Made a jack plane

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Established Member
19 May 2010
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The Netherlands
Because I am in between serious projects, I decided to make a wooden plane. Beech, in the English tradition. This is a jack plane. A jack plane needs a wide open mouth, luckilly, because whatever I tried the mouth only got larger...

It's 16" long with a 2 1/8" iron.

Actually, this is pallet wood. From a guy who buys it from a machine factory. I looked very hard in his yard to find some that didn't rot away completely. Luckilly it is very easy to see which boards are quarter sawn, they check along the rays.

I had a very nice large piece of beech for a try plane, but I brought it inside in the garage and it is now checking all over the place (sigh).
Very nice work, I like the tidy detailing, you must be well pleased with it and rightly so.

Are my eyes playing tricks on me, or have you slightly offset the handle to the right of the plane looking from the heel end? If so, it will be interesting to hear your thoughts on how the plane behaves once you've had a chance to do some work with it. I know Richard Arnold made a pair of planes like this, but he found that being left-handed, he didn't get on with them at all.
Indeed Cheshirechappie, the tote is offset like they did in the 18th century in England. They continued this tradition for a very long time in Holland, I have a few planes with offset handles that are clearly late 19th/early 20th century. I like it, I like how it looks and it somehow gives a more natural feel to how you hold the plane. It also gives your pinky a place to go when the handle is small.

But I get along fine with my Stanleys too, so it is mater of personal preference.
Cheshirechappie":270l3v2t said:
Corneel":270l3v2t said:
Actually, this is pallet wood.

I can hear D_W's jaw hitting the floor even from several thousand miles away! :lol:

I'm a bit too lazy to look that hard!!

Horizon charges us quite a bit for the wood over here, but it shows up in the shop on a pallet. Freight guy even rolls it in.

Looks good, Kees! Let us know how the offset handle gets on with you. Of the planes for it to be on, I think the jack is probably the best - it sort of forces a two handed grip.
Thanks for the heads up David. To be sure, it was your video series on youtube that pulled me over the line. It just took a a bit of time. BTW, I am working on the second jack plane now. Next I am really going to practice on tighter mouths on a smoothing plane. Those use a lot less wood, so it doesn't matter so much when it's a failure.
Looks nice, do you have any work-in-progress photos?

What tools did you use?
There are quite a few pictures in my blog:

Most tools are pretty standard. I do have one Lie Nielsen float, a sidefloat that I also use as a bedding float. That's a marvelous tool. I have made an edge float from a rather thick ruler, but don't use it much. To saw the abutments I made a small narrow saw without any set on the teeth. it really likes to bind in the cut of course. An old chisel, sharpened at 90 degrees is a scraper, also very usefull in bedding the iron.
That's a lovely job, nice work! We must have a shavings photo, that's obligatory isn't it? :mrgreen:

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