You know, you guys are making this look way too easy. My first ever wooden plane should be coming in the mail this week so I have a model, and I thought I would post some books (with notes) that I know of for wooden plane making for everyone else who is in over their head with me. If anyone has any other really good resources or comments, please join in! These are all from the perspective of a beginner who has spent almost as much on books as tools, so please correct me if I am wrong about anything.
"Woodworker's Guide to Handplanes" by Scott Wynn
I would buy this book just for the drawings and pictures, even if the information was all wrong. This is a gorgeous book, has tons of information about wooden planes and was first published in 2010. I can't comment on the accuracy of the information, but it is very well written and enjoyable to read, over 300 pages long with about 60 pages on plane setup covering metal, wood, Chinese and Japanese planes and another 60 on making and modifying planes. It has planes dimensioned drawings for a bunch of different sizes and types of wooden planes, totes, wedges, and how to fit a movable sole plate among other things. Covers making traditional western body planes but with a cross pin and bearing plate instead of tapered abutments, Japanese planes, chibi-kanna, hollowing, rounding and spoonbottom planes. Not all the way through reading it but it has been an amazing read so far, very deeply thought out and exceptionally well written.
"Making and Mastering Wood Planes" by David Finck
This seems like a pretty good book for making Krenov style planes (foreword by James Krenov, so no real surprise there). I have the 2nd printing, revised edition 2009 and there is at least one page missing that had information I really wanted and had to find elsewhere (aim for a newer edition if it exists). Only really covers Krenov style planes and is probably a good place to start, but the minute I realized I might be able to make a one piece plane in a traditional style I stopped wanting to make these. This was the first book on plane making I bought, but it would also be the only one of the four that I would consider parting with. This may be more of a reflection on my tastes than the book, though, so take this bit with a grain of salt as I still devoured it on my first reading.
"Wooden Planes and How to Make Them" by David G. Perch and Robert S. Lee
Quick and to the point, covers how to make a traditional smoother in 14 pages and doesn't slow down, has 4 additional methods to make a smoother as well. I count over 20 different types of plane construction covered in 182 pages, including 5 different cooper's planes. Not a whole lot of extras in this one, doesn't really hold your hand or go into a whole lot of extra detail. It seems like a great book to me, but I didn't feel ready to tackle any of the planes in here without some other references.
"Making Traditional Wooden Planes" by John M. Whelan
This seems to go into a lot more detail on the individual planes than the Perch and Lee book, and it seems to me kind of like an amateur follow up of that book. In his intro, he states
"My first plane (as you will learn later) was a disappointment, although I had the fine instructions available in the work by Perch and Lee (1981). It appeared that a description by an amateur, rather than a professional woodworker, might be useful. Although I had made a dozen or so planes before (mostly historical replicas), this book began by making all of the planes described herein, keeping a record of difficulties encountered and how they were overcome. No amount of close study of this text, however, will teach you how to make a working plane. You must make one."
This section is a very good description of the feel of the rest of the book, and it made plane making (even a plow plane) seem much more approachable and understandable to me.
My general impressions:
- If you want to make a Krenov smoother, buy the Finck book and get to work.
- If you really know what you're doing, Perch and Lee will probably have everything you need.
- If Perch and Lee are too smart for you, buy Whelan and go to town. I'm really glad I have the Perch and Lee book too, as they really complement each other.
- Buy the Wynn book, just to have it. It is a beautiful, very deeply thought out, well written book about wooden hand planes that was published less than 2 years ago. This book is a work of art.
Last edited by Shaun Mahood; 02-23-2012 at 12:24 AM. Reason: Typos
I have put together a spill plane loosely based on Darrell LaRu's walk through. My plane works, but it needs to be cleaned up, oiled where appropriate, shellacked where appropriate and waxed where appropriate. Since the plane stays still and the wood moves, I have been able to clamp the plane down and together, and test it before it was glued up. The shavings are great! I am shaving down wood just to make shavings! I love my new spill plane! I made it to have a duel purpose. It will clean up the edges on cedar picket for when I am making planters. At the same time it makes lovely cedar spills. I took a handful of them in to show my wife and she claimed them as hers!
I made an odd spill plane of my own design a while back, but it was more of an experiment and kind of a cute failure.
Here is the new spill plane, parts of it still need to be polished, oiled, shellacked and waxed.
And just to make the post longer, here are a few spills and the block used to make it.
Last edited by Bob Strawn; 02-23-2012 at 9:34 AM.
very nice .....
Here is the rough stock for the iron shod miter. Ground 1018 flat and cuban mahogany. I have to do some thinking, I don't have a blade for this plane, and the place I'm sourcing some from may not be able to get me one in time. It might be bladeless on the due date.
Anyways, pictures of the sole/mouth design and stock below.
Are you really planning on joining the plane together along it's length(like it shows in the sketch)? It would be MUCH stronger(with this type of constructon)to have the sides go full length.
If I follow Trevor correctly, that plan is just for the steel piece that serves as the sole?
I think where the mouth meets, I might be more inclined to do a finger joint / cope and stick / mortise and tenon type of thing.
But I've never done it. It's something that may make a joint less vulnerable to shearing, and you could do it with a saw kerf from something with a thin blade.
I know i've seen wayne anderson and others use that type of joint on iron infill miter planes.
Chris, Joshua is right the sketches are just for the geometry of the steel sole. I had thought through the design so far and based on my starting photos in the first post I neglected to think about how it would appear so someone on the outside.
David, Several planemakers do use the T&G mouth connection, I've seen it in waynee anderson's, Raney Nelson's, historic examples etc. But the detail in the side view for the prototype I pictured does have this angular joint, it will be fairly faithful to this example. After seeing this joint I think it will be easier to get a clean fit than with a T&G, if you think about it the T&G has 10 mating planes and this joint has only 4. I went with thinner material for the sole 3/32" so it may be a bit challenging to do the angular joint, and damn near impossible without some fancy mill setup to cut a T&G in stock that thin.
I'm hoping to make the fixture I want to mill out the bedding angle this week, maybe today I can get some progress on the body.
I'm thinking since it's 1018 that you might be able to cut it with a razor saw or something like that with a lot of the rake taken off the teeth. Certainly not something to be done with a hardware store hacksaw blade.
I do think filing the angles will be easier, though, I agree, and should be fine as long as the wood is top shelf in terms of grain orientation.
I've got some really good sweedish hacksaw blades and an awesome cast aluminum high tension hacksaw. I usually use it for cutting up 1/8" 1095 plate and assorted O1 and W1 round and bar stock. It will breeze through the 1018. I agree some of the worst blades I've ever used have been the Buck Bros. and HF. One swipe and half the teeth are stripped off.
Layout on the milling fixture is finished. I think I will groove it to fit the flat stock securely, that way orienting the sole stock to the mill will be easy.
Hey Trevor. Are you gonna blog about this or post a detailed thread on the build? I'm not really understanding the conversation at the moment, and would love to see more details of the steps involved and the actual construction as you go through the build.
If you've got access to a mill, you're miles ahead of me. I'm resisting the urge to buy one under the assumption that after 7 or 8 metal planes (in the middle of #4 right now) i will have had enough.