Monday, 17 September 2012

Shooting Board Plane in Lignum Vitae

I have been thinking about making a dedicated shooting board plane for some time, a plane to be used for long as well as cross grain. The planes above were acquired some time ago from students of James Krenov and the one at the back was particularly comfortable used on its side. It was made from maple and was much lighter than I was looking for, I also wanted it to be higher (or wider when on its side). The blank at the back is solid Lignum Vitae, it doesn't get much heavier than this!

Here is close up of the blank showing the colour change when the lighter coloured surface is protected from the sunlight.

Here are the components of the plane ready for glue up. Polyeurathane glue is the only real choice with this extremely oily wood. I finished and waxed the interior of the plane so that the foaming squeeze out would easily pop off.

The finished shape is a little unusual but I did a lot of experimenting before settling on this. It maximises the width on its side which also adds to the weight for momentum. The cut out allows full access to the blade for adjusting as well as providing a comfortable and natural hand hold.

the Lignum came up very nicely and you can see this piece is bang on quarter sawn which will prevent the base from cupping.

In use it worked like a dream with the immense density taking all I could throw at it.
By the way the bench in the background is not a radical new design, just my demonstrating bench awaiting laoding for the European Woodworking show at the weekend.


  1. david your plane looks great, I wonder if you are lucky enough to own an actual Krenov plane. since his death there are two things which never seem to come up for sale, one is a Krenov plane the other is a Krenov cabinet. thinking about his cabinets didn`t come up for sale when he was alive. It would be interesting to know their value.

  2. Hi Mark, Thanks. Krenov probably made 2 or 3 hundred planes in his last years, so you are far more likely to see one of these for sale than one of his cabinets. I'm guessing a cabinet will be well into 5 figures. And yes I am lucky enough to own a few Krenov planes you can see one of them in this you tube video
    All the best, David.

  3. Lovely shooting plane. Is this a one off or going into production?

  4. Thank you. I did have this in mind, especially as I have good stocks of well seasoned Lignum blanks. I will give this plane a good work out first to see if there are any improvements can be made. All the best, David.

  5. how big is the lignum vitae blank for the miter plane? Would love to make one.

    1. Hi, The blank was about 17" long and the plane ended up at about 15". The blank was 2/1/2" square before planing up and the blade I used was 1 1/2" wide. I hope this helps and I would love to see the results. all the best, David.

    2. Thank you for the info. I really enjoy watching and reading your blog. It has helped me look into the woodworking world from a different point of view. Your work, both the tools and furniture are truly wonders of art.