My first homemade "prototype" non-functional handplane (i.e. my new paperweight)

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Blog entry by siavosh posted 11-05-2013 06:44 AM 1224 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The desire to make my first hand plane came out of my desire to fix my shooting board. It’s an essential item in my tiny apartment workshop, but shortly after making it, I realized it wasn’t accurate enough. The back beam of the shooting board was not a perfect 90 degrees, but it was off enough to make an impact especially for stock wider than a couple inches.

To make tapered shavings of the beam to compensate for my flawed build, I needed some type of shoulder plane. I wasn’t ready to buy a shoulder plane since I wasn’t sure if I would use it again anytime soon. And so after some online research, a wooden plane powered by one of my budget chisels seemed like the best compromise for this limited problem.

To cut a long story short, the hand plane sucked, and now the challenge for me is to learn all the reasons. My current diagnoses is the chisel is cheap and can’t get sharp enough, and the back of the chisel is not flat to create a firm bedding. Feedback will be much appreciated.

Build details below:

Here I’m marking guide holes for dowels that’ll ensure a guided good glue up (something I’ll try with my next shooting board).

After the glue up, I marked the angles at 45 & 51 degrees.

Chiseling out the waste.

This is sadly the best shaving I got: too thick, and clogged the throat right before the chisel chattered and slipped.

One thought was to make it more comfortable and hence easier to push. And so begun an ugly but more comfortable design turn.

I then marked out some drift wood I had lying around.

Sawed it.

And tried again…not any better :(

-- -- Discover the best woodworking blogs!

6 comments so far

View mafe's profile


9690 posts in 1843 days

#1 posted 11-05-2013 11:24 AM

I think you did a good try and that is whats important.
Also you had the guts to show your mistakes, that’s a real man.
Try to look at this:
Best thoughts,

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

View ratchet's profile


1304 posts in 2540 days

#2 posted 11-05-2013 01:32 PM

Just saw this. You might be right about the chisels edge not being good enough steel to get really sharp. Good blog.

View Don W's profile

Don W

15581 posts in 1321 days

#3 posted 11-05-2013 01:39 PM

a couple other points. Lower the back of he bed so only the flat part of he chisel sits there. Also taper the wedge so it holds solid right down to the opening.

Not a bad first try.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View siavosh's profile


415 posts in 625 days

#4 posted 11-06-2013 02:16 AM

@mafe – Thanks for the kind words, and awesome link (I love your projects!). I’m sure there’ll be a second attempt.

@ratchet – Yeah the chisel doesn’t hold much of an edge, and I think my sharpening has actually skewed the blade which I’ll try to correct.

@DonW – Thanks for the tips, I’ll try to lower the back of the bed and make a better wedge before totally giving up on this first build.

-- -- Discover the best woodworking blogs!

View mafe's profile


9690 posts in 1843 days

#5 posted 11-06-2013 10:04 AM

Siavosh. you have to go for it. Thank you.
Best thoughts,

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

View Porcupine's profile


31 posts in 663 days

#6 posted 11-06-2013 11:26 AM

I think you main problem is the wedge. It looks to short to have that blade bedding without chattering.

-- Joe, South Carolina

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