After viewing a few YouTube videos showing how to build wooden body hand planes, I imagined the fun part of the project to be final shaping. Prior to shaping, wooden body hand planes can look a little rough. In the case of my Scott Meek Wave Grip Jointer Plane Kit, before shaping, the CNC plywood body is very rough.
To remind readers where I have come from on this kit, take a look at these two photos…
Note in the second photo how the plywood has been CNC milled to provide guidance on how shaping the wave grip and front nose should occur. I need to remove these stepped, CNC cut-outs to arrive at a smooth, curvaceous and flowing plane. The area around the grip and nose need considerable stock removal. Remember this is a prototype plane kit, one of only three made. The design of the final kits will be refined to require less stock removal.
My initial tools chosen for shaping are a flat rasp and a rounded one. These are what I consider to be good quality rasps bought at my local Woodcraft store. These are not the high quality hand cut rasps which Scott Meek uses. My thinking is the high quality rasps cut faster and leave a smoother surface. My initial goal is to remove the stepped ridges and my average rasps seem to be doing a good job…
At this point, I began using my random orbit sander to help shape the plane; mainly to remove rasp marks and even out a few areas. Having an adjustable speed random orbit sander was helpful. For some of the delicate sanding, I slowed the sander down to level 2 for some of the sanding.
This morning I finished shaping the remaining side which required some considerable work. The angle I needed to achieve, so that I did not dig into the upper opening for the iron/wedge/shavings, was a steep one. This was about an hour of rasp work followed by some sanding; then I did some final overall shaping and refining enhancing some of the flowing curves I wanted. The great thing about a wooden body hand plane is the final shape is whatever you want it to be…
I am calling this plane finished. I will likely put some finish on it, but I won’t bore you with that. I’ll also do a future post or two about the experience of using a large wooden body jointer plane. I already have a Veritas low anger metal jointer plane, so I’ll be able to compare the two.
This is the second hand plane I have built; the first being a Hock Tools shoulder plane. That is a speciality plane which I have not used very often. But I like the idea of hand plane kits. After watching Scott Meek’s DVD on building a wooden body hand plane, there several steps when building a plane from scratch which require precision cuts. A kit has a lot of this high-accuracy construction already taken care of. The tools needed are minimal and the result is a lower cost way to grow your hand plane collection. My next wooden body hand plane will be a jack plane and I’ll be building this from scratch.
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