A Review: Make a Wooden Smoothing Plane
by Patrick Harper - Blood, Sweat, and Sawdust
I spent the last six months building the workshop. Yes, life blessed me with an amazing opportunity. However, I grew tired of drywall, cabinets, and electrical. I wanted a fun project. So, when I stumbled across Scott Meek’s video, “Make a Wooden Smoothing Plane”, I decided to give it a shot.
You can buy Scott’s video as a digital download or DVD. It provides over two hours of detailed instruction. In addition, Scott includes a Sketchup template and detailed drawings. The video starts with wood selection and milling. Then, it walks you from shaping to troubleshooting. Additionally, Scott provides you with excellent plane making tips along the way. Furthermore, “Make a Wooden Smoothing Plane”, puts it in simple English that’s easy to follow.
Heck, even I was able to follow along. In fact, I was able to make my wooden hand plane in just a few days.
The entire process is pretty simple. First, you mill your cheeks and center assembly. Then, you dry assemble the plane body. Next, you cut your throat and ramp. Then, you glue everything together. Finally, you shape the plane body and troubleshoot. While the most difficult part was cutting accurate tenons on the cross-pin, my first wooden plane was a success.
My only complaint, is that Scott doesn’t delve into plane iron selection or troubleshooting. I choose the 2-inch wide, by 4 1/2-inch long iron from Ron Hock. In conclusion, I highly recommend Scott Meek’s, “Make a Wooden Smoothing Plane”. It provides excellent instruction and it’s a fun project.
You can find it at www.shopwoodworking.com
I am thinking about getting this video. I got a prototype Scott Meek jointer plane; actually picked it up at Scott’s shop in Asheville, and he said the tenons on the cross pin would be the hardest part. So how did you make the tenons, cause I’ll need to do that soon.
Jeff, I recently built an auxiliary top/fench for my drill press. I ended up clamping a square stop block to the fence. I used the stop block as a reference for the cross-pin and clamped it to the fence, against the stop block. Next time, I might make a special fence just for vertical stock.
I meant to add that the plane and got is a kit.
This looks lovely, I recently tried making a plane myself (tried being the operative word) but instead of a wooden cross pin I inserted a metal one thinking that it would be more suitable for when I drove the wedge home. I know my failure may be a collection of issues but the iron kept coming loose after 4 or 5 strokes. Would it be fair to assume that because this plane has a wooden cross pin that it grips the wedge in place better than a metal cross pin would?
Yes, I would think so. More friction, and the wood can compress a little for added pressure. One thing to remember is that you don’t want to put any kind of finish on the surface of the cross-pin that comes in contact with the plane iron.