Making Plane Floats, Part 3

After hardening and tempering the two floats and the chisel it was pretty much downhill, and I ended up not taking a lot of pictures.

First I re-filed the teeth on both floats, twice actually.  First to remove the scale from the torch, then I jointed them, applied Dykem and filed them again.  I’m not totally happy with the side float (the one with the wider teeth on the face), the teeth aren’t as even and accurate as I’d like.  But it works well enough, so enough fretting over aesthetics.

Test run of the floats on a scrap of Walnut

Next I needed to make some handles.  I trued up my 3 blocks of Walnut and used my newly made 1/10″ chisel to mortise a slot for the tangs.  It worked well, but as I got deeper it became more difficult to pop the chip out.  Eventually I got all three done.  Then I did a little shaping on the handles and rubbed them with some oil.  I was going for a tapered, facetted look.

One handle roughed in

The handles came out reasonably well – I was shooting for functional.  I want to put another coat or two of finish on the handles, then I’ll epoxy them onto the tools (they are just slightly loose on the tangs).  The chisel worked really well chopping a 1.5″ deep mortise that was only 1/8″ wide.  If I do this again I’ll make a chisel that is a full 1/8″ wide for chopping the mortise for the tang.  And yes astute reader, that would put me one more degree away from my original interest – which was to just try sticking some molding.  Which required a pair of hollow and rounds, which required a set of plane floats, which required a special chisel for the float handles.  That lived in the house that Jack built.

The real question is what do I do now?  Do I track down some quartersawn Beech or Cherry and try making a pair of hollow and round planes?  Or do I file this away (no pun intended) for a while and finish my saw chest?  Probably the latter.  Baring any new brain spasms I think I want to finish the saw chest (it just needs the lid and interior keepers, plus finish), and then the workbench.  Yeah, it would be good to finish the bench within a year of starting it…where the heck does the time go?  I wonder if my legs are dry yet…

Mostly done and completely functional

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 6 Comments

Post navigation

6 thoughts on “Making Plane Floats, Part 3

  1. Nice! Very nice! You’re the only one I know that starts making a tool by making a tool to make the tool! Loved the video and commentary.

    • It’s sad, isn’t it?

      • No, not really. Admirable .. but I supposed it could be frustrating to those who live with you .. except for your son who seems to think all this is cool. :o)

      • Kolya is easy to please, set something on fire or blow it up and he’s happy 🙂

        My wife has long since given up trying to understand, although she is partial to not setting things on fire.

  2. Knowing my work habit, if you have the slightest inkling to finish a project (saw chest) I’d jump on it. At my place I’d only get back to it about a few months later.

    You might order/acquire the beech and let it acclimate real nice while you finish though.

    • Here is my current thinking:

      1. order beech
      2. finish saw chest
      3. saw bench
      4. workbench

      But in all likelihood before I can get to the saw chest I’ll work on designing a wagon vise since I haven’t heard back from Hovater about whether he can make one to fit my 5″ thick top.

Leave a Reply to joemcglynn Cancel 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

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: