Hollow and Round Plane Making Classes

I am hoping to again offer classes for making a pair of #8 hollow and rounds in 2021.  Due to the pandemic, I have decided against holding classes for spring of 2021.  Hopefully by the fall of 2021 things will be back to normal to the point classes can resume.  Below is the class description.

Note: These classes are now being held in my new shop location in Sterling Illinois, located about 100 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 $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.


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 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.

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2 Responses

  1. Given the current conditions with Covid, when will you be doing classes again? I would like to take a class of building these, as I’m sure there is something I can learn that I haven’t come across yet in the building of my hand planes.

    1. I would like to resume classes, and am hoping at this point to offer them in the fall of 2021. Spring of 2021 is too uncertain. I will put out a newsletter when a new schedule is determined.

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