Rehabbing a moving fillister plane I recently came into hasn’t gone so well. About halfway through (i.e., trying to figure out how to get the iron back in alignment with the wear edges), I decided just to make another moving fillister plane. Seeing as I never got around to the matching right hand version of the DIY rebate plane, this is long overdue.
I’m sticking pretty close to the traditional design, even re-purposing the iron from the original. But there are a few changes in my version, which I’d like to talk about.
The original is made of beech, a very traditional wood for planemaking. My version, however, is made from quartersawn hard maple. Also, instead of starting from a single 10/4 billet, mine is laminated from two 5/4 billets. I rarely work in anything harder than ash, so hopefully, using hard maple will allow me to skip the boxing on the wear edge.
I also opted for the “use what’s on hand” approach for the wedge. In this case, a piece of perfectly quartersawn 0.5″ red oak left over from the original shop-made rebate plane. I think it came out pretty well. Red oak has the added benefit being softer than the body of the plane, so the wedge will compress a bit for a perfect fit.
Even had I started from a single 10/4 quatersawn billet, I don’t own all the planemakers floats I’d need. For example, refining the wedge mortise without a side float would have been a nightmare. So to get around this, I cut a shallow wedge mortise in the first billet and then transferred those angles to my miter saw. When those two trapezoidal pieces were PVA glued onto the first billet, I had a full-depth wedge mortise.
But the wedge mortise on a moving fillister plane is closed, so closing it up meant using a dutchman. A sliding dovetail shape might have been more structural, but the square shape allows me to remove the dutchman if I ever need to modify the wedge mortise. I used hide glue for this joint (for reversibility). Despite the sub-optimal color match, I’m pretty pleased with the fit and the results.
The glued-in dutchman closes the wedge mortise and locks everything in place. I was careful to remove any glue squeeze-out from the wedge mortise, but in the future, if I use this technique again, I will mask everything before gluing. And I may add two screws to reinforce the patch.
Most of what remains for the main body of the plane is shaping. I must square the front of the plane, add the thumb rabbet on the escapement side and roundover or chamfer the rest of the hard corners. Everything will be sealed with boiled linseed oil. Also, I am 99% certain I will use a wheel marking gauge cutter as the scoring spur, rather than add a traditional wedged nicker. That approach has worked well on the first incarnation.
After that, I’ll make the fence and depth stop. Actually, I haven’t decided whether to include a depth stop. But in any event, it’s time to buy some brass bar stock.