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Making My Own Finger Planes


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I just bought 3 finger plane blades from International Luthiers; I have a semi-hollow with a carved top in the works so I figured this would be a fun, worthwile project.


I was going to get 2 but the minimum credit card order was $20 :D There really wasnt anything else on the site that interested me at the moment anyway. I got a toothed 12mm, a toothed 18mm, and a standard 12mm. I am really not sure if those were the right sizes or not. I am thinking I should have gotten a standard 18mm instead of a standard 12mm, but oh well. These were by the way the lowest prices I was able to find for blades on the net. Anyway, there were a few threads on the MIMF forum about finger planes (and making your own) so I think I might be ok. I have some quartersawn bloodwood and some 1/4" rosewood i will be using for the bodies. Bloodwood in the middle and rosewood laminated to each side. There are a couple of diagrams and pictures flotaing around at MIMF that I will be basing mine off of. As soon as the blades arrive I will be getting started and I will take some pics. Does anyone have any experience with this kind of thing that they would like to share? I am still contemplating what angle to set the blades at as well as weather or not to use a simple wedge to secure the blade or a screw/lever kind of deal. ANy help is welcome B) Thanks guys!

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I set the blade angle based on the bevel already on them - you want it to be pretty much parallel to the sole of the plane. Making carving planes is great fun, and very simple, and it feels great to use tools you've built yourself. I used mahogany and curly maple with ebony wedges.


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Here's a few better shots of the smaller plane.

Dimensions are:

Small plane - 45mm long, 10mm blade width.

Larger plane - 55mm long, 13mm blade width.




I built the planes by machining the centre lamination to the same width as the blade. I cut the bed of the plane and the chip relief on the bandsaw, and clean up with my belt sander (mounted at 90 degrees to the bench). Then I make the wedge, and machine the sides. I drill them for the pin (I use a penny nail) and then assemble the plane and glue it with the blade and wedge in place - this guarantees that the wedge will bed the blade down solidly, even if your wedge isn't perfectly squared.

I aim for the tightest throat I can get, and simply sand the sole, or file the edge of the throat if I need a bigger opening. I make the planes rectangular, then sand them to whatever shape I need.

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