Welcome! Forums Project Series Wallclock Plough plan?


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    Richard Guggemos

    The wall clock is based on a panel encased on four sides with a housing.

    Paul cuts the housing using a plow plane. I suspect it’s the easiest way to maintain accuracy around the four sides.

    Unfortunately, plough planes are pricey. And, buying used isn’t always easy, many are missing parts. Different eras of the same model have incompatibilities among the parts that are apt to be missing or damaged. So it’s much harder to rehab when compared to a used chisel or #4 Bailey.

    The situation may be different in England, but I’m not finding good examples of generally complete ploughs on eBay for the prices mentioned in Paul’s blog posts on the subject.

    When asked, many sellers can’t even say whether their example has a blade (much less what size). And it’s unclear to me if any plough (e.g. weather stripping ploughs) will work for this job.

    Usually Paul offers alternative methods based on availability of tools, but not in the wall clock build videos.

    So my question is, is there another good way to make the housings for the panel, or should I put this off until I can purchase a good plough?

    Give me your thoughts.


    I Rick G.


    If you have a router plane, you could put a fence on it (the Stanley comes with one) and use it for the groove. This would take a lot of patience because you will need to readjust the blade to go deeper and deeper. I wonder if you could use your mortise gauge set to the width of the router platde to scribe two lines along the groove to give you a smooth start (clean walls) at the start, then take some passes with the router plane to get down, say, 1/16″ to 1/8″. Use those walls to guide your tenon saw or maybe even a rip handsaw to cut the groove shoulders down to depth. I’m hoping this would let you get in with a chisel to hog out much of the material, bevel down. When you are close to depth, come back with the router plane to get a level bottom. If that doesn’t work, you’d just have to keep adjusting the knob on the router plane.

    I have no idea if this would work, but you could experiment. By the way, what I have in mind is the narrow 1/4″ router blade. You may run into a challenge keeping the router plane from wobbling.

    I wonder if you could modify Paul’s “poor man’s rebate plane” to be a grooving plane? See, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTuOtmlRhAI . You’d skip the fence on the bottom of the plane, use a 1/4″ chisel, and then cut a rabbet on the bottom of the plane, say, 3/8″ tall and however deep is needed to expose the other edge of the bottom of the chisel. You’d need to figure out how to add a batten or fence, or you could start your groove with the router plane, then run this in that groove, no fence needed.

    All guess work, but I have sunk a groove with the router plane before. Good luck, and keep track of your reference faces!

    Dave Riendeau

    Scribe your grooves with a mortice gauge, then take back saw and carefully saw down to desired depth. Now take a chisel the width of the groove and cut out the waste.



    Ive done as Dave has in the past. If you go that way take your time, its easy to get in trouble trying to hurry.

    Ontario, Canada


    After a couple of years thinking it over, I have started to put together a plough plane or two. Finding a plough plane with a complete set of cutters is an expensive proposition. Usually, eBay lists planes that have only one cutter, and that’s the one that was last used lo those many years ago when the plane was finally put on the bottom shelf.
    By all means, use the alternatives: scribe; knife wall; chisel; waste out the groove.
    In the meantime, decide which of the many combination planes you’d like to have. Most importantly, which widths you’d like in the cutters. A plane without blades sells for much less. Cutters, without the plane, sell for much less. Maybe you don’t need a full set. If your plan calls for a 1/2″ groove, perhaps a 3/8″ cutter will do the job along with narrowing the edges of the board by 1/8″. A few swipes with a bench plane, or even using (“gasp”) sandpaper, will make the board fit the groove.
    Then, again, you may only need two or three different widths of grooves. There are plenty of wooden grooving planes out there for much less money and a bunch more cleaning and sharpening. Here in the US, 1/4″, 1/2″ and 3/4″ (there’s the bookcase!) are up for sale.

    Maybe you should stop thinking inside the box (or inside the groove). Good hunting. In and of itself, it can be fun! (See 4 planes now for sale Copyright Hyperkitten)

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by jeffpolaski.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by jeffpolaski.

    I have been in the process of updating a stairway in our house (built by my grandfather) with walnut treads, and I decided on a sugar maple inlay on the treads for a little extra decoration. The steps were 10″ deep, 32″ wide and the inlay strip 5/16″ wide, so cutting with a handsaw didn’t seem like an option. I needed a groove, but had no plough plane.

    I did the knife / chisel approach for one step. I should’ve used the marking gauge and it would’ve helped with areas where the knife wanted to follow the grain (against my trying to be careful about it). There were a one or two small areas it wasn’t as tight as I would’ve liked but everything looked good. It also took quite a while to get one done.

    The second one I tried to do a knife wall and then use my stanley 71 router plane (has no fence) . There was a lot of wood to take out for the 32″ long cut, and the router plane had a tendency to undercut parts of the wall if you weren’t very careful (and stubborn where the grain was complicated). There were more areas I didn’t like on the end result of that step than the first one. It was faster than just chiseling it out, but less accurate. There was definitely a loss of control.

    The real solution I found was a stanley 45 combination plane. The next steps I made were much easier to cut with the 45 (and depth was more consistent over the 32″ span). I was very pleased with the results.

    The combination plane does beading and many other things as well, so you would possibly do better to look at that instead of just the plough.

    good luck


    Larry Geib

    I just looked on eBay.

    There was a complete record o43 plough for $32 USD on “buy it now”

    Shipping to the USA was $32.it could stand a vinegar bath.

    I don’t know if you thought that was expensive, but you’ll now have to find your own bargain.

    I bought it.

    Gentry White

    It is pretty easy to make a plough plane based on the poor man’s rebate plane. I’ve done it and would be happy to post pictures if anyone was interested. I would suggest making two mirrored copies so you can cut in either direction.


    @gentrywhite , please do post some photos.

    Gentry White

    I originally made this as an alternative to spending $100 or more on a Record or Stanley plough plane.

    Here are a few pictures of what I did. Basically, you just make the poor man’s rebate plane and then add a groove to create a skate to make it a grooving plane.

    In the future, I am probably going to make a simpler version with a fixed width (i.e. 1/4” groove, 1/4” from the edge, 1/4” deep), and will possibly look into finding a dedicated blade. It is probably a good idea to make a ”mirrored” pair so you can cut grooves in either direction.

    I think this general style of side escapement plane could be modified to make a shoulder plane or moulding planes. Cutting the side mortise is far simpler than cutting a mortise (and slightly easier than laminating a plane body) so provides an easy way of making and experimenting with making planes.

    SmokyRick Crawford

    Very nice. Thanks for sharing.

    In the middle of Northern Illinois, USA

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