For tasks like trimming wood plugs or removing dried glue in corners, I’ve wanted a chisel plane for a long while. I know they are available commercially, but I had a brainstorm when looking at a broken-down block plane in my parts pile: “Why not just cut the toe off of this?” I took a hacksaw and made a curving cut, ending at the back of the mouth. Then I used a bench grinder to round the edges, and a smooth-cut mill file to refine the shape further and remove burrs. I lapped the sole flat on sandpaper and stones and honed the iron, and my shopmade chisel plane works wonderfully. By the way, my original beat-up block plane was a Stanley-Bailey 12-960 low-angle model, which is also available new for under $40, so that’s the most you’ll have to spend. —BRYAN KOPPERT, Loudonville , Ohio
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