Router Plane

imageHey everybody I have been posting on Google+ about this issue. I am in the market for a router plane because I make a lot of carcasses that have dados and rabbits in them. I am sick of using the chisel to get the grooves right. I always end up going a little deep especially on plywood and although that isn’t the worst thing it just takes to long. I can picture in my head the ease and speed of the perfect dado with this tool! So as I was surfing around looking for one, I always first start on Craigslist and then move to Ebay, I couldn’t believe the prices people are getting for these planes! When I saw that I surfed to Lee Valley and looked at their Veritas plane. To my surprise they are not that much more than the going rate for a used one. Now I get the whole old tool thing and especially old planes. The reason I go that route is for the fact that they are much better tools and of course the “Wow” factor. There is just something totally cool about getting and fixinimageg up an old plane. Then when you start to use it there are the thoughts of, at least through my head, who used this plane and what kind of work it has seen. As I plane it takes me to a cool place and I love it. Ok, once I come back to reality I also don’t want to get bamboozled out of all my money. I mean I know these are cool planes (the old ones) but when you look at the newer version from Lee Valley I just see a much better and more versatile plane that will come ready to plow out of the box and no they are not paying me to say that. (Geez I wish!)  So as I was surfing around I found this web site from Perth Australia and a guy named Derek who makes a lot of his own tools including a router plane. Here is the link to that page intothewoodshop.com. Before I saw this page I had in my mind that I would try to make my own but it was just a passing thought. Once I saw this i realized how easy it would be to go ahead and make one. This will be the first “real tool” I will make. I have made jigs and other things for the shop but nothing I would consider a tool. So this is new territory for me and I think a very got project to get my feet wet in that area of woodworking. I have always wanted to make certain things that end up being to expensive or are just cool but never had given it the time that it needs to get it done. I am the t type that needs  a few things going at once to feel comfortable. It is a blessing and a curse because I have a hard time slowing it down and want to get things done now. That is your enemy in endeavors such as these. You have to be will ing to know that this may not be done today or even next week and that the objective is to get it right not get er done!

So I have another project that went awry and decided to right that wrong and use that wood to build this. It is the perfect thing to use. I had gotten an old wooden plane for like 5 bucks from somewhere and don’t remember but I had tried to fix it. It was the size of a number 7 or so and the front had worn down so much that it was digging into the wood. The mouth was very wide and it pretty much rendered it useless. I had tried to rectify that but failed and ruined the thing. So I took a chunk of it and made the router plane body which is where I am at now. I need to drill a hole to accept the holder for the blade, an eye bolt, and notch out a seat for the blade so it cannot spin. I went looking around yesterday and couldn’t find and brass collars or thumbscrews so I am going to use just what is available until I can work that out. The tool will look much better and probably work smoother if I can locate those things. So the process I used to make it was very simple. I marked out the piece using most of Derek’s dimensions and then later realized I could have just printed his template but my piece of wood was just a few millimeters thinner than his so that wouldn’t have worked anyway. So I tweaked that and finally got a shape I was happy with and took it to the scroll saw. Chucked a new coarse blade and it cut slow but very nice and smooth so there was minimal sanding. I then took it to the drill press and drilled the three holes on top. Next I took it to the vise and used my dovetail saw to cut the slope on the front. For the slope in the back I just used a file and kept testing the grip until I was happy. So then I just took to filing and sanding the rest to get the final shape. There is one flaw in the plane body and that was unavoidable if I wanted to use this piece of wood. There is a hole drilled right where the handle was on the original plane and where this handle ends up. imageI will have to fill that with something. It just looks bad but I don’t think it will hamper the quality of use at least I hope not. i think it has turned out rather well so far but the real test will be the blade installation. That will be key as to wether this thing will work at all. If the blade is not square to the body then you will never be able to get a nice cut. I will post again once I have located the rest of the parts and finish it up. Until then, as always “If I can do it so Can YOU!”

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