Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Big Jointer

Maple and Mahogany Jointer

If you think that it is a long time between posts where I actually finish something, you are right.  However, lately I have been doing more woodworking than blogging.  Hopefully soon you will get to see the completed kitchen table that has been in a state of "almost done" for months now.

I needed to use a nice jointer to flatten the top of my new Roubo style bench that I built in a class by Christopher Schwarz.  (That is another project that is coming along nice and slow.)  I had a nice jointer, a Lee Valley bevel up jointer.  However, I noticed I had not used this tool all that much.  I have been doing the majority of all my planing with the bevel up jack from the same company.  So, I had the opportunity to let it go to a good woodworking friend from Denmark and sold it to him.  I got a sweet bowsaw out of the deal that I used on this project since I don't have a bandsaw.

I had been meaning to build another Krenov style plane, as the couple I have were such fun projects.  On a side note, I highly recommend the book and DVD by David Finck.

Knowing I wanted a jointer, I started scouring the internet for a good piece of wood for a blank.  I settled on a big chunk of maple from tablelegs.com.  If you use this source, read the fine print as a few of the species of wood they sell will be laminated for a blank this big.  I wasn't expecting much, but the piece that came in the mail was stunning, a perfect potential hand plane.

Besides using a bandsaw to saw the cheeks from the blank at a local woodshop here in Munich (thanks Peter!), this plane was done entirely by hand.  Not only that, but I used my new bench for the whole thing.

A flat bench top really would be nicer.

The specs on this plane include a whopping 28" length (74 cm or so), thanks to the standard size of table legs.  The wedge and cross pin are from some scrap mahogany I had laying around, and the finish is boiled linseed oil (soon to have a topcoat of wax).  The iron is a 1 1/2" Hock blade with chipbreaker.  I've had good luck with these and recommend them.

The bed on this baby is precisely 47 1/2 degrees, and the front is a perfect 62 degrees.

The other planes I have made all have had a bed angle of somewhere around 45 degrees.  I meant for them to be 45, but it turned out however it turned out.

Not so for this one.  I got a new protractor for this project and it worked amazingly to a half of a degree.  I thought a bit higher than 45 for this plane, but not too much as it is a jointer after all.  So, using the Incra protractor I got from Amazon for about 20 bucks, I laid out and made those cuts to perfection.

What you really want to know is how it works.

This thing is frickin' sweet!  I set it up to take shavings a bit thicker than a smoother, but those shavings left a glass-smooth surface on a piece of test maple I had laying around.  I had so much fun jointing it, that I made it into a straight edge.  A little BLO and it went straight in my toolchest.

I thought it might be a bit unwieldy with the length, but my initial impression is that it handles well.  The extra length gives it more mass, which is good.  But, being wooden it isn't too heavy to use in lengthy jointing sessions.

I'm not sure what I did, but this plane works better than any Krenov-style plane I have made yet.

Stay tuned, as soon I will be tackling the bench top flattening with this plane.


  1. Brian.
    That plane is just gorgeous.
    It looks like a 1930'ies race car, absolutely beautiful.
    I think it is a shame to hide away such a nice plane in a toolchest. Maybe Diana would let you put it on a shelf in the living room for display?
    All the best

    1. I think if it was in the living room I might one day find that it has become an orchid pot.

      Instead, it will be like on Pulp Fiction when I open my toolbox, my face will bathe in golden light!

  2. Replies
    1. You are far too kind. I've seen the tools you make on your blog, and am flattered. Thank you.

  3. Wow. Beautiful plane. I am in need of a jointer and am mulling over the various options. At that length, do you ever find yourself wishing for a handle on the tail?

    1. I haven't missed it. But the good thing about making your own is that you can make it any way you want.

      I find that a comfortable way to hold this one is with my right hand right behind the blade and my left somewhere in front.

  4. This post is from a few years back. Are you still using the Krenov style jointer? I'm needing one and have decided to step away from steel planes and am going to make one. Was thinking about using a Krenov type 2" blade. Any thoughts?