Moulding planes in the making

I had three days off work and for the first two days I blew it, did nothing, had a complete mind block.

What do I build next?

I was going to do Greg’s glue brush, then I was going to make The Octagonizer Gauge also Greg’s post, but I need none of them right now. What I really need and have always wanted is a set of moulding planes ( Queen’s spelling) “molding” (revolutionary yanks version).

Do you think this is going to be easy, I think not.  I’ve been tackling this project on and off for the last 12 months, always looking for better ways of making them.

Without floats you don’t stand a chance using traditional build methods, but there is the laminated alternatives which is frowned upon but if you don’t have any other means of making them, it’s better than not making any at all.

1 year or so ago I looked at Matt’s post at lumber jocks and it seems simple enough, then I came up with another method that was even simpler but lol do you think I remembered what I did.  NOOOOOOOOO! and I didn’t even bother writing it down a big mistake on my part.  So I’m going to go with Matt’s approach and hopefully I can remember what changes I did.

I’ve practised with several pieces using structural pine, no point in ruining expensive good wood when you just learning.  I now feel semi confident that I can pull it off and I have a bit of European Beech laying around.

I face glued them to make them quarter sawn and to be the right height which is about 3 3/8″.

_dsc1433I want to start off with something larger which is simpler and then progress from there.

The heat treatment of metal is the biggest challenge I face.  I know nothing about metal, I know the process of the treatment but that’s theory.  Terry Gordon from HNT offered to send my blades with his to get heat treated free of charge, but where’s the fun and knowledge in that.  I graciously thank him for his generous offer but if I’m going to elevate my skills, I have to do it and screw it up and do it again until I get to the uh ha point.

First I need blades and then comes to mind another challenge shaping them, I was going to buy 01 steel and lo and behold only one place in this country sells them.  I called every place I found on google and only one company knew what 01 steel is.

So I asked David W for advice and he mentioned that the blade needs to be tapered and so he made a video for me on how to do it.

Ok now I need a belt sander, a power tool yuk but obviously necessary.  So instead and for now until I can figure it all out I have opted to purchase the blades from LN.  Price wise it works out more expensive but headache wise it’s a lot less stress.

If I pull this off and I manage to make them according to the 18th century design style like Matt Bickford makes his, then I’m going to make heaps and alot more of dedicated profiled ones.  If I get even better at it I want to add raising panel planes to that list as well.

I don’t believe by way of lamination there will be any issues, the grain is orientated correctly and shouldn’t pose any problems.  I’m also using hide glue which is flexible and the timber will not crack nor split at the joins.  Every timber moves whether laminated or not, the difference is, most laminated planes are laminated with different species and therefore  behave differently, but I’m using the same species cut from the same block so they will work harmoniously together.

I’m hoping this will work out in my favour, the end results should look better than these test pieces on the bottom.  These I copied from a 19th century style which shorter in length and height.  I only plan on making a half set as I don’t need a full set.


This will save me US$3750 or converted and God knows how much in shipping would cost me plus with added credit card fees AU$5200.  Mind you if I was a multimillionaire then I would spend that money and more on dedicated planes, but I’m not, like most craftsman of the yesteryears and today, we have no option but to make our own.

When I complete this one I will make a video on the next one.

Wish me luck and btw, I find it hard to believe that out of all the readers there are no finishers out there who was willing to answer my question.

13 thoughts on “Moulding planes in the making

  1. Looking forward to seeing how you make out with these Salko. What I see so far looks great. I’ve done a little backyard heat treating and it is not too difficult. My results came out just fine. The hardest part was getting the steel hot enough without a proper forge. A charcoal grill and hair dryer will work. Best of luck!


    1. Thanks Greg I need it. I’m going to use a blowtorch, I only have one. I’ve watched countless time Tod Herrli heat his but I can never make out did he grind the bevel all the way to the edge or only a part of the way prior to heat treating it.


      1. Thanks Greg just what I needed to know. I was hoping to get a lot more from this website than just me posting but it doesn’t to work that way, I hope this changes in the future.


      2. Don’t be too discouraged. A blog has a one-on-one kinda feel and most people are reluctant to chime in with their opinion. Especially if it varies from the one stated on the blog. I rarely get direct input on my blog. When I do it tends to be positive and in agreement with my stated thoughts. As much as I would like to think so, there is no way I’m in the right all of the time. Nor is there anyway everyone reading my blog agrees with me either, but people are reluctant to challenge in the one-on-one environment of a blog.

        Just be open to it and it will eventually begin to take off…at least I think so…I’m still waiting too. My main goal with my blog is hopefully help others along. If I gain a little help along the way, its a bonus. 🙂


  2. Good luck Salko!
    Just a thought… You can make your own flute as well out off an old file or a piece of steel (like a small truck spring or something) that way you can practice tempering steel!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 01 is supposed to be pretty forgiving stuff from what I understand. Heat it red hot with a blow torch, quench in oil. You can test the hardness by scratching at it with the corner of a file. After you’re satisfied temper in the over at around 400deg or whatever the manufacturer states. If its straw colored when it comes out you should be good. I don’t have practical experience yet myself, however I have been studying the subject for quite a long time. Walter Sorrels on YouTube has some great advice on heat treating and tempering with a variety of steels. It may take some searing around to find 01, but its there I promise you. Good luck with your build I will be following along for sure.


      1. It’s slow due to work but I hope to finish it in a week or so. As only 1/4 of the top in from the side and down from the top will be laminated, I strongly believe that it will not pose a problem. Maybe if the sides were laminated it could but if I used different species of timbers and the grain structure were different. But in this case they are all the same species and from the same block. So all I’m doing is cutting it off and glueing it back on . Sounds weird but it will make sense when I make the video. I’ve also learned quite a bit about the difference between O1 and A2 which I will make a post on that as well. I think I’m confident now about the heat treating side of things and I will also have to buy another torch as I will need two.

        Liked by 1 person

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