Category Archives: Match Planes

Match Planes (tongue and groove)

Match planes, or tongue and groove planes, are made in pairs with one plane cutting the groove and the other the tongue for making the tongue and groove joint.  Both planes are fenced and the pieces, when referenced from the same stock face, will line up flush when when put together.  The tongue plane is a standard side escapement plane and employs an iron with a slot in it the width of the finished tongue. The groove plane however is actually a type of fixed plow plane with a metal keel.  Because of the narrow profile this is necessary for strength, as wood simply would not have enough strength or ability to hold up under normal use.  The iron is located on the leading edge of the rear skate by means of a V groove cut into the back of the iron, and fits into the corresponding inverted V on the skate.  It is adjusted the same as any side escapement plane except for the fact the iron is not pressed against the blind side of the mortise, but rather located by the groove.

The prototype seen here is designed for 3/8″ thick stock.  The groove is 1/8″ thick and is centered. The groove is about .005″ wider than the tongue, allowing the boards to go together easily but without slop.  Both planes have the ability to be used on stock up to 1/2″ thick, but of course the tongue will then be offset, which generally is not an issue as long as care is taken to reference off the same face of each work piece. An offset tongue is actually beneficial if profiling the front faces of the boards with a bead or chamfer, as there is more stock between the face and the groove.  Plans are to offer both 3/8″ and 1/2″ sizes to begin with. (The 1/2″ size will work up to 5/8″ thick, and will have a groove width of 5/32″.)

Both planes will cut a groove 3/8″ deep and a tongue that is 1/4″ tall.  This ensures stock will butt together on the show faces, and also gives room for glue squeeze out when gluing boards together.  These small sizes are ideal for case backs when expansion needs to be accommodated. Simply nail in place and the tongue and groove joints allow for expansion and contraction while holding the boards in alignment.

Both planes are quarter sawn beech with tapered O-1 tool steel blades bedded at 50 degrees for heavier cutting.  Price for the pair will be $495.  Expected delivery for the first run will be early fall.  If interested, send me an email with the size you want, and I will add you to the list.  No down payment needed at this time.  You will be contacted when production is about to begin to confirm your order.

 

Match planes.

3/8″ size match planes.

Groove plane.  (small block is to hold the plane upright.)

Groove plane.

Groove plane.

Tongue plane.

Sample joint using 3/8″ stock.