Plane making fool

Here is a beech miter plane that I started on Monday and finished last night.  It is bedded at 32 degrees, bevel down, so I'll have to be careful with clearance angles for the blade.  It has a cherry wedge and a pink ivory strike block. I enjoy the look of the pink ivory so much that I think this will become my signature, using pink ivory in some way on every plane I make from here on out.

I used a piece of beech that had some sapwood in it, as it was necessary to get the full size I needed with proper quarter sawn grain and with the grain running in the right direction.  The patch in the mouth was my attempt to make up for the relative softness of the sapwood beech. My cruddy photo skills cast some shadows on the mouth, making the gauge lines look huge and deep.  They are not this way in person.  It works phenomenally well!

I'm not usually a fan of shiny wood planes, but this and my plow are extremely shiny and they look incredible, at least to my eyes.

If you are at all interested in making planes, I encourage you to give it a go.  Nothing is more satsifying than using a fine tool that you've made yourself, in your own shop, with your own hands.



  1. Man, you're really crankin out some planes in short order! Looks great. Will the iron be new or vintage? Straight or tapered?
    You're right about there being nothing more satisfying than using a tool that you've made yourself. I've really gotten into making saws for myself here lately. A rip and a cross-cut panel saw, a 19" tenon saw filed rip, a 16" tenon saw filed rip, and a 14" sash saw filed cross cut. Custom made saw totes just fit your hand like they are an extension of your arm.
    I haven't gotten around to trying the plane making thing yet. I've had some 12/4 black birch that I purchased over a year ago with the intent of making a strike block plane very similar to what you just made. One day. I really like the strike button on yours by the way.

  2. Jamie, I've got a vintage Ohio Tool tapered iron that the plane was made for. I didn't include it in the shot (left it in the shop while finishing in the house and taking photos).

    I'd love to see your saws sometime. That 19" tenon saw sounds beastly!

    I'm on the hunt for 12/4 yellow birch to make some 18th Century New England planes. My local supplier has 8/4, but that isn't enough for what I need it for. You should make some planes!

  3. Hey Zach, If you click on my name in the comment above, it will take you to my blog page. I did a little write up with some pictures of the tenon saw back in November of '11. I don't have pictures up yet of the 16 and 14 inch saws. I've tried to base these for size and shape roughly off of the saws in the Smith's Key catalog.

    I'll definitely look forward to seeing some more of the planes you build. You're style is right up my alley. I love the look and feel of the 18th century style tools. I was amazed at how quickly you you ripped through that plow. I REALLY like that. I need to get over my fear of planemaking and just start in on one. I even got Lie-Nielsen floats for Christmas of 2010 and have yet to use them. I know, that a terrible waste of tools. Getting ready to break ground on a hand tool only shop. Once I get that done, maybe it'll be plane making time.

  4. Thanks for your kind words about the plow. I really like that one too. It looks fantastic in person and, more importantly, works well too. I'm thinking about making a more 18th century style plow for myself, since that style appeals to me. If I do, my walnut plow will be up for grabs.

    And I absolutely love your tenon saw. Phenomenal job. I might have to get me one of those...