Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 7, Issue 2
   November 2012
 
   From the Collection
 

The Chisel Plane
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.

Front view   Rear view

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".
 
 
         
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