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Making Traditional Wooden Planes

John Whelan unlocks the fascinating secrets of an almost lost art: wooden planemaking. For those curious about the ingenious ways of the craft, this book lays out clear, step-by-step instructions that will enable any woodworker to make a plane. Each chapter (covering 20 different types of planes and spokeshaves) is fully illustrated by the author's line drawings. In addition, there are chapters on the history and alternative methods of planemaking, making plane irons, and the tuning and using of wooden planes. Every chapter that details the construction of a particular plane starts with a photograph of the plane that has been made by the author. As you would expect from Mr. Whelan, this book is the finest and most complete work on the making of wooden planes in print. The reader will enjoy it even if he never puts blade to wood. Should he make a plane or two, he will find Making Traditional Wooden Planes most satisfying. 128 pages. Fully illustrated. 81/2" x 11". Soft cover.

Paperback: 128 pages

Publisher: Astragal Press; First Edition edition (May 1, 1996)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1879335697

ISBN-13: 978-1879335691

Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 8.8 x 11.2 inches

Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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I've just finished reading through this book, but haven't tried making a plane yet. But from comparing this book with others I've read and other sources, it's quite good.This seems to be the only book that really tries to cover construction of wood bodied planes in the manner of originals. Most of the items discussed are based on antiques which are used as prototypes.Each chapter covers the construction of a specific plane. Simple models are used in the beginning to cover general tips and techniques. The projects range from simple smoothers to plow planes.Projects are covered by a discussion of the steps involved and hints about key things to watch for. These tips on potential problems and critical steps seem some of the most useful aspects of the book. The references and supply sources sections are also great.After reading, I'm inspired and will be starting on my first plane soon.

I had to put a review for two reasons. One, is that the 1 star reviews by others that haven't even read this book and just complaining because of the price is simply not a review.Two, this book is such an excellent resource on understanding the construction and overall principals in the making of one piece solid body wooden planes. It would cost you a lot of money and time in acquiring these planes to study if you could even find them. I am not happy to see others price this reference work so highly since the original price was, I believe, $37. I have contacted the publisher and informed them of my interest in seeing this book have a second printing. If they get enough inquiries from buyers they will reprint and the price will be of course back down to earth. I dislike the high price because the author unfortunately is not benefiting from his excellent work.I would buy this book at the higher price only if you are intent on making planes, and a good number of them, otherwise you might benefit from other online resources the detail the work of traditional wooden planes.I can say the reason that this work is so exceptional is that it is not trying to take one piece (not laminated) wood planes and dumbing it down for the novice woodworker. It is a real examination of the actual antique planes and considers how to produce them with tooling that is possible to use today.There has been excellent additions to the explanation of how to make certain wooden planes such as the work of Larry Williams DVD on making a set of side escapement hollow and round. That might be an alternated source for making those planes if your interest lies in that area.I recommend any who want this book to contact the publisher and request a reprint. I have placed my name on their list of those that want a copy when it is reprinted, which is unknown. I of course have my own copy but would definitely appreciate a second to donate to my local library.

I would like to split the review a content and a presentation:Content is good. The author covers probably all the most widespread ways to build a plane, from a simples way (lamination in the Krenov-style) to the traditional single piece design. Also he covers quite a number of special planes, like hollow & rounds, a rabbet plane and so on. This part deserves a solid 5 stars just because I've never seen it covered in a single book. The text gives quite an insight into history of manufacturing the planes and explains great deal of details behind every type covered, which is very enjoyable.Now a word about the presentation, which is plain awful. The book is ridden with typos (the first one is right on the folio), there are unescaped word-processor sequences (specifically, whenever a 1/8" is used), drawings seems to be done in MS Word by somebody having quite a strong opinion on proportions and perspective. In general, it looks like an author version of the text was sent straight to the printing press.So, if you're not distracted by things like above, it's a good book that gives straight directions on building a plane. I personally don't regret buying this book, just a surprised that Astragal Press did such a sloppy job on publishing.

It contains everything I was expecting. Some diagrams are a little vague for me to understand.

Overall good, wish it had more on making irons.

Excellent! I plan on making my own planes.

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