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How to make a coffin smoother plane?

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Forum topic by b2rtch posted 08-04-2016 10:05 AM 542 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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b2rtch

4823 posts in 2516 days


08-04-2016 10:05 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question plane

My son in law in a garage sale bought me some used wood working tool.
One of the toll is a coffin smother plane. The plane was made I supposed of some kind of fruit tree wood, I suspect it i s walnut. What is left is more holes than wood.
I have cleaned and sharpen the blade very nicely. Now I would like to re-make the body but I have no experience at all making plane.
Would oak be acceptable to make the body? I have big chunks of very nice and very hard white oak but no fruit tree.
Thank you for any help.

-- Bert


14 replies so far

View Clarkie's profile

Clarkie

380 posts in 1309 days


#1 posted 08-04-2016 10:21 AM

Hello Bert, sounds like you have a good son in law. Most of the coffin planes and wooden planes are made of beech, but there is every once in awhile some made from other woods. You can make them from anything, but if you want them to hold up, I believe beech would be the choice. I was going to say to use the oak to practice, but you’ll more than likely become frustrated by the way oak will react. Go to you tube and see if there are some videos on making the coffin plane. Have fun, make some dust.

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Handtooler

1375 posts in 1600 days


#2 posted 08-04-2016 10:22 AM

B2, Might you consider filling the holes w/ epoxy and waxing then use as a “reallic”?

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 bassboy40@outlook.com

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jdh122

879 posts in 2285 days


#3 posted 08-04-2016 11:38 AM

Beech was the traditional choice for European planes, and some people suggest that ring porous woods (like oak) aren’t a great choice because the difference between the hardness of the early and late rings can cause problems in the mouth of the plane. This suggests that other hard diffuse-porous woods like maple and birch would work fine too. But white oak is the traditional choice for Japanese planes, so it seems to me that it’s unlikely to cause a problem.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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Tim

3119 posts in 1429 days


#4 posted 08-04-2016 12:38 PM

Beech is traditional, but Paul Sellers specifically mentioned maple as an alternative that works well. I’ve also heard oak isn’t as good, so I’m surprised Japanese planes are made of it and wonder what makes it work for them.

Bert, there are a lot of good resources out there for making planes. The best are some plane making books and videos, but you can find some free stuff too. It’s far easier to make planes well if you have the right tools like side and edge floats, but you can either make those or get by with other tools.

Here’s some resources.
http://www.handplane.com/32/practical-plane-making-1/
http://toolemera.com/bkpdf/haywardhowtobk.pdf
http://www.toolemera.com/womack/womackworkplanes.pdf

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b2rtch

4823 posts in 2516 days


#5 posted 08-04-2016 02:00 PM

Thank you all for your answers and help.

-- Bert

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Kirk650

295 posts in 216 days


#6 posted 08-04-2016 11:13 PM

I used hard maple. It worked pretty good.

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BubbaIBA

383 posts in 1844 days


#7 posted 08-07-2016 08:26 PM



Beech is traditional, but Paul Sellers specifically mentioned maple as an alternative that works well. I ve also heard oak isn t as good, so I m surprised Japanese planes are made of it and wonder what makes it work for them.

Bert, there are a lot of good resources out there for making planes. The best are some plane making books and videos, but you can find some free stuff too. It s far easier to make planes well if you have the right tools like side and edge floats, but you can either make those or get by with other tools.

Here s some resources.
http://www.handplane.com/32/practical-plane-making-1/
http://toolemera.com/bkpdf/haywardhowtobk.pdf
http://www.toolemera.com/womack/womackworkplanes.pdf

- Tim

Tim,

Japanese WO and North American WO are two different woods. See link:

ken

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Don Broussard

3024 posts in 1719 days


#8 posted 08-07-2016 10:32 PM

Bert—LJ Derek Cohen from Perth, Australia has plans for a coffin smoother. I just looked on his website http://www.inthewoodshop.com/, and while I didn’t see that specific design, there is a ton of good information on plane making there. I also put “coffin smoother” in the LJ search box and got a bunch of hits, but you’ve probably already done that.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

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jdh122

879 posts in 2285 days


#9 posted 08-07-2016 11:01 PM

Interesting link, ken. Thanks for sharing it. The wood in Japanese planes sure looks similar to North American and European oaks, but guess you can’t go by that alone. I’ve heard that Japanese planes could also be made from red oak (although the wood is much rarer), but the same tozando site indicates that it is also an evergreen without distinct early wood rings.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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Tim

3119 posts in 1429 days


#10 posted 08-08-2016 03:31 PM

Very interesting, Ken. Thanks for clearing that up.

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waho6o9

7180 posts in 2045 days


#11 posted 08-08-2016 03:33 PM

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b2rtch

4823 posts in 2516 days


#12 posted 08-08-2016 03:57 PM

Thank you guy for all your answers.

-- Bert

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jayseedub

72 posts in 1433 days


#13 posted 08-08-2016 04:16 PM

I’ve used both maple and oak, and the Maple is easily the better of the two woods for a plane (IMO).

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b2rtch

4823 posts in 2516 days


#14 posted 08-08-2016 04:43 PM

Back home , in France, many used pear tree wood to make planes.

-- Bert

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