The Chisel Plane
Every woodworker has his or her favorite tool. The factors that
determine which one it is are as numerous as the stars in the
sky. It could be a chisel that's been sharpened until there's
but a 1" nub left, a wooden or metal hand plane with cracked
and missing parts, or a tool that was a gift or an
item inherited from a family member. The object itself is unimportant;
it's the owner's attachment to it, for whatever reason, that
dictates this special bond. Usability can be a determining factor,
but in the case of this plane, wanting to own and use it has
more to do with its visual appeal and method of construction.
At 4" long (excluding the knob/handle) and 2" wide,
this is not a large tool. It fits the hand perfectly, and the
blade direction does not wander during use. The three modern
Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) certainly factored into the construction
of this little chisel plane, which seems to have gone something
such as the following: get a block of wood (mahogany), cut it
to size and put a 45° angle at one end. Take the frog from
the plane that dropped off the bench and broke, remove the lateral
lever, remove the adjuster yoke, invert the frog and drill some
holes so it can be attached to the block, respecting the alignment
to the 45° angle. Fashion a mounting bracket for the front
knob from a bent piece of steel. Cut a slot in the wood and
then file a slot in the frog on the inclined plane to hold a
1/2 " blade. Make a clamping bar that attaches the blade
through the frog's original bottom slots and in the center of
it, drill and tap a hole for a thumbscrew to lock the blade.
Make a blade using recycled material and cut a slot to engage
the nub on the original adjuster thumbwheel so that the blade
can be advanced and retracted. Sharpen the blade and then as
Robert (Bob) Baker used to say, "Clear the bench and test.
Rework if necessary".