Homemade Mini Router Plane


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    Matt McGrane

    Hey everybody. I’m working on a chair and needed a way to cut in a small, thin recess on some parts. After some thought (and helpful suggestions from others), I made a small router plane that holds a 1/8″ chisel. I started with a piece of 2×4, squared it up and cut one end at 45°. Then cut a 1/8″ slot vertically up the angled end, just big enough to fit the 1/8″ chisel. Put the chisel in the slot, then screwed a piece over the chisel and voila – a router plane.

    If anybody wants to read more about this, I blogged about it at tinyshopww.blogspot.com in the post entitled “Nana’s Dining Chair Rebuild, Part 6: Some Details”.

    Happy woodworking!

    Matt, Northern California - Started a blog in 2016: http://tinyshopww.blogspot.com/

    David B

    Nicely done–looks like it worked perfectly. Probably a good double for a plough as well.

    Jim Braun

    Nice, Is the chisel sharpened to the typical 30 degree angle?

    Monmouth County, New Jersey

    Matt McGrane

    Thanks dbockel.

    – My chisel is sharpened at about 30°. So with a 45° bed, the cutting angle is similar to a bench plane’s cutting angle.

    Matt, Northern California - Started a blog in 2016: http://tinyshopww.blogspot.com/


    It seems to be a very good plane, simple and fully functional..I’m thinking about it and i’d like to build a wedged one …are there plans or tutorials on line?

    Matt McGrane

    @bow – I’m currently reading through the Lost Art Press set of books “The Woodworker: The Charles H. Hayward Years” and I’m at a section on router planes. There might be a plan for a small router in wood, but the plans are not very complete. If you have these books or know someone who does, maybe you could look it up (it’s in Volume 1). Alternatively, it’s possible that the original article is available online somewhere since the years that Hayward oversaw the Woodworker magazine were 1937 to 1960ish. Unfortunately, the books do not tell what year (or issue number) of the Woodworker magazine the article came from.

    Matt, Northern California - Started a blog in 2016: http://tinyshopww.blogspot.com/

    Peter George

    Here is a link to a book by Hayward on making woodworking tools. It appears to be “fair use”.

    Hayward How-to Book

    There are large and small router planes on page 24 (plus lots of other good stuff :)).

    Peter in
    Biggar SK
    "New York is big, but this is Biggar"

    Thomas Angle

    Just glancing through the PDF, it looks like s good find. Thanks for the link. You made my morning.

    Arbovale, WV

    Proverbs 18:13
    13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.


    Check out Paul Sellers video and blog for his poor man’s router plane using a chisel:


    Stumpy Nubs also makes one using the cutters from a routing plane, although it looked a bit more involved:

    Jeremy Pate

    Excellent PDF. Saving this one. Thank you.

    John Hannon

    Thanks for posting the PDF link Peter!

    Matt McGrane

    @pjgeorge – Wow, Peter, what a great resource there. Some of those tools are in “The Woodworker – The Charles Hayward Years”, which I’m still trying to get through. I’ve got to bookmark your link. Thanks!!

    – John, I made myself a Sellers “poor man’s router” before I broke down and bought a real router plane. It’s almost impossible to set the chisel straight into the block of wood on the Sellers plane so that you get a flat bottom on your dado. Didn’t work for me at all.

    Matt, Northern California - Started a blog in 2016: http://tinyshopww.blogspot.com/

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