I’m making a Paul’s router plane these days. I’ve made the sole from some scraps of regular beech. It has come out very fine, flat, squared and straight, but due to size and bad twisting of my original scraps the thickness of the sole is 7/8 inch, not 1 inch.
As I work in chemical industry, I’ve got a piece of calibrated stainless steel sheet. It has 0,5 mm of absolute uniform thickness and it’s big enough to cover the entire sole. I’m thinking about adding it to the sole glueing it with epoxy. I think that it would be good for protecting the sole of wear, extending its useful life, and would compensate a little the lack of thickness that I’ve lost flattening and leveling my wood. It is very little, I know.
And this is my question: should I add the sheet of steel or should I leave the sole on the wood surface? I’ve always read (including Paul’s comments about it) that the contact wood on wood produces less friction than metal-wood contact. I must say that my experience with wooden planes is very limited 🙁 .