The last time I made a drawer groove I used only a chisel. It was fine, but took ages to do. This time I want to make the groove with a plane, but I really don’t want to buy a combination plane, or an expensive modern groove plane.
I saw this article on Garage Woodworks about using chisels wedged in a shop-made plane body and was inspired. I had some short beater chisels and was willing to cut one up to make a permanent groove plane.
I laminated 2 layers of 1/2 inch thick red oak. One piece was 1/2 inch wider than the other so that the sole of the plane was established I used a rabbet plane to make the sole 1/4 inch wide – a hair narrower than the with of the chisel. Before the glue-up, I cut a gap in the ‘sole’ layer for the chisel to occupy. The chisel rests at 45 degrees and there is a 1/4 inch gap between the chisel tip and the sole in front of it.
To prevent the chisel from falling out, I cut a rabbet on the top of the plane in order to place a strip of oak across the gap. The entire thing was rounded over at the end to make it look pretty and fit my hand. A wedge shaped piece of oak is used as the wedge.
Lastly, I used a coping saw to cut a relief hole in front of the chisel tip for shavings to escape into. I made it too small to begin with and shavings got jammed in there really tight. I sawed away at it a little at a time until the shavings fell out after every stroke.