Making Replacement Wedges

When I deepened the recess on the set of poor man’s rebate planes to accept a 5/8 inch bench chisel, the initial 1/2 inch wedge for the right-hand version became useless.  This presented two issues: (a) the bed angle itself was sized against the old wedge, so the new wedge must be custom fit; and (b) there had to be an easier way to get the correct bevel than just starting from a four square blank and planing down.

In addition, there was the problem of not having any 5/8 stock, but I fortunately had enough remaining quarter-sawn red oak to resaw some wedge blanks.  Plus, the waste from the resaw, at just over 1/2 thick, is probably usable for something else.

Taking my time, as there is little margin for error.

Taking my time, as there is little margin for error.

The initial recess was marked against a 1:4.5 angled wedge (as recommended in the Paul Seller’s video), but after all the trimming and refinement of the bed, I think it’s now closer to 1:4.  Also, I tried marking the actual bevel angle directly on the blank and rip down along that bevel.  This gave me matching right and left wedges (for the matching right-hand and left-hand planes) that need less work overall in refining the fit.

Perfect fit!

Perfect fit!  Now to make the fence.

I’m excited to finish up the fence and put the right-hand plane to work (after I figure out the best way to attach the scoring spur).  I might even buy a second 5/8 inch Narex chisel so I don’t need to swap back and forth once the left-hand plane is done, but we’ll see.  Here’s hoping using quarter-sawn hardwood will increase the longevity of the planes.

All in all, it’s been a good exercise, and very enjoyable learning basic plane-making.  I’m certain the left-hand version will come out even better than the right.


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