Of all carpentry tools used to shape wood, the hand plane is the one that symbolizes the highest craftsmanship. They say that two of the greatest thrills of woodworking are having a hand plane and mastering its use. It’s time to level up your skill and make your very first-hand plane made of wood. Learning how to build a wooden hand plane is easy and fun, and surprisingly can be done in about three to four hours.
Materials Needed to Make a Wooden Hand Plane
In learning how to build a wooden hand plane, it is essential to have complete materials. These are usually found in your shop, and you don’t necessarily need to buy new ones. Here are the materials required to make your first wooden hand plane:
- Small piece of hardwood
- Small Chisel
- A portion of old Bandsaw Blade
- Small Hammer
- Small Masonry Nails
- Hand Plane
- Bench Grinder or Belt Sander
- Boiled Linseed Oil
Steps to Make a Wooden Hand Plane
Using the necessary materials above, here are the steps on how to build a wooden hand plane:
Step 1: Shaping the Wood and Forming the Planes Body
To start, use a small piece of hardwood to make the body of the hand plane. Cut a more extensive piece down to a usable size using an ax. Plane it to make the sides square to each other.
Step 2: Marking and Chopping Out the Throat of the Hand Plane
Next, clamp the workpiece down to secure it. Mark out the plane’s throat area and chisel inward toward the center from the marked area’s outside edge. Chisel at an angle about 45 degrees using a 5mm mini chisel.
Step 3: Creating the Mouth of the Hand Plane
Mark the mouth position on the plane’s sole by drawing a line to match the meeting point of the two 45-degree angles of the throat area. Chop through the sole to create the plane’s mouth, and you have to do it lightly. Then, turn over and take paring cuts to refine the throat area.
Step 4: Making the Plane Iron
Use a bandsaw blade to make the plane iron and mark the iron’s size to match the width of the plane’s throat. Then, cut it using a hacksaw blade. Using a bench grinder, shape the iron, and create the bevel. Make sure to check the fit of the iron regularly to the throat of the plane. Sharpen the iron and strop it to finish the sharpening process.
Step 5: Making and Fitting of the Wedge Pin
The plane iron is positioned in a place securely using a wedge. That wedge needs to jam against a pin to hold it in place. For the wedge pin, use hardened masonry nails. Mark the wedge pin’s location on the side of the plane in line with the mouth opening and about halfway down the side of the body at the throat’s location. Next, drill a hole, fit the wedge pin and mark it to cut it to size using a pair of pincers. You can fix the wedge pin in place and apply a drop of super glue to secure it.
Step 6: Cutting the Plane Body to Size and Shaping It
This time, mark out the plane body’s size as you would desire then cut the plane body to length. Shape the plane body using the belt sander; you can also use sandpaper on a work surface.
Step 7: Making the Wedge
The wedge holding the plane iron in place also needs to be made from hardwood. This process needs to be progressive, starting with creating an oversize wedge and sanding it gradually until you see that it fits between the iron and the wedge pin while you secure the iron in place.
Step 8: Setting Up the Plane and Doing a Test
It’s time to fit the iron and secure it with the wedge. It would help if you made adjustments on the iron depth until the plane begins to cut nice shaving. The plane should be adjusted the same way that a full-size wooden hand plane would be. Remember to secure the wedge once you are contented with the cut by tapping it.
Step 9: Finishing the Hand Plane
Finally, soak the hand plane in boiled linseed oil. Making your first wooden hand plane is now a success. It is a beneficial and helpful experience to learn how to build a wooden hand plane. Enjoy using it, and have fun. Here’s how to learn more about hand planes.
It gives a sense of satisfaction to make your wooden hand plane for the first time. This project takes patience, fundamental skills, and some materials for that rewarding experience. It may take more practice to make this remarkable tool correctly, but if you are eager to learn how to build a wooden hand plane, you are learning a useful life skill at the same time.