Friday, March 23, 2012

Project Hand Plane: Pt. 2

After some thought and conversation with friends I decided to look and bodyboards as inspiration for the rails on "The Sled" hand plane. The chiseled 50/50 rail apex has never let me down. Below are images of the process I went through in shaping so far. Picking up from Pt. 1, I found the center of the rail and drew a center line and then found my front and rear rocker line. 

From there I grew a center line on the bottom and basically made a grid to find reference points while shaping. The two most important intersecting lines are of the noes and tail.

There is no going back now! I slowly started removing wood with a spoke shave that is in need of sharpening. Once a general shape started to emerge I moved to a block plain then sandpaper. I was going for a little belly in the noes dissipate the big block. I'm hoping this will allow it to plane easer in the curl of the wave.

The top rail gently slopes down at a lower angle much like a super bladey hull while the bottom comes up at a high angle like a bodyboard. I left the apex sharp. After some research I found that Tom Morey came upon the 45 degree rail by looking at old Hot Curl boards that did not use fins. Works for me!

Here it is all sanded. I'm not sure that it's done yet. I may put more concave in the back and I need to decide on how it will be held. Do I figure out a strap system or cut a hole though the top?

I'm making this for the less than ideal small and mushy days. There is a lot of volume for a hand plane so who knows, it may be a dog in the water or it could fly! Keep in mind that I have never shaped a hand plane in my life. I'm just going on feeling.


  1. Thanks for sharing your process; it's fascinating to see all the choices along the way.

  2. Looks like some nice craftsmanship there. The cutout might be the simplest and most durable solution, but if you want to avoid disturbing the flow of water under the plane, I've seen a kind of threaded bolt that you might be able to install to anchor the hand strap. A friend of mine in the Rockaways has done something along these lines with his own hand planes, but I think he's guarding the secret with his life. ;-) Then again, since your body is the biggest part of the vehicle, maybe you'll be fine either way.