Wooden router plane

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Project by yuridichesky posted 11-24-2013 10:42 PM 10644 views 65 times favorited 72 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Tool-making bug is itching me. Earlier I said that I needed router plane for my workbench build, but what the hell, I just wanted to own one. Honesty is the best policy :-)
Here is my starting point: cutter with threaded rod and milled facets:

Since I had no “real” cutters available here for any reasonable money, I needed to make one from scratch. On one hand I didn’t like usual option – L-shaped hex wrench, and on the other hand I wanted some adjustment facilities, so I came up with this solution: to weld tip of the chisel to the threaded rod (10mm diameter). The idea was to minimize number of parts involved into design, and since I had to make the cutters anyway I decided to give it a try. This was the most expensive part of the project: 6 chisels (4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 12mm, and 16mm), plus metal turning, milling, and welding work (that I had to outsource) took me about $80. I don’t know how chisel tips were welded, I just asked guy who did it for me to try not to overheat cutting edges. Will see how my cutters gonna hold the edge. Also I spent quite a bit time truing up cutters geometry, but thanks to DMT stones it wasn’t too bad.

Having cutters ready I made a bolt that holds the cutter:

The adjustment nut had to be re-shaped slightly, so I employed my poor-boy lathe, this time cutting brass with sharpened tip of the file:

Next I made a prototype out of pine:

The prototype was very right thing to do, it let me to test all my not-so-good ideas before I found something that would work for me.
Next was plane body (beech).

(Main hole drilled with the help of sacrificial piece of wood. The drilling is still my weak spot, I guess I need a drill press.)

(Templates like this one was another right thing to do.)

Ready for shaping:

And here the shaping starts:

Checking shape against the template.

Here’s my favorite one: prototype is being used as a tool to build a tool it’s been prototyped for:


Two brothers:

Brass work.

Brass stripes glued into cutter-mounting hole to protect wood from wearing:

Back side of adjusting nut cover plates and back washer:

You can see that I had to hammer brass parts to adjust their shape for better fit. Turned out that metall allows for some errors as well as the wood.

Bolts’ heads re-shaped from hex to round:


Handles turned on my poor-boy lathe from some unidentified wood from my mom’s garden.

One ready and one more to go:

Final shape of the handles: more smooth curves to match plane’s body:

Reaming handles with some ugly bit made from bolt:

Despite its ugliness it provided perfect recess for the head.

Drilling holes for the handles.

Here’s how I made little recesses for the handles: I glued sandpaper at the bottom of the handle, screwed it in place and kept rotating it until it cut its way down in the plane’s body. Then removed the sandpaper.

All parts in place, ready for finish:

After two coats of danish oil:

And finally some tool porn for the brave who survived such long post :-)

Plane in action:

Couple of words about how adjustment works. It works great! I think adjustment machinery is quite clear: you turn adjustment nut which is locked in place with cover plates, the adjustment nut pushes/pulls the cutter up or down. The threads on the rod/nut is 1mm step, so one full turn of the adjustment nut gives 1mm (a little more than 1/32”) of cutter move. So if I need to go 0.25mm down I do 1/4 turn and so on. Cool! And this little dot on the adjustment nut helps me to track cutter move:

Thanks for stepping by, being a happy owner of the router plane now I’ll be happy to answer any questions about one :-)

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

72 comments so far

View slapdash's profile


108 posts in 2399 days

#1 posted 11-24-2013 10:49 PM

Wow! that is so flash. Brass inlay too. Does it work? I would love to have a gadget for cutting grooves but this might be beyond me.

-- I'm not creative, I'm just bad at copying

View yuridichesky's profile


624 posts in 2139 days

#2 posted 11-24-2013 10:54 PM

Slap, thank you! It does work! Hell yes! Now I’m counting each and every little scratch on plane’s sole after each pass :-)

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View Don W's profile

Don W

18989 posts in 2742 days

#3 posted 11-24-2013 11:06 PM

sweet!! I love the poor boys lathe.

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

View lepelerin's profile


495 posts in 2500 days

#4 posted 11-24-2013 11:07 PM

Really well done, Tx for all the pics.

View yuridichesky's profile


624 posts in 2139 days

#5 posted 11-24-2013 11:09 PM

Don, thank you, I realize I use my “lathe” more and more often, so I start thinking about some scaffold to ease mounting it on the benchtop.

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View hoss12992's profile


4073 posts in 2068 days

#6 posted 11-24-2013 11:17 PM

That is really cool, thanks for sharing

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View yuridichesky's profile


624 posts in 2139 days

#7 posted 11-24-2013 11:18 PM

Lepelerin, thanks a lot!

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View yuridichesky's profile


624 posts in 2139 days

#8 posted 11-24-2013 11:20 PM

Hoss, thank you. Hope long post won’t scare visitors off.

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View Vagabond55's profile


113 posts in 3434 days

#9 posted 11-24-2013 11:30 PM

Beautiful !!! I wish I could have this sort of woodworking skills…

View Boatman53's profile


1059 posts in 2371 days

#10 posted 11-24-2013 11:35 PM

Very nice Yuri. That is on my build list soon and I am going to honor you by using some of your details, but I think I’ll but some cutters. Thanks for posting.

-- Jim, Long Island, NY home of the chain leg vise

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2467 days

#11 posted 11-24-2013 11:49 PM

Outstanding project and very nice write up with great pictures. Thanks for sharing.

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

View CL810's profile


3856 posts in 3163 days

#12 posted 11-25-2013 12:01 AM

Masterfully done Yuri! Favorited. Great post.

So now you have everything to finish the bench. Right?

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View waho6o9's profile


8482 posts in 2752 days

#13 posted 11-25-2013 12:02 AM

Outstanding build Yuri! I see a a Daily Top 3 award in your future.

Thanks for a great pictorial and you were wise to build a prototype

first. Gotta keep that in mind.

View Rick S...'s profile

Rick S...

10779 posts in 3208 days

#14 posted 11-25-2013 12:15 AM

Very Nice Work Indeed! Thanks For Posting!


-- It is not necessary for Some People to turn OFF the LIGHT to be IN the DARK! (Ontario, CANADA)

View theoldfart's profile


10106 posts in 2626 days

#15 posted 11-25-2013 12:31 AM

Yuri, have you noticed CL810 has been strutting a bit lately ? Must be close with that bench thing of his :0)
That is a masterful tool you’ve created. Well done.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

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