Make a groove plane

complete groove plane

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.

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3 thoughts on “Make a groove plane

  1. Very cool! I was just thinking on how to cut grooves without fancy Stanley planes that I can’t afford at the moment. This is great! Looks real nice. I think I’ll have to have a go at this.

  2. That’s some nice work. I would love to attempt a moulding plane of some kind. I have a block of ash set aside to make a jointer, possibly with oak cheeks. I’m not sure where to start with a moulding style plane though. Still, yours looks top notch.

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