Sunday, 20 November 2011


This is the first plane I made.  I made it about three years ago following the instructions in the book "Making & Mastering Wood Planes" by David Finck.  If you are thinking about making a wooden plane, this is the book to have.  The instructions are so detailed it is hard to go wrong (I still did, but not before it was too late).  This style of plane is attributed to the late James Krenov, so I refer to thisplane as "the Krenov."

The main body is acacia and the wedge and cross pin are made from walnut.  The body is 10-1/2" long by 2-1/2" wide.  The blade and cap iron, which were made by Hock Tools, are 1-1/2" wide,  which makes this kind of an odd sized plane.  I chose the wood because the blank was about the right length, had a consistent slope to the grain, and felt heavier than other woods in the shop.  I chose the blade to fit the blank based on the instructions in the book.  The walnut became the wedge because I had a piece that was the same width as the blade and was already wedge shaped.

I am absurdly proud of this plane.  The throat opening is less than .004" and I have measured shavings as thin as .0015".  It is comfortable to hold.  It looks good.  It can plane curly maple without tearout.  It's my first one.  All the credit belongs to the book and it's author.

If I do have any complaint about this plane it is that the narrow throat makes it purely a smoother and not so good for general purpose work.  Hence my second plane, the Primus.

Although this plane looks almost nothing like the Krenov it does have the same basic structure.  The only real changes are the addition of the front horn and the rear tote.  The body is 9" long by 3" wide with a 2-1/8" wide blade.  The throat opening is .010" which makes this plane better for rougher work.  The sole is pau ferro, the body is mahogany, the wedge is ash and the cross pin is 1/4" brass rod.

I made this plane during a class I took from Lee Valley.  When I signed up for the class I thought it would be about Krenov planes but we came out with this instead.  The class took place over a Friday evening and a Saturday so this plane came together pretty quickly.  We worked exclusively with power tools, inclding the tablesaw, bandsaw, planer, jointer, belt sander, drill press and lathe.  Cutting the front horn on the bandsaw was an adventure and no two were alike, or even close.  The horn on mine is probably a good inch and a half longer than it needs to be, but I couldn't bring myself to cut it.  Freud would probably have something to say about that.

Although this plane is not as refined as the Krenov it works quite well.  It is not nearly as comfortable to hold though.  The front horn is curved to fit my left hand but the top edge digs into the heel of my palm.  My right hand feels both corners of the body when I am pushing the plane.  At some point in the future I will revisit this plane and round over some corners to make it more comfortable to use.

Building both of these planes showed me the versatility of this form.  I can see a razee style plane with a closed tote in my future, maybe a jack.  I have a couple of other projects that I want to do before that, though. 


  1. Hi Kevin, it's good to see another woodworking blogger from Saskatchewan! Nice job on your planes.

    1. Hi Darnell, thanks for stopping by and thank you for becoming my first follower. It's always good to connect with the local woodworking community.