A plough plane in a pinch with a problem

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I’ve been on the lookout for a plough plane for a little while. My main need is for running grooves for drawers and boxes. I don’t have a 6 mm router bit, and knowing that I could buy one, I also knew that once I did, my plough plane requirement would change from a “need” to a “want”. So with that in mind, I finally decided that if I couldn’t find a used Veritas Small Plough Plane, I’d buy a new one. A wanted post returned no fruit, so yesterday I went to order it from an Australian retailer who lists them at an affordable price. Over a phone call it became evident that not only did he not have stock, but the likelihood of getting more in is slim to none. The alternative is Carbatec, who’s price puts it out of my reach. Time to make another plan.

I’ve have a bunch of drawer parts which I’d prepared several weeks ago waiting on something to make the groves with, other than doing a double pass with a 3 mm router bit. With plan A and B out of the picture, and wanting to do something in the workshop yesterday evening, I thought I’d have a crack at making a plane, which I could use with chisels.

We have some left over Tasmanian Blackwood from the vanity my wife made, so figured it would make a good base. The long and short of it is that I made the plane and it worked. It’s designed to cut a 6 mm groove, 6 mm in from the edge.

I have not added a fence yet, so planed against a guide, and the wedge needs to be trimmed down.

Unfortunately there was a problem. I noticed after ploughing several grooves that when I have the wedge hammered all the way in, the body is starting to split.

Where does that leave me? I signed and dated “Hand plane by Lance #1”, and it will be retired to my office as a display piece.

I’ll make another attempt, but this time move the hole up a little, so that there is a connecting bridge along the base, which should offer significantly improved resistance to the tension forces exerted by the wedge. It was a fun project though, and was rather impressed that using only had tools, with the exception of the drill press, it only took a couple of hours of contemplation and work.

Oh, and I’ll go and buy the 6 mm router bit, as well as start looking for a used older Stanley/Record plough plane. At the lower cost, I can manage it as a “want”.


October, 2019

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