for Working Wood and made a thicker wedge to work with the thinner iron. The end result is a usable toothing plane for working knotty wood out of one of the rejects.

Body and wedge are ash, with maple sides and a granadillo cross pin. The plane is about 8-1/2 inches long, bed angle is 57.5 degrees and works just fine with the iron. Since the new iron is quite a bit thinner, the mouth is wide open, but that isn’t a concern for a toothing plane.

Thanks for looking.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

12 comments so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

17955 posts in 2027 days

#1 posted 11-03-2013 09:19 PM

well done JayT. That will be extremely useful.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View a1Jim's profile


115201 posts in 3037 days

#2 posted 11-03-2013 09:40 PM

Looks very good Jay
Since I’m not a plane expert, I was wondering if many folks use toothing plans other than for veneer work.

-- Custom furniture

View Don W's profile

Don W

17955 posts in 2027 days

#3 posted 11-03-2013 09:42 PM

I use mine, and I’ve never used it for veneer work. It works well for “softening” a really tough area of grain.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View JayT's profile


4772 posts in 1671 days

#4 posted 11-03-2013 09:48 PM

Thanks guys.

Jim, Don has it covered for use. Areas around knots, in particular, can benefit from a toothing plane before being hit with a smoother.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View Airframer's profile


3040 posts in 1412 days

#5 posted 11-03-2013 10:01 PM

Now that is pretty cool! Nice Job!

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

View shipwright's profile


7162 posts in 2257 days

#6 posted 11-03-2013 11:20 PM

They are useless and unnecessary for veneering since the advent of thin, uniform veneer but were once used to tooth both the veneer and substrate to identify high spots and prep for max effectiveness of glue.
Another use you may not be familiar with, and may horrify some of you, is to periodically scrub down your bench top with it to keep it flat and true. Patrick Edwards does that. He keeps his bench unfinished and with a toothed surface for evenness and improved traction.

Looks like a good user you have there.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View ShaneA's profile (online now)


6471 posts in 2058 days

#7 posted 11-03-2013 11:34 PM

Nice job on turning it into a good tool.

View JayT's profile


4772 posts in 1671 days

#8 posted 11-04-2013 02:50 AM

Thanks Eric, Paul & Shane.

I have heard of and seen video of people using a toothing plane on a benchtop. The principle makes sense, but I am not planning to do that to my bench. Since it is made of softwood, there hasn’t been any issue with traction. I could see where a benchtop of tight grained wood like maple could benefit from being roughed up a bit.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View Rick's profile


8287 posts in 2492 days

#9 posted 11-05-2013 01:11 AM

Very Nice Project and Well Done! Thanks For Posting.

-- Hope Everyone Is Doing Well! .... Best Regards: Rick

View mafe's profile


11135 posts in 2549 days

#10 posted 11-07-2013 10:40 PM

That’s cool and even more cool that you could give a new life.
Best thoughts,

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

View CFrye's profile


8732 posts in 1299 days

#11 posted 11-18-2013 09:15 AM

Nice save JayT! Toothing plane is new to me. Learned something new! Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View Mauricio's profile


7115 posts in 2611 days

#12 posted 11-20-2013 07:29 PM

These are great to have. The idea of toothing my benchtop is growing on me. There is a toothed bench at my local woodcraft and it wasn’t as ugly as you would think. I bet the bench would work great.

Also, I’ve heard that a Toothing plane followed by a scraper is the secret weapon against difficult grain.

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

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