back in the workshop

small Dutch style fore plane

One thing I hope to do more of in the shop this winter is work with planes I’ve made. Here’s one I made several years ago, the dimensions were based on an eighteenth-century Dutch plane I saw in a museum collection. There are a few of these small, scroll-shaped planes dated from the seventeenth century as well.

This plane works pretty well, but I’ve only used it sporadically. I have it ground as a “fore” plane as the English would call it.

Dutch style fore plane bottom view

I’m going to try to fine-tune it a bit, mostly working at a new wedge to really tighten the blade. As it stands now, there is a little chatter. The iron was hand-made by Mark Atchison. It’s quite thin, as most seventeenth-century plane irons were.  Here’s another iron Mark made for me, this one ground pretty straight across.

period-style plane iron

 Today I was making  a small box lid in white oak, & I used this plane to bring the stock down to thickness by planing across the grain. Worked really well.

cross-grain planing with fore plane


I have a larger plane, that is now a little beat up – well, really a lot beat up. It split apart a few years ago, and I glued & nailed it back together. I see it has a new split, so I will finally give up on it and make a new version.

It’s based on one from the shipwreck Mary Rose of 1545. If you are not familiar with that ship, it’s a treasure trove of sixteenth-century stuff, including carpenters’ tools. There are about 15-20 planes that were recovered. Here’s the website for the museum:

PF version of a Mary Rose plane


Another tool I copped from the Mary Rose is this chalkline reel. I often get grief from visitors to my shop when I pull out a modern chalkline, so today I finally started practicing with the period version. Works well…a little slower than the modern one, but that’s fine with me. Slowing down a bit will probably be good for me.  

chalk line

5 thoughts on “back in the workshop

  1. Hi Peter,

    Whenever you do get a chance to make a new wooden plane to replace the cracked one, it would be very interesting to see the process as you work through the project!


  2. Peter,

    I’ve been fascinated by this plane form since I first saw an example that had been hauled up with the Vasa. I’ve thought about making one to fool with but I’ve wondered, in your experience, does it tend to nose over, with your leading hand sort-of cantilevered out beyond the sole?
    – Ryan

  3. Hello Peter,

    I would be very interested in a post about the Mary Rose plane. If you decide to make a replacement. It’s such a lovely plane.
    Thanks for all the hard work you put into this inspirational blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s