In an earlier post I pondered a decision: Make the little hand plane using the walnut with the oak base, or use the Osage Orange blank. In the end I decided to use the walnut blank. As I have never made a wood plane, I needed something to guide me. Enter a great reference – I just bought David Finck’s Making & Mastering Wood Planes, Revised Edition, which came out a few weeks ago; the copy I received was signed by the author. Finck has also posted on YouTube a video supplement to the book!
First things first: On the top I marked the front, to make sure I would have the correct orientation in the end. And I carefully identified each cheek relative to the core parts. Now, the actual work follows.
I started by removing the cheeks at the band saw:
To keep the cheeks properly aligned with the rest of the body, I used alignment dowels. I drilled the holes and inserted slightly oversize dowels, then trimmed the dowels flush with the cheeks (the dowels are close to the edge, as they will be removed when the body is shaped):
Careful layout is required for the pin – I elected to go with a wooden pin to hold the wedge that holds the iron:
At this stage the basic things are done, and I can do a dry fit:
This pin is planed by hand, but with a block plane upside down in a vise; the hand guides the pin along the base of the block plane, one thin sliver at a time, until suitably round:
A peek at the front end of the hand plane structure; notice I have rounded the surface, to provide better chip clearance:
A temporary wedge in place, as I wanted to have a better feel for the fit across the opening:
In the next photo I have all body components ready for glue-up:
Dinner time. To be continued…