A good starting point. This is a German plane Jennie Alexander “restored” – new front tote. new rear turned section behind the iron. Also ground the iron to a curve, so it functions like a fore plane, or scrub plane.
I’m aware of discussion about the length of a fore plane in the 17th century; most folks feel it was longer than these German style planes. Might be so, but I favor this size plane for my roughing-out work.
Alexander got me turned onto these planes years ago, & I have collected a few of them for use in my shop. I keep a couple of them around, some ground this way, and some I keep as smooth planes.
Here is a Dutch “gerfshaaf” JA sent me. I learned the Dutch name from Gerrit van der Sterre’s Four Centuries of Dutch Planes and planemakers (Primavera Press, Leiden 2001) – I don’t use this one, but it and an 18th-century one I once studied were the inspiration for my home-made fore plane below.
Here is a view of two of my everyday planes – the Dutch style one just shown and one I based on a plane from the Mary Rose shipwreck.
The short one is made from a very fast-grown ash tree. Its sole is 6″ long, and its iron, made by Mark Atchison, is 2″ wide. The Mary Rose type plane is itself a wreck. It’s birch I think. 22″ long, iron also by Mark, is 2 1/4″ wide. Big knot right where it counts, lead to a split. Nailed the split shut. but I have used it a lot for about 10 years or more.
I also use antique planes a lot. American and British – when I am doing a lot of stock preparation, I like to keep two jointer planes set up, one for a heavier shaving and one for a lighter shaving. That way I am not adjusting the planes all day, just picking up one or the other depending on what task is at hand. This plane is un-marked, but never had a double-iron, or chipbreaker. Cracked handle, all but worthless to a collector. Great for what I need. I made the wedge back when I got the plane. The one it came with was beyond repair. I think it’s over 26″ long. Iron about 2 1/2″ wide. Beech.
Here’s one I have been using a lot in the past few years, another jointer. Made by Sargent Co in the 19th century. It has a double iron. 26″ long, 2 1/2″ wide iron.
One more I often use, a bit less now than formerly. A “razee” plane, made by Thomas Appleton in Chelsea Massachusetts, 2nd half of the nineteenth century.
where did that term come from? The OED says this about razee:
Naut. To reduce (a ship) in height by the removal of the upper deck or decks.
To cut down; to reduce. Obs
as in, 1815 ‘T. Tarpaulin’ Paddy Hew 107 In a trice I’ll razee you—you long, long splice.