Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Troy Michigan USA
Piper, I have made several wooden hand planes (about 15), some from construction grade 2 x 4s. They all work great when they are dialed in. I have made hollows and rounds (side escapement), snipe planes, Rabet planes, Grooving planes, matched Tonge and Groove planes, even skewed planes. One small plane that I use quite often uses a Bi-metal sawzall blade for the iron. They are all finished with a boiled linseed oil/turpentine mixture because after much reading on the subject, was used at least for a millennium. My understanding is that it is an oil that after it dries (the turpentine vents off), it hardens yet keeps the wood stable. That is probably why wood planes 100 years old have little or no checking. You flood the oil to let it penetrate the wood, then after several hours wipe the excess, and let it dry for several days. after that you can coat the plane with shellac. Later if you need to re finish, you simply use denatured alcohol to remove the finish and re do the process again.
What it really comes down to is learning to sharpen the iron is the key to any plane working well. If you learn to sharpen by first flattening the back side to a polished flat surface, you will be able hone and strop the bevel to a polished edge that gives you an extremely keen edge. Using a 10x magnifying Loupe while sharpening will show your progress and you will see how by removing the scratch marks on both the flat side and the bevel edge will give you the keenest edge, which is a pleasure to use in any plane.
Last edited by gmercer_48083; 01-30-2018 at 10:28 AM.