Full Chisel Blog

August 10, 2010

New Toothing Plane

I need to make one of these in order to trade for some materials that I don’t have.  It is a toothing plane with the blade set vertically.  I based it on the shape of my little English coffin smoother.  I marked out the mouth and throat and transferred the marks to all sides with a scratch awl.  I then used a 1/4″ twist auger drill to make the throat and escapement hole.  I drilled from both sides.

I then used a few chisels to work out the rectangular mortise that is the mouth and escapement for the ‘chips’.  The debris, chips created by this tool are real small but can clog the throat and escapement, so it is a good idea to make some sort of relief to allow the throat to be cleared.

Starting to cut the angle for the locking wedge, I got most of the sawing done when I discovered a design flaw in my little throat saw.

I will have to make a new handle that has a bit more wood at the stress points.

While still attacked to the long piece of wood, which makes working on it a lot easier, I fitted up the blade.  I then laid out the outline of the plane and used a small un-backed saw to mark out the end of the plane.  I also connected the lines from top to bottom on the front end to get the sides to shape.

I used chisels from 1/2″ to 1 1/2″ to shape the sides to the coffin shape.  I did a bit of scraping but will need to spend more time putting it in good order.  It took me 3 hours to get to this point, a couple more hours and it should be done.



  1. Nice and quick work Stephen! I’m not much of a wooden plane user, but isn’t the quarter grain traditionally on the sides of the body rather than the top and bottom?


    Mike Hamilton

    Comment by Mike Hamilton — August 10, 2010 @ 7:07 pm

  2. Mike,

    Right you are, planes were traditionally oriented the other direction, if I would have had beech of the correct size, I would have used it instead. I oriented the grain this way because of the size of the piece of wood I had.


    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — August 10, 2010 @ 7:26 pm

  3. DId you make or where did you get the blade? I am looking for one for an antique toothing plane with a nondescript piece of steel in it.

    Comment by r francis — August 11, 2010 @ 6:01 am

  4. r francis,

    I made the blades from existing replacement blades made by Buck Brothers and sold at the box store. I had one made by a machinist, but since then I have made my own. I heat up the blade to cherry red and allow it to cool slowly which anneals the blade making it soft enough to work. I then filed the grooves in the flat side with a triangular file. I just got a new engravers burin to try this on my next one. After it has been serrated, I then heat up the blade again to cherry red and quench in water to harden. Then I clean the blade bright and gently heat it up to a straw color and allow to cool to temper the hardening.

    I think LN or LV makes toothing blades.


    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — August 11, 2010 @ 6:24 am

  5. Oops. There go the eyes again. When I first looked at the stock, I thought it square in cross section.


    Comment by Mike Hamilton — August 11, 2010 @ 7:28 pm

  6. Good quick work! Just was wondering if you were able to successfully trade for the materials you needed?

    http://www.Stratton-Woodworking.com – Vermont Area

    Comment by Mark S — August 11, 2010 @ 8:19 pm

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