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15 November 2010

Router Plane

Let's say you really wanted a router plane.  You have wanted one for a while.  You really have your eye on the LN router plane but could never justify the 145 smackers to purchase it.  Then you found out about Shannon Rogers Hand Tool School and really wanted to join.  Looking at the recommended tool list for the first semester, you see router plane on the list.  This makes you want that router plane even more.  It will bring you that much closer to completing the recommended tool list and deciding to pull the trigger on the Hand Tool School.  Guess what, you still don't have the 145 bucks to order one.  What are you going to do? 

Now, let's say you're me. Then I can tell you exactly what you're going to do.  You're going to go over to your mom and step-dad's house and use your step-dad's talent and machinery to make one.  "How does one go about this?" you might ask.  Let's run through the high lights.

The process starts much like a wood project.  The raw materials, in this case a hunk of billet alluminum about 6"x 10"x 1 1/4" thick.  Where does one get said material?  From your step-dad's shop, of course.  Cost: dinner. 

Then you take said block and surface one side of it.  This is of course done best with the home made CNC mill.

Next it needs a hole so you can see the iron through the tool.  If you've been following along then you recognize the CNC mill and let me tell you it sure does make quick work of square holes.

Now you need some way of holding the iron in the plane.  How 'bout a precision machined "landing spot" for the iron holding device?

Now that the "joinery" is done, you can see we have a lot of waste left.  Changing the clamping position alows the waste to be cut away and the body to take it's final shape.

Now we get to surface the other side. Thought y'all might like a little video of the CNC in action.

So, what now?  Well for that you have to wait for the next installment.  You didn't think I was going to give it all away in one sitting did ya? 

As always feel free to comment below or look me up on Twitter or Facebook.

Until next time....


  1. If my mill had less backlash I'd CNC it but I don't want to change the lead screws in it, and I use it too much manually anyways that switching it over to ball screws is not an option.

    Personally I'd have just run those flat faces with a flycutter.

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