Thursday 7 February 2013

Mini Smoothing Planes.

I'm making a batch of mini smoothers, it doesn't seem very long since the last one.
The review in Good Woodworking magazine featured a Kingwood plane and it's been no surprise that this has been the most popular one since. It's a bit like a kitchen showroom, most people buy one of the ones on display, we did!

Here's a plane in Brazilian Tulipwood showing the parts ready for assembly. I've made most of this batch using cross pins made from African Blackwood which gives a little bit of contrast. The cross pins take a surprising amount of time to create the tenons as well as shaping and finishing. Using a round bar of steel or brass would be much quicker and easier but would not hold the blade well, especially after a bit of use. As my old teacher used to say there's only one way to do things............ (properly!)

This is the evolution of the shaping, which by contrast with the cross pin, is very quick. The first stage is band sawing the block on it's side. Then the curves are band sawn free hand, a potentially dangerous but very useful technique. All the band saw marks are removed with a spindle sander and the curves are smoothed over ready for final sanding with the excellent Kirjes pneumatic hand held drum sander. The process pictured above takes less than 5 minutes per plane.

The batch of 24 planes following shaping on the band saw. All three of these woods (kingwood, Brazilian Tulipwood and Bocote) are becoming increasingly difficult to find, I cleared out the usable stock at Yandles on my last visit and they haven't got any more coming in. Anyone know a good supplier?


  1. As usual David very nice work - glad to see business seems to be booming. Love those Tulipwood planes.

    All the best,


    1. Hi Richard, Thank you, yes the orders keep coming mostly from North America. Tulipwood is very nice and the hardest of these three woods. All the best, David.