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27 Jul. 2013

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Over the past few weekends I have been busily building planes for the forthcoming Perth LN Tool Event. I thought it pertinent that I take along some new planes (some for demonstration and a few to sell).
The strike block is a bevel down plane with a low cutting angle designed for shooting end grain. Were we discussing metal planes, there would be no question that the bevel up plane has the advantage of achieving a low cutting angle. Larry Williams (Old Street Tools) suggests that strike block planes fell out of favour in the 18th Century owing to the casual sharpening techniques of the day.
I have used Jarrah for the strike block plane, mainly as it is a dense and heavy wood, and I have a good supply of dry, salvaged roofing trusses.
For the price of one of those, you could buy 50 Stanley planes made around 1910 and fit them with modern A2 blades, or a complete set of Lie -Nielsen or Veritas planes.

The only reason to make a metal plane with dovetails (other than appearance) is a small production run without the expense of making castings. The only reason to make metal plane with dovetails (other than appearance) is a small production run without the expense of making castings. A wood filled plane has more heft, and a nicer feel that even a vintage Stanley, due to the thicker metal. To this end I have so far completed 11 planes (it sounds grander than it really is - there are 5 router planes, 2 Krenov smoothers, and 3 Krenov block planes).
It is an alternative to a mitre plane, which achieves the same cutting angle from a bevel up orientation. This should provide the same performance as a low angle bevel up plane with a 12 degree bed. To get WoodenBoat delivered to your door or computer, mobile device of choice, etc, click WB Subscriptions.

Building a 20 degree bed, while stronger, does not offer any advantage over a common angle (45 degree) bevel down plane.
Consequently, unless the bevel is maintained at about 25 degrees, a strike block plane may run out of clearance angle and stop cutting. The strike block plane provides the low cutting angle by having a bed between 35 – 40 degrees.
Plus I enjoy using woodies, and my eventual plan is to fill a tool cabinet with planes I have made.

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