Anyone use 1/4" wide (instead of 3/8" ) plane groove for pannel an stub tennon?

  • Creator
  • #137535


    I am just starting to make the wall clock and have cut the pine down to near dimensions.

    I’m rewatching the videos carefully.

    Paul used a 3/8″ groove wide plough plane to house the front and stub tennons. I’ve only got a 1/4″ wide blade for my plough plane. I am tempted to do make a 1/4″ wide groove rather than buy a 3/8″ blade. Has anyone else done this? Would there be any unanticipated downside?

    Many thanks for the input.


Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Author
  • #137536
    Dan Roper


    Hi Joe,
    In a short answer, yes. I built a vanity for our new bathroom several years ago and when I built the doors, I did the quarter inch tenons and panels. They get a lot more use than your clock will and they have held up just fine. Absolutely no problem. It has been my understanding that if your material is three quarters think then the mortise and tenon should be one third ie. 1/4.

    Good luck with you build




    I’ve built 3 clocks now and have used the 1/4″ for them all. Just the dimensions of your stub tennons will change as well as the thinness of the sides of your face panel. Like Dan said, the clock will see much less use then a cabinet door and will still remain plenty strong.

    Good luck!




    Thanks for the feedback. I will proceed forward with confidence. I’m really looking forward to this build.



    I have to admit that after practicing with my ebay Record 44c on some test pieces and getting a lot of tearout I cheated and used my power router – I feel somewhat “dirty” now….

    I will try again on a second clock after trying to get a sharper edge on the blade. Paul’s went so smooth through the wood with a nice cutting sound. Mine just kept catching and tearing edges even after sharpening and practicing on scrap.

    Hope the 1/4 works out for you!



    Thanks. The 1/4″ worked just fine. I have now built a total of 4 clocks. I received a 3/8″ blade as a gift so I have now used both sizes and both work fine.

    Paul did a more detailed video on plough planes sometime in 2018 that had additional details that helped. I’ve experimented quite a bit to find a good way to get a clean groove. I added a wooden fence onto my plough plane. That give me more purchase and makes it easier to keep it from wobbling as I cut the groove which helps avoid tearout.

    Shallow cuts seem to help. Where possible (design still looks as good), I try and orient the wood so that I am ploughing with the grain instead of it. Also, I am very careful on the first dozen or so passes. I have often run my knife into the walls to help. Some wood species seem easier to plough than others.

    I have gotten to the point where I can make some decent grooves with little (but not zero) tear out. I am nothing special when it comes to skill. I just think it takes a bit of practice to learn how to use the tool properly.



    I’ve found a slightly higher than average angle helps with preventing tearout, and it has to be extremely sharp. I like the ray isles set, superb replacement blades if you have a record no44, I got them because mine came with no blades, highly recommended.



    Thank you for that fantastic idea. It is certainly easy enough to try this and makes sense.

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.