Laminate a molding plane blank - is it really a big no no?

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Forum topic by ColonelTravis posted 05-27-2015 04:26 AM 947 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1159 posts in 1318 days

05-27-2015 04:26 AM

Topic tags/keywords: molding plane lamination laminate

Bitten hard by the make-a-molding-plane bug. Of the two big instructional videos out there, the Larry Williams camp says do not laminate. The Tod Herrli camp says laminations are great.

I’ve searched high and low and simply cannot find QS anything in a chunk big enough to make a few molding planes from a single block, unless I buy something like a mantle and that’s insane. Running into thick QS beech is like stumbling into a colony of unicorns. I can find a reasonable chunk of flatsawn anything but no one recommends flatsawn.

I understand the caution for laminating but I’ve never seen the results of a molding plane lamination screw up. Do they really happen?

9 replies so far

View TheFridge's profile


5683 posts in 910 days

#1 posted 05-27-2015 04:52 AM

Glue is stronger than wood. Don’t see why not?

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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1159 posts in 1318 days

#2 posted 05-27-2015 05:07 AM

LW’s concern is that the glue line prevents the laminated pieces from reaching equilibrium at the same time and that the missing wood from the side hole of a narrow molding plane increases the probability of warp problems even more.

I’ve never heard anyone who teaches how to make a laminated Krenov bring this up.

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1159 posts in 1318 days

#3 posted 05-27-2015 08:12 PM

Bought 8/4 beech and laminating for makeshift QS.
I’m laughing at you, moisture content!

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Bill White

4408 posts in 3385 days

#4 posted 05-27-2015 09:25 PM

Betcha that it will work out just fine.


View Tim's profile


3032 posts in 1386 days

#5 posted 05-27-2015 11:49 PM

I can see how it would be more likely to warp, but unless you find the unicorn what other options do you have? Bet it will work fine too, it just probably won’t a few centuries like QS beech might. If you laminate now you’ll get some practice without slaying a unicorn and in the meantime you can either try to locate some or have a beech tree milled up by a sawyer into some very thick stock and dry it yourself. Either an ad in CL for a beech tree or buy from a place that sells logs.

View Wally331's profile


340 posts in 1449 days

#6 posted 05-28-2015 03:22 AM

Hard to say bud, my shop is in a basement where huge changes in humidity is not a major factor. Perhaps if you had a garage shop in florida or something where moisture plays a bigger part the glue might fail eventually. The planes probably wont hold up for 200 years, but then again neither will you. Check at your local lumberyard for turning blanks or table leg blanks. They are usually 3×3” square, work perfect for moulding planes. Cherry and other fruitwood trees work fantastic too. I know Caleb James has been using some very nice pear and apple for limited runs.

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1159 posts in 1318 days

#7 posted 05-28-2015 04:20 AM

Wally, I saw your two planes the other day – you said those were laminated? I could not tell. Great job on those.

I’m in N. Texas, humidity swings aren’t that bad (not counting the past two months when it’s rained 4,799,123,065 inches.) Look forward to building these and in the meantime I can keep looking for large chunks of various woods.

View madts's profile


1664 posts in 1764 days

#8 posted 05-28-2015 10:50 PM

+ 1 on the 4,799,123,065 inches. Here in Houston I think we got a bit more.

I would laminate using a good Epoxy, not the 5 min. type. As the parts are small it should never be a problem.


-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View donald_wa's profile


9 posts in 518 days

#9 posted 05-29-2015 10:34 PM

Laminate it. If you think warpage is a problem, laminate top to bottom. Think outside the box. In the days when wood was the choice for planes , the premium planes were made from fruit wood. I think any good aliphatic or plastic resin glue should give good results.

Could you guys intexas ship some of that rain out west?

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