Introduction: Hand Plane Tote (handle)

A hand plane is a lot more enjoyable to use if the rear handle which was traditionally called the tote, it's fit exactly the shape of your hand. In my case, the hand plane I use it had a plastic handle, quite worn out and in some places broken, although the plastic totes have a nice rounded shape, I can't work with this handle in the state it's in.


My thought is to make the part of a hand tool only with the use of hand tools.

  • Hand saw
  • Hand drill
  • Japanese saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Rasps
  • Chisels

Step 1: Wood Selection

I think that any close-grained hardwood will make really good totes. Because It's not very large, you can probably find stock of hardwood in your box of cut-offs. Or you may choose to use a flashier design option. I chose to use a piece of local hardwood which was discarded and was a good opportunity to give it life again.

Step 2: The Pattern

I made this pattern so that its height and curves fit my hand. You can use this pattern or make one from a tote that fits your hand well, there is enough material for inspiration on the internet. One of the keys to this or your own pattern is the centerline up the shaft. Be sure to draw this centerline to fit the appropriate degrees for screwing to the base.

Step 3: Roughing Out the Shape

After I glue the pattern on the wood, I drew a few straight lines as close as I could to the original design and with the a japanese saw I cut out all the blanks.

Step 4: Drilling the Shaft Hole

Drilling the hole in the shaft it's the most difficult part of making a new tote. With a 6mm diameter bit, I drill the shaft hole in the center of the stock thickness, right down the centerline, will also be used as a pilot hole. Then with a 12mm diameter bit, I drilled from the top of the tote to create a cavity for the screw head. Αnd finally from the bottom of the tote I made a hole with a 10 mm bit for the body of the screw. I also need to open a cavity in the bottom of the tote so that can fit in the base of the plane.

Step 5: Refining the Shape

I will do the refining shaping with wood files and rasps. I started with a Cabinet Rasp for quick material removal and for the most detailed and fine work I used a variety of Riffler Rasps.

Step 6: Final Shaping

For the final shaping, I use 100, 120, 220 grit sandpaper. And through tests on whether it fits my hand, I'm making modifications to some details.

Step 7: To Be Continued

I like the result and I am thinking of replacing some other plastic parts of the hand plane with the same wood and mainly to do a restoration because the rust has started to appear.

So, the rest in Part 2....

Thank You!

Hand Tools Only Challenge

Participated in the
Hand Tools Only Challenge