Hollow and Round Plane Making Classes

We again are offering plane making classes which are described below.

Note: These classes are now being held in my new shop location in Sterling Illinois, located about 110 miles west of Chicago and a short distance off Interstate 88.  Address is in class description below.

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 $600 per student.    Billets of quarter sawn beech can be provided at $10 each and blade blanks at $25 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.

Note:  Floats and the 1/10 Chisel listed in the tool list are available for purchase from us if so desired. Lie-Nielsen no longer produces them.  We can also provide them for student use for the duration of the class.


A down payment of $200 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 $600.  This is non-refundable if canceled less than three weeks before class, as stated in the class description.  Once signed up, a confirmation email will be sent with the class description and tool list.
Hollow and Round Plane Making Classes

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

A completed pair of planes.

A completed pair of planes.

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

8 Responses

  1. I was fortunate to be able to take the Hollow and Round class this past Fall (2021) and, if you’re on the fence about it, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Dan is an excellent teacher and the experience of being able to work with him in his shop with all the appropriate tools necessary to build side escapement planes was invaluable.

  2. Just finished the Hollow & Round Plane Making Class (June 2022) and it was fantastic!

    Dan’s instruction, examples, pace and how he taught the class, were excellent. Everything he taught us was founded in what works for him and why it works for him. There was discussion of how these planes were built by his contemporaries as well as how they were built in the past. Each step was logical and made sense with the preceding step and the next step. The combination of math, plane cutting theory, woodworking and metalworking made for a very busy and fun three days.

    There was also a lot to be learned just by being in Dan’s place of business. How he goes about batching his products, what tools does he use, and his supply line. And lastly, there is a farmer’s market on Saturday where his sister sells some awesome pies! The Key Lime was a the star, but all I tried were very good.

    Oh, and my 1/2″ round worked the first time I used it! Not as pretty as Dan’s or the other students, but it worked!

    Highly recommend the class.

  3. I just finished the three-day hollow and round class at Red Rose Reproductions. I had planned on taking the class a couple of years ago, and I jumped at the chance to register when Dan opened the classes again. I am happy to say it was well worth the wait! In addition to being an incredibly nice guy, Dan is an outstanding teacher. The is able to break down the complex task, of making a side escapement planes, into doable steps. He takes his time to explain and demonstrate each step and provides feedback while you perform each step on your own plane. The small class size (no more than three people) allows Dan to provide each person with whatever level of assistance is needed; he is always there to answer questions, provide feedback, or offer a demonstration of suggestion on the best way to complete a task.
    I left the three-day class not only with the foundation skills to begin make my own planes, but also a much deeper understanding of the way these traditional planes were designed. When I got home, I immediately got to work on an old molding plane I had not be able to use. I was able to make a couple of small adjustments, and I was making shavings with it for the first time!
    I thoroughly enjoyed the class and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in making and using traditional molding planes.

  4. I took the Hollows & Rounds class in November 2023. I was skeptical that I would be able to make the planes using hand tools but not only was I able to make the two planes, they turned out far better than I expected. This was the first woodworking class I had taken. I normally learn from on-line resources and trial and error. Extremely pleased with the class and learned a ton. Dan does a great job of explaining and demonstrating the process and techniques. Now I’m working on a #4 Hollow & Round.
    Great class!

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