Few questions about making the router plane.
First, the plans say a 1″ slab for the plane body. Does this mean I need to get something that is thicker and then dimension it down to 1″ from there?
Second and related, is wood choice really that important? I’m having a hard time finding beech that is larger than 1″ thick. What other choices would be good ones? I’m in Denver if that helps.
George, you could use 3/4″ stock if you want. I think Paul may even have said so in the video. There is nothing magic about 1″, but it will be a bit stiffer than 3/4″. As far as species is concerned, you could use a chunk of 2×6 if you wanted. There is nothing magic about beech. A hardwood will last longer and a softwood will scratch easier. But the wood you use makes little difference. Just get out there and use something and don’t get paralyzed by the details. If you find after some months of using your router plane that you might have liked to make it from something else, then make another. You’ll already have the hardware.
Two reflections, if allowed:
1. This “World’s best router plane” has its blade resting on a bed in a manner that appears similar to that of a wooden bench plane. A plane sole of 1″ would generate a bed of 1.4″ at 45°, while one of ¾” would for the same angle reduce the bed to 1.1″ in length. Could that difference be associated with any relevant change in support for the blade. if 1″ thickness is of importance, then face lamination two thinner pieces is perhaps an alternative.
2. The purchase head and the floor manager of my local timber yard – gentlemen with thorough academic and practical knowledge – both swear by that once dimensioned, American beech (Fagus grandifolia) will not re-warp. As beech is a traditional wood for tool making, they might be a tad biased, but nevertheless they’ve been right as far as my experience goes. Supposedly, the growth mode of beech trees facilitates reaction free, straight grained wood; and those two characteristics are. I guess, loads more important than the species.
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