|Project by cdaulton||posted 02-05-2014 03:19 AM||6609 views||17 times favorited||25 comments|
I have been wanting a router plane for a while as I continue my journey into madness, I mean hand tool work and the inevitable tool collecting that so often goes with it. Being on a limited budget I thought I would try my hand at making my own. I looked at several designs for wooden planes but I wanted a metal one so I came up with my own.
The plane started as a piece of 1/4” plate steel, I tried a couple of different cutting methods and ended up using a cutoff wheel in my 18v circular saw for the straight cuts and a jig saw with a metal blade for the curved cuts after drilling around my cut out lines as shown in the third picture. Drilling all those holes made cutting the plane out a whole lot easier but left the edges very rough. I cleaned them up with a straight tungsten carbide cutter in my rotary tool (Dremel) that was mounted in a router base. Then I spent several hours flattening the bottom on sandpaper spray glued to a granite cutting board I usually use for my sharpening plane and chisel blades.
Once I had the bottom flat it was time for the adjuster. I used a short piece of 1/2” square stock left over from making my own carbide tipped lathe tools. I cut a piece about 1 1/2” long and welded it to the the base making sure to keep it square. Then I marked the center and drilled and tapped for 1/4” x 20 tpi. A small piece of all thread goes into that. The adjuster mechanism is a 1/4” x 20 tpi nail in threaded insert chucked into my drill press and filed till the nail holes were gone pressed into an aluminum crimp for wire rope that I found at my local Ace hardware. The clamp is a 5/8” ground rod clamp that I sanded smooth and polished a little. The blade is the biggest hex key I could fit in the clamp, 9/16” or so I think.
The handles I turned out of curly Maple I saved from the firewood pile. It came from a huge tree, probably 6 or 8 feet in diameter that was cut near where I used to live in New Jersey. It had lots of dark mineral lines and is really gorgeous. I wish I had saved more of it from the fireplace.
Looking back on it I definitely should have welded the adjuster base on before flattened the bottom because though I was careful to take my time and not let it get too hot it warped and I had to reflatten the bottom. I also would not have made the cut outs so big.
It turned out a lot better than I though it would and it works great. Now I just need to make a box to store it in.