Introduction: Make a Wooden Hand Plane - Mini Woodworking Project - Pocket Sized Trash to Treasure

About: Mostly woodworking related projects with a special interest in toys, musical instruments and vintage tools.

This Instructable has a YouTube video to follow along with:

To make this Wooden Hand Plane you will need:

A small piece of Hardwood: I used Reclaimed Oak from an old Table Leg.

A Pencil: For marking out

A Hand Plane: For truing the Stock Wood to make the Body

A Small Chisel: To chop out the Planes Throat

A piece of old Bandsaw Blade: I use pieces of broken Industrial Blade from my local Wood Mill

Small Masonry Nails: To use as a Wedge Pin

A Hacksaw or Rotary Tool with a Cut Off Wheel:

A Bench Grinder or Belt Sander: A file can be used as an alternative.

A Drill: I use a Bench Drill, but a Hand Drill will work well.

A Small Hammer:

Boiled Linseed Oil:

Step 1: Shaping the Wood to Form the Planes Body

Use a small piece of Hardwood to make the Body of the Hand Plane. I used Recycled Oak from an old Table Leg.

I started by cutting a larger piece down to a usable size using an Axe.

I Planed it to true it up and make the sides square to each other. To do this, I used a Plane Stop and placed the work piece on top of a flat piece of wood that was lower than the Plane Stop for support.

I used a Block Plane for this task.

Step 2: Mark and Chop Out the Throat of the Hand Plane

Clamp the work piece down to secure it. You will see from the pictures that I am making two Hand Planes at the same time. This is due to the Camera failing during the making of the first one.

I mark out the Throat area of the Plane and chisel inward toward the centre from the outside edge of the marked area. I chisel at an angle close to 45 degrees using a 5mm Mini Chisel. You can watch how I make these Chisels on my YouTube Channel.

Step 3: Create the Mouth of the Hand Plane

Mark the Mouth position on the sole of the Plane by drawing a line to match the meeting point of the two 45 degree angles of the Throat area.

Very lightly chop through the Sole to create the Mouth of the Plane.

Finally turn over and take Paring cuts to refine the Throat area.

Step 4: Making the Plane Iron

I use Recycled Bandsaw Blade from an old Blade to make the Plane Iron. It is made from Tool Steel and very good for making the Iron.

I mark out the size of the Iron to match the width of the Planes Throat.

I cut it using a good quality Hacksaw Blade. I have also had good success using a Rotary Tool with a Cut Off Wheel.

I shape the Iron and create the Bevel using a Bench Grinder, checking regularly the fit of the Iron to the Throat of the Plane. This step can be done using Files.

I sharpen the Iron as I would for any Plane Iron. I use cheap Diamond Sharpening Plates. I Strop the Iron to finish the sharpening process.

Step 5: Making and Fitting the Wedge Pin

The Plane Iron is held in place securely using a Wedge. The Wedge need to jam against a pin to hold it in place.

I use Hardened Masonry Nails for the Wedge Pin.

I mark the location of the wedge Pin on the side of the Plane in line with the Mouth opening and about half way down the side of the Body at the Throat location.

Drill a hole using a Drill Bit that is just under size from the Wedge Pin (Masonry Nail) I used a Drill Press, but a Hand Drill will work.

Fit the Wedge Pin and mark it to cut it to size. I cut it using a pair of Pincers.

I fix the wedge Pin in place and apply a drop of Super Glue to secure it.

Step 6: Cut the Plane Body to Size and Shape It

Mark out the size of the Plane Body to how you would like it to be.

Cut the Plane Body to length.

I shape the Plane Body on the Belt Sander, but this could easily be done using Sandpaper on a work surface.

While using the Belt Sander there are sparks from the Wedge Pin. I take precaution to disconnect the Dust Extraction and make sure there is no build up of Dust in the Machine that may ignite and cause a fire.

Step 7: Making the Wedge

The Wedge that holds the Plane Iron in place also needs to made from Hardwood. I use a piece of the same Oak from the Recycled Table Leg.

This process needs to be progressive beginning with creating an over size Wedge and gradually sanding it until it fits between the Iron and the Wedge Pin while securing the Iron in place.

Step 8: Setting Up the Plane and Testing

Fit the Iron and secure it with the Wedge.

Adjust the depth of the Iron until the Plane begins to cut nice shaving. The Plane is adjusted the same way that a full size Wooden Hand Plane would be. Tap the Back or Top of the Iron to adjust for a deeper cut. Tap the Back of the Plane Body to retract the Iron. Remember to secure the Wedge once you are happy with the cut by tapping it.

Step 9: Finishing the Hand Plane

I soaked the Hand Plane in Boiled Linseed Oil.

The Hand Plane is so small it easily fits in a pocket and can be carried anywhere.

These make a fantastic gift for woodworkers and they are great fun to use.

Enjoy and have fun.

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