A Traditional Tool Chest in Two Days with Christopher Schwarz Video Download

A Traditional Tool Chest in Two Days with Christopher Schwarz Video Download


Woodworkers who use traditional tool chests swear they ôre the most convenient way to organize tools for work...[Read More]
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Blacksmithing for Woodworkers: Forging a Custom Hinge DVD

Blacksmithing for Woodworkers: Forging a Custom Hinge DVD


Don't settle for standard, store-bought hardware for you next woodworking project. Make your own by following the clear...[Read More]
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Norris Planes


Richard Arnold on 18th Century English Tools

  Breaking the Mould by Richard Arnold 1 of 4  

Building Unconventional Try Plane,
Inspired by Three Centuries of British Plane Making


The classic 22Ē beech try plane has not altered in form much since the middle of the 18th century.


Having recently finished making a version of an early 18th century jack plane, I decided it might be nice to make a try plane to partner it.

Rather than sticking to the tried and tested formula I have set out to address some of the issues I had with the design, and drawing inspiration from a number of planes in my own collection, endeavored to come up with a fresh approach to this planes build.

I also made the decision to make two planes this time as the design is asymmetrical.

Iím left handed, and thinking that it would be nice for everyone to be able to experience using the plane, I made a pair. This also gave me the chance to experiment with some slight design differences to see what worked best. One plane was made with air dried English beech, while the other is European steamed beech. One plane also has a parallel iron while the other is tapered.

The heart of any plane is its iron, and after experimenting over the years with all sorts of steel, my favoured choice is still a good old fashioned high carbon Sheffield laminated iron.

It would have been nice to have used a modern manufactured blade built to the same specifications, but alas they are not available. Fortunately here in Britain, vintage irons are still available by the bucket load. I also decided to use blades with a back iron as I consider this the easiest way of dealing with tear out on a wooden plane build.

Learn how. Discover why. Build better.
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English Saws

Norris Planes


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