Build a Plane From a Kit
Two editors find the labor intensive but rewarding
Synopsis: Ever dreamed about planing wafer-thin wood shavings with a handplane you built yourself? Two editors, intrigued by a planemaker’s sales pitch, set out to do just that: build handplanes from a kit of parts. To make it interesting, they each built a plane from a different company — one from Shepherd Tool and the other from St. James Bay Tool Co. This is their story.
The idea of building a plane from a kit of parts began when Doug Evans and Ben Knebel of the Shepherd Tool Co. stopped by the Fine Woodworking office. They had a compelling sales pitch: Anyone could build a plane in a matter of hours, no metalworking experience required, and the finished planes would outperform the best ready-made planes.
Intoxicated by the idea of planing seethrough shavings from the gnarliest of boards, two editors took the bait. To make the test more interesting and…