With a Hock Bench Plane Blade, and some proper tune-up work, even low end hand planes will perform like never before. I picked up a kit for building a shoulder plane from Ron Hock when I was at Woodworking in America. DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. The underneath supports on this dining room table are cross grain and attached with elongated screw holes towards the outer edges.
All the pieces were stained black early on, so after banging in the small cover piece, I have to match it. I’d square off (actually at a slight angle) one end of the inlay material to match the stopped groove. From there it’s easy work to smooth out the small strips once the glue is mostly (or fully) dry.
When I had finished making the inlay material and tested it in sample grooves, I realized that I needed a very small chisel to square off the ends where multiple strips come together. After about 5 minutes, taking it slowly, I ended up with a concave curve very similar to what I get grinding any of my chisels. I start by cutting right along the grain on my bandsaw, to try to have inlay that avoids crossing grain lines.
Finally, I rip strips off, again on the bandsaw, a little oversized so they end up proud of the surface and I”ll flush them down with a hand plane. Once the templates are made, I use them to trace out the final design onto some MDF to confirm my choices.

The header needs two cut-outs to allow the table slides to come through the leg, out the end, and support the leaf. Making your own woodworking tools can be rewarding , but it can also be time-consuming and thus takes you away from building furniture.
Building your own plane , even from a kit , is a fast way to learn a lot about plane mechanics.
A table saw is usually used to create the rabbets on the center piece by sending it through vertically with the blade raised really high. I’m making another doggie dish bowl holder right now and think this may have to be next. Well Steve, if you find it too long for a certain application, you’ll just have to make a shorter one! Made from high carbon tool steel and hardened to Rc62, they are honed more easily, can be brought to a finer edge, and hold their sharpness longer. I drilled out the elongated clearance hole with a Festool CXS drill, just poking multiple holes quickly.
I would simply clamp my template to the material and run my router tight to the template – pretty straightforward stuff once you have the design, templates and material made! Glue was squeezed from a small syringe into the groove and then I’d shove in the inlay using a small wooden seam roller. I cut multiple strips, keeping track of their order in case I want consecutive pieces later on. The kit is designed to make a low-slung plane like the ones popularized by craftsman James Krenov, but because the body is wood, you can make any plane you please.

Then glue the sole to the body and add the cross dowel that secures the cutter with the wedge (which is included).
You don’t need to do much tuning on the plane, but the work you do have to do is quick (because the body is wood, not metal) and enlightening for any handplane user. Now is a good time to do this while I have separate pieces right before assembly and finishing. However, you can have the best of both worlds: building furniture and the occasional useful woodworking tool. I used the kit to make a Roman-style plane, with its unusual through-the-body grips, and the kit worked brilliantly for that.
Hock Tools sells a wooden plane kit that you can assemble in less than a day if you please.
Sharpen up the cutter, open the plane’s throat with a pocket knife, flatten the sole on some sandpaper and go to work.
Honestly, most of the time invested in making this handplane is in allowing the glue to dry.

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