Restock of Winding Sticks.

We again have winding sticks available in both the 14″and 22″ sizes.  This walnut came from a different supplier and some may contain sap wood, which has been steamed.  Steaming reduces the color difference significantly and produces a nice two tone appearance to some of these winding sticks.  Other than that, they are identical to previous batches.  More information can be found here.  Available for purchase in the store.

Cock Bead Plane restock, now in two sizes.

The cock bead plane has been restocked and is available in both 1/8″ and 3/16″ bead sizes.  Price for either is $250.  These planes are small, at only 7″ long, with an iron bedded at 60 degrees.  Additional information can be found in the blog post here describing the plane in detail, and showing how it is used.   Available for purchase now in the store.

Taking orders for the “Milkman’s Workbench”

After making several portable workbenches for our plane making classes for use by students, we have received numerous requests for the complete bench by customers. In response to these requests, we are planning to build a production run this spring.  Dubbed the “milkman’s workbench” by Chris Schwarz in his Popular Woodworking article in June 2013, this tabletop bench is designed to clamp to any solid surface and is equipped with a full range of clamping options in a compact footprint. Here are the details:

  • Overall dimensions of the bench less the screws are 30″ long, 7 3/8″ wide, and 1 5/8″ thick.
  • The bench will be built of European beech, including the screws.
  • Clamping capacity:  Wagon vice between dogs is 23 1/2″, Moxon style front vice 19 1/2″ wide x 1 7/8″ deep.
  • Jaw liner applied to wagon vice jaws.
  • Screws are 1 1/2″ octagonal grips and are threaded at 1 1/4″ diameter with 5 threads per inch.  The wagon vice has a wood garter underneath so the vice jaw travels with the screw.
  • Two front screws can be positioned in any of the four tapped holes in the front apron.
  • Steel angle iron brackets are mounted to the end and back for mounting to the work surface with “C” clamps.
  • Bench dogs will be 3/4″ diameter and made of wood.  Two will be included.  More details below.
  • The front corners are pegged bridle joints, and there is a lag screw through the front rail into the bench for strength to resist clamping forces of the front vice.
  • Two coats of oil-varnish finish will be applied.

One change being made is the replacement of the 1/2″ square dogs with 3/4″ round dogs. The square dogs are somewhat delicate and subject to compression failure on the front faces.  The larger dogs will be more robust and the round holes will add the versatility of various woodworking accessories in the market.  These dogs will be made of a tough wood such as ash, and have flat clamping faces.  They will feature a ball detent to hold them in place at any setting desired.

Price for the complete bench is $495, plus shipping costs.  Expected delivery is early June 2018.  To order, contact us by email.  An invoice of $100 will be sent via PayPal when your order is placed, and can be paid by credit card or, if preferred, by check through the mail.   The remaining balance will be billed upon completion of the benches.

We also offer the screws, made by Acer-Ferrous Toolworks, for those who wish to build their own bench.  They are available here.

“Milkman’s Workbench” with square dogs. Production model will have round dogs, also wood.

Wagon Vice.  Note pegged corner joint and jaw liner.

Angle iron bracket for mounting bench.

Rear bracket.



Beading planes back in store.

Side beads are again back in stock with a new 3/8″ size now available.  All planes have been profiled, sharpened, and test cut for a true ready-to-use tool.  Some of these planes display light spalting in the wood.  This does not affect the performance of the plane in any way.  If you do not want any on your plane, let me know at the time of ordering and I will try to accommodate your request. These planes tend to sell quickly and once they are gone, it may be a while before restocking can occur. Get yours now here in the store!

From left:  3/8″, 1/4″, 3/16″, and 1/8″

3/8″ side bead plane

The search for beech continues

Finding suitable beech for plane making has been an ongoing challenge.  We cut a large amount ourselves that we are air drying, but that will be some time before it will be dried enough to use.  In the meantime, a source of 4″ square European beech billets has been located.These are rift sawn, and it takes a good bit of work to get nice quarter sawn billets form them, but the reward is beautiful ray flecking on the quarter sawn faces. (One of the pieces of beech in the photo below shows how it would be cut to obtain a nicely quarter sawn smoother billet like the one in the foreground.)  European beech has more prominent flecking than American beech. A limited amount of this wood is suitable for larger billets such as jack and try plane stock. We also have secured wider stock for use as totes.   To learn more, click here.  To see current beech billet offerings, click here.

Hollow and Round Plane Making Classes

This past fall, I taught a couple of classes on making a pair of #8 (1/2″radius) Hollow and Round molding planes as a trial run to see how things would go.  The students all seemed pleased and left with completed of nearly completed planes.  I have decided to proceed with more classes with two scheduled in the spring of 2018.

My shop is small so class is limited to three students per class.  Each is given their own work space and a “Milkman’s” bench to work at. (See photo of the bench below.)   These clamp on benches work beautifully and will hold the planes in any necessary position for the extensive hand work required.  These classes are  taught in a way that the student can go home and make more planes using the same techniques with minimal investment in tools or fixtures.  Emphasis is almost entirely on hand tools with the exception of a drill press to start the mortise and bench grinders to grind the profile onto the irons.  The primary goal is to complete the round in class.  This is then used to shape the hollow.  It may be possible to complete the hollow also, depending on the student and how class progresses.

We will be making the round plane first, starting with the billet and cutting the mouth with a back saw.  The mortise will be sunk in and the wedge fitted.  The iron is then bedded to ensure a good tight fit. Profiling the sole is done with a block plane and the shape is then refined with sand paper.  The iron will be ground to match the sole of the plane and we will then be doing heat treating and tempering to harden the blade.  Final detailing and sharpening will complete the round.

If time permits, we will proceed to the hollow, using the completed round to profile the sole.  Finish will be discussed also.

Class is $475 per student.    Billets of quarter sawn beech can be provided at $10 each and blade blanks at $22 each. Each three day class runs from 9 am to 5 pm, Thursday through Saturday, with an option to start earlier on the second and third day of classes.  Below is a detailed class description and policies and also a tool list of needed tools.

Class Description Hollow and Rounds

Plane Making Class Tool List

Classes are scheduled for the following dates:

  • March 22-24, 2018   This class has been filled.
  • May 10-12, 2018      This class has been filled.

Spring classes are full.  Fall classes will be announced this spring.  Please sign up for our newsletter to receive the fall schedule when available.

To sign up, click here.  A down payment of $150 will be required at the time of sign up to hold your place in the class.  This will be applied toward the total class cost of $475.  This is nonrefundable if canceled less than three weeks before class, as stated in the class description.  Once signed up, a class description with additional information will be sent out via email.

Each student will receive a full scale drawing of the #8 hollow and round planes being made.

The Milkman’s bench.  Each student will have one to use for the duration of the class.

A completed pair of planes.

Improved Panel Raising Planes

Sold out.  Sign up for our newsletter to learn when our next production run and preorders will begin.

After making a prototype with some design changes of a panel raising plane, we are beginning production of a small run.  These should be completed about the end of January, 2018.  Price is $595 plus shipping. Because of the limited number available, we are accepting orders for those wishing to reserve a copy.  A deposit of $100 is required with the remainder due upon completion.  Shipping will be calculated at that time.  For those interested, send us an email, and we will send an invoice via PayPal for the deposit.

The changes from previous runs include the following:

  • The iron thickness has increased at the cutting edge to 3/16″ from 5/32″, and will be professionally heat treated.
  • Redesign of the throat geometry, specifically a higher wear angle.
  • Cosmetic changes to the wedge and the addition of a cove along the right side of the plane.
  • Refined nicker and wedge design.
  • The profile remains unchanged.

Below are a few photos of the prototype.   Based loosely on a design by plane maker Tod Herrli, this plane will cut a 1/8″ deep fillet around the field of a panel, along with a 1 3/8″ wide bevel that slopes down to the last 3/8″, which then becomes a 1/4″ thick tang that will fit into the groove of the stiles and rails in the frame.  When inserted into a frame, the reveal will be 1″. The plane includes a depth stop along both sides of the profile for consistent results, and will stop cutting when final depth is reached.  A nicker improves cross grain cutting.  With a blade bedded at 45 deg and skewed at 30 deg, it will cut cleanly on both long and end grain. The plane is different from most panel planes in that it is only 10″ long; similar in length to molding planes.  Being shorter is an advantage when raising short or narrow panels, as it is easier to control. Because the panel would already be flat, the extra length is not needed.  The back is contoured for the user’s palm to sit comfortably when pushing. Iron is made of tapered O-1 tool steel. The wood used is quarter sawn American Beech, finished with Minwax Antique Oil Finish and paste wax.


Sample panel showing both long and cross grain cuts.

Rounded heel for user comfort.


Spring line is clearly visible as a visual aid when using.


Top view showing skewed blade.


Nicker and wedge for clean cross grain cuts.


New product: “Milkman’s Bench” screws

In the June 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking, Chris Schwarz wrote an article about a portable workbench dubbed the “Milkman’s bench.”  It is designed to clamp to any solid surface and provides a full range of clamping options for most tasks in a compact package.  I built several following the plans with no changes other than adding jaw liner to the tail vice for plane making and found them to be perfectly suited for holding the plane billets in any position needed.  Its compact size makes it easy to store and transport to demonstrations too. Chris wrote about his experience using this bench here.

It is a relatively easy project to make except for the wooden screws.  However, that just got a lot easier with the introduction of our new Acer-Ferrous wood screw set designed specifically for use on the Milkman’s bench.  The set includes two screws used in the twin screw area along the side of the bench and a single screw with a garter slot for use in the wagon vice.  These screws are made of hard maple and the threaded portion is 1 1/4″ diameter with 5 threads per inch.  The handles are octagonal in shape and provide plenty of grip for tightening. Width across the flats on the handles is 1 1/2″

The set of three screws is available for $85.  They can be purchased here.

Builders will still need to thread the holes for the screws but that is easily accomplished  using a 1 1/4″-5 tap available from the Beall Tool Company.




Screws shown with completed bench.



Complete bench with Acer-Ferrous screws installed.

Restock of Bench Hooks & Spill Planes

Bench hooks are back in stock with both right and left hand available.  Made of soft maple, bench hooks are used for small sawing or paring jobs at the bench with no need for clamps.  More information about bench hooks can be found here.  Purchase here for $50 a pair

Also, we now have a variety of spill planes with different species and figure.  Sill planes are a tool lovers favorite and can rapidly produce large quantities of tapered wood shavings called spills that were used in colonial days to transfer a flame from the hearth to a candle or pipe. Moe about these unique planes can be found here.  In the store for purchase here.  Price ranges from $135 to $145, depending on wood species.

Bench hooks, foreground, in both left and right hand, and spill planes in a variety of woods.

Right and left hand bench hooks.

Cap Irons now available.

We are pleased to now offer cap irons to our line of tools.  Cap irons, or chip breakers, when used in conjunction with a cutting iron, are meant to control tear out in double iron planes. By setting the leading edge very close to the cutting edge, the shaving is forced into a tight curl that breaks the fibers before they can lift in front of the cutter, which is the primary cause of tear out.

We worked with contemporary double iron plane maker Steve Voigt, of Voigt Planes, when developing these cap irons.  Steve has done extensive research in double irons planes and has numerous articles and links on his site about the theory and use of cap irons.

Our cap irons are made of mild steel, and are not hardened.  The front has been formed with a bend to ensure tight contact against the cutting iron.  a smooth radius is machined onto the top surface and the tang is machined with decorative bevels similar to our tapered irons.  A threaded hole and screw are included.

Please note that a bevel will need to be honed onto the leading edge of these cap irons.  The leading edge is as machined; it has not been deburred.  We recommend the bevel to be .020″-.050″ wide, and at an angle of 50° or so.  This bevel is critical for the cap iron to work properly; too small and it won’t work. and to large and the plane will clog.  It is also critical that the leading edge be thoroughly deburred using medium and fine stones, followed by a strop.  Because the steel is soft, this burr can be persistent and will take some back and forth to remove it entirely. Keep the edge sharp during this process so shavings cannot jam under it.

Once the edge is dressed, it should not need any maintenance for years, if ever.  When planing resinous woods, resin can build up on the cap iron.  Simply remove with a rag dampened with mineral spirits or acetone.

Prices vary from $30 to $36.  They can be purchased here.

Three sizes available:  From left, 2 1/2″, 2″, and 1 3/4″



Leading edge showing bend to ensure good contact with the cutting iron.


Smooth radius machined on front. A bevel will need to be honed across the front.

Cap iron with screw, which is included.


Cap iron shown assembled with included screw to a tapered iron, sold separately,

Detail of included screw.