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Making and Using Tools - Planes, Scrapers, and Shaves


Bevel-up Plane - a Group Project by Charles Rodgers

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Ron Hock offered a good deal on a small bevel-up blade, ideal for a first-time plane maker.  That describes me, so I ordered one.  It won’t compete with Clark and Williams, but hopefully it will produce shavings. 

A check with those in the know indicates that fruit wood is an acceptable wood for a plane.  I happen to have some pear wood.  A neighbor gave me the ~7”-8” X 3’ trunk of a lightning-struck tree 4 or 5 years ago.  I trimmed and slopped several coats of shellac on the ends, peeled the bark, split it in half and have had it air drying in the garage since.  Here’s a picture of one half as I trimmed it with my 5pt rip saw.


After the initial trimming, I planed flats on the bark face of the cant with my trusty Type 11 #7 so I could joint an edge and smooth the pith face without it rocking and rolling.  With one edge smooth, I jointed the pith face smooth and square to the edge.

At this point, I resorted to electron-powered devices to reduce the cant to a nominal 1-3/4” X 4” X 20” blank.  Notice the light curl in the grain?

This is a very pretty piece of wood.  I just hope it works well as a plane.

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