Ive been doing too much metalwork lately, and i needed to get back to my roots and do some woodworking. So, i decided to make a block plane, as the blade on my last one suffered an unfortunate accident that resulted in it being bent along a 2 inch radius. So, project in mind, the first thing i need to do is gather materials. First, the blade:
Ive yet to find a good way of photographing polished steel. Anyway, one of the advantages of being a knife maker is if i need a cutting tool, its never to hard to make one. The blades roughly 1 5/8 wide, and 5ish inches long. I think. Honestly, Im not really measuring anything in this build, just to show how easy it is to get it all together, and how you dont need anything special. Anyway, the blades 1095 steel, ground and heat treated in house by me. Those of you building along at home, if youre lacking a fancy heat treating furnace and belt grinder, blades like this arent hard at all to find, ive heard excellent things about Hock Tools for example.
Anyway, now that we have a blade, we need the wood portion of this wood bodied hand plane. Looking around for a suitable chunk in my scraps, i spied this:
An old table leg i picked up years ago thinking id build something with it. I used my jointer to take off most of the finish, and it appears to be some form of maple. Works for me! Ideally you use the hardest wearing hardwood you have for at least the sole, so that the plane doesnt wear away too fast.
So, thats the big 2 things we need, onto the building. First off, heres a photo of my old block plane, which ill be using to get a rough idea of the dimensions:
Bout an inch and a half wide, maybe 6 inches long and 2 inches at its tallest. I dunno, it doesnt matter, im not touching a tape measure for this project, just eyeballing it. Ready? Lets go then! First step is to cut an appropriately sized chunk out of that table leg, then rip said chunk to be just a little bit, bout 1/16, wider than the blade youre using:
That little bit of extra width will allow adjustment of the blade laterally. Now, the next step is cutting a few pieces of wood to serve as the sides of the plane. you could use the same species as the main body of the plane, but i like a little more flair. Looking around, i spied a scrap piece of walnut that showed promise, so i cut a few pieces to length, then resawed them down to about 1/2 thick:
All the players assembled, lets get ready for the fun stuff! Now follow me to part 2 because i can only upload 5 pictures at a time!