Wooden Moulding Planes

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    I’m thinking of attempting to make my own moulding planes, looking at the ones I have it looks challenging but worth a try.
    Anyway my question is they are made from hardwood but I’ve noticed on a lot of planes they sometimes have an insert of a different type of wood which seems very hard does anyone know what wood was generally used for the inserts. It seems to be used when the profile asks for a raised section so imagine it is harder for wear production

    Dave Ring

    It’s boxwood.


    • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by Dave Ring.

    Thanks Dave

    Larry Geib

    Other woods work as well. Persimmon is favored by several USA plane makers.

    It is in the ebony family.


    Would an old Moulding Plane be a good source of material? They’re cheap enough to find secondhand.
    Whatever they’re made from, it’d work again. Re-profile the sole, and add your own iron.
    (check-out @Larry‘s link to an Article in Drawer Groove Plane, further down)

    Larry Geib

    I’m unclear.

    Are you thinking about planes that cut dedicated Moulding profiles or hollows and rounds, which can produce a variety when used in combination?

    ( They can even cut the profile for the sole of a dedicated plane.)

    Hollows and rounds are decidedly easier to make, especially in the Roubo style.

    I just finished by second pair in beech.


    They look good Larry
    initially my intention was to make dedicated moulding planes, for various projects I’m thinking of making. But doing a little more google research came across Tod Herli, so think I may start with the hollows and rounds and work up from there. Just struggling to find a way to buy his DVD at the moment

    Larry Geib

    The US dean of plane making is Larry Williams, of Old Street tools ( formerly Clark and Williams)

    He has a dvd Lie Neilsen sells that is a must r making traditional planes

    And Mathew Bickford has a great book on using them called Mouldings in Practice, printed by Lost Art Press.

    He has a blog http://musingsfrombigpink.blogspot.com/2017/
    That is a font of information on getting started, so you can delay the book a little. You’ll eventually get it though, lol.

    And the Roubo style is a bit easier mostly because it doesn’t require plane floats, which can run a couple hundred for a set.

    popular Woodworking Magazine’s April 2016 issue has a complete article by Caleb James on building them with just a half dozen tools you probably already have. ( maybe not the 1/8”chisel, but I built the first one using a piece of O1 steel as a scraper and the saw in my Leatherman tool – great for reaching into the mouth).

    His blog has a pdf of the article I built my planes from, the difference being I didn’t use the French counoured profile and stuck with English traditional boxy.

    It’s basically like Paul’s method for his poor man’s rebate plane.


    It’s the first link on this page.


    He also has free plans for making several other planes on that same page.

    Look throug both those guy’s Blogs, there’s tons of good stuff there.
    Both James and Bickford credit the Williams dvd for getting them started.

    And James has even made Roubo style profile Planes like this one.


    Thank you very much Larry, excellent information.

    Off now to get started


    Another good wood for “boxing” is dogwood. It is a very hard wearing wood, while not much use in furniture do to size, it is a good size for tools. I am just finishing a dogwood spokeshave right now.

    Tuscloosa, Alabama
    Lung T'an Hu Huesh Kung-fu Woodshop

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