Make a Router Plane




About: I have been working with wood since I could stumble into the shop with my dad. About a year ago I moved into a house with no space for a full shop so I decided to take up all hand tool wood working. That sta...

A router plane is an easy tool to make, and it was one of the first that I made. In this video, I go over how to make a router plane out of some scrap Cherry and some Eye Bolts. This is a quick Hand tool Woodworking project that most anyone can do, and the results can change a shop! With little more than a Brace, Bit and Chisel you can make one too.

I will not go into what it is for or how to use it other than to say it is an extremely useful tool even in a Power tool shop. Here is a video on how to use it.

Tools Needed:

Bit set:

Coping saw:

Panel saw:

Chisel Set:

Block Plane:

File set:

Rasp set:




Supplies needed:

Scrap wood: Whatever size you want

Boiled Linseed Oil:

Past Wax:

wood glue:

Router plane Iron: You can make one too!

Eye bolts:

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Step 1: Lay-Out Design

This is the part where you can be creative.and make it whatever you want. All it needs is a larger flat surface, a hole to see the cutter working, and a small chunk at the back to attach the cutter head.

For mine I used a template I found that was about the size I wanted. About 7" X 5" but int he past I have need smaller ones and larger ones.

You can also find ornate stencils and designs online that you can copy but it does not have to be fancy. For the viewing hole, I draw 4 circles in each corner then draw a couple notch outs for finger grips.

Step 2: Cut Out the Shape

I use a bit and brace to drill out all the holes and notches. I start by boring from one side tell the screw comes out than bore from the other side to leave a nice clean hole.

In between the holes of the viewing hole I use a coping saw to remove the majority of the waist then come back to the line with a chisel and give it a nice clean line between the holes.

Step 3: Make Cutter Support

The back on mine is 1" X 1" and I want it to be about 2" tall to give the cutting iron more support.

To do this, I rip down a strip of Cherry 1" square then cut it to about 2" long. Then with a bit of wood glue, I attach it to the back of the router body and clamp it.

Once it comes out of the clamp you can use a plane to flush up the block and make it look nice!

Step 4: Shape the Body

At this point, most of the work left is just for looks. so it could be skipped, but who would want to do that. I want to round over all the corners and smooth out the grips to feel a bit better.

I start with a very coarse rasp to get the rough shape. then I use a series of finer and finer files to remove the marks. and for a final touch, I use a bow saw that is great for getting into the corners and curves. here is an instructable on making one of those.

Step 5: Final Detail and Carving

For me, a hand tool is not done tell there is a bit of carving on it. it is too easy to over do it so on this one I chose to just outline the edge with a light V-Groove.

I use a Carving V-tool and just follow a line I drew with a pencil. Also for the top, I put in my double "W" logo just for fun! here is where you can have some fun!

Here is an Instructable with more info on carving.

Step 6: Install Cutter Mount

For this one, I decide to use Eye Bolts to pull the cutter back against the rest. I start by drilling 2 1/4" holed through the backrest. I make sure to keep them in line and one directly above the other.

Next, I need the heads of the eye bolts to recess into the back just a bit so that they can hold the cutter flat on the backrest.

You may need to change this back to fit your cutter. for this one CUTTER in needs a flat back. but if you get one from Veritas you will want a v-Groove in the back. you can also make one to fit your style. I made my first ones out of old chisels you can see here.

Step 7: Finish IT

For a Finish, I use Boiled Linseed Oil and Paste wax. it just feels perfectly on the hand and it my choice for all hand tools. here is more detail on the subject.

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    14 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Should your video or this instructable include what a router plane does and something showing the one(s) you just made in action?

    2 replies

    Reply 1 year ago

    I wish I had included that in the video. I made the wrong assumption that everyone knew what these were and how to use one. most people I talk to are just looking for a way to make one rather then spend $100+ on a new one. I have since created several videos showcasing the router plane. it is in my opinion and many others that the router plane is one of the most useful hand tools to the power tool woodworker. but for more info here is a video explaining that.


    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks a bunch! I watched your YouTube video, so now I understand what a router plane is and how useful it can be. Thanks again for your instructable and the lesson in Router Planes. :-)


    2 years ago

    I have no idea what you do with this "router plane." How does it work?

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Here you go. a fantastic tool for cleaning the bottom of grooves, dados and other parallel surfaces.


    2 years ago

    The "CUTTER" link also not working

    Mark 42

    2 years ago

    The YouTube links aren't working for me.

    1 reply
    woodbywrightMark 42

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks! just fixed them. Copied from the wrong place.


    2 years ago

    Affectionately called an "old woman's tooth" by some- but not me. ☺

    Btw an old Allen wrench is a good candidate for the cutter, usually made of hardened steel and takes a rather keen edge too.

    3 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    I have made them that way befor too. my favorite way is by bending a chisel.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Just about any item can be repurposed into a cutter, here I employed a simple steel flat head screw to cleanup some dado bottoms, depth adjustment was as simple as turning the screw in or out, and stone the flat to create a serviceable cutting edge:

    Plane Grove Before.JPG