Friday, March 8, 2013

Badger Plane

Beech body, wengè sole and strike button, ash handle and wedge.
14" long, single iron (Eskiltuna-Sweden), 20° skew angle, 45° seat. 
This plane was quite common, judging by a good number of exemplars it is possible to find. It is similar to a jack plane but if you pay attention, you can note the skew iron exposed on the right side. This is achieved by rotating the seat on the left.
 This feature permits to the plane of cutting large and deep rebates.
The cut begins by nailing a wood strip to the piece as guide or, as we can see in the below video, by cutting a preliminary groove.
On the right side, where the blade is flush with side, the wood thickness decreases to zero and a point of weakness is created as can be see looking at old exemplars.

I preferred to add a brass plate for preventing future damages.
The building process follows.

Carefully layout the throat, mark the part to be first morticed and bore with a spade bit, following the seat and wear angles.


Discard the waste by a big mortice chisel (1")

Trace a hole series a couple of cms deep, by a 3 mm bit. These define the central mouth part and help us to complete the throat.

Cut the mouth for some mms.

Utilize a wooden block, cut to the same seat angle for define the iron bed.

A steel plate, equipped with 80 grit sand paper, helps us to flatten the seat.

At this point glue a wengè sole about 1cm thick

and re-cut the mouth

For cutting the abutments, I utilize a coping saw. It is time to create the bed rotation in order to permit to the blade of being flush with the side.

A flat milled file is used for obtaining a precise surface, vital for a good planing action.

Mark on the wedged blade a line parallel to the plane sole and grind and hone a new cutting edge.

a planemaker float (thanks to Andrea who built it for me) helps to make some corrections.

Determine the brass plate position and fix it flush with the side.

Cut a recess for blade side protruding. Unfortunately, I did a mistake in positioning the brass plate, so I had to fill the gap with a beech veneer. This does not affect the planing job but is a little bit unpleasant to look at.

Glue an end-grained piece just before the mouth. It increases hardness and permits to setting it right.

Give a first flattening to the plane sole and right side. Ensure they are square.

Lay out the handle (ash wood), bore in the right points and cut by your bandsaw.
Rasps, files and abrasive paper will complete the job.

The handle is joint by a blind slide dovetail. Cut the male with a dedicate plane.
The handle position has not to interfere with hammering, while the blade is setting in.

Cut  the mortice sides by a back saw.

Bore where the saw blade cannot cut.

Clean by a router plane.

Both tail and mortice are tapered on one side, so a more solid joint can be obtained.

The strike button comes from hole saw and Dozuki cuts.

The following video shows the plane in action while cutting a 45 mm rebate.


  1. Very nice job on a plane that has the complication of the skew. I think I would have used beech or a contrasting wood for the handle and the wedge though. The grain of the ash seems a bit rough for a fine tool like this.

    Jim B

  2. Hi Jim,
    I agree with you for the handle. Ash wasn't the best choice in this case but my attention was mainly for the functional aspect so I used that I had at home. Next time I'll pay more attention.

  3. Love it--a beautiful piece. Function creates art.

  4. Very nice. I am very intrigued by this plane. Will keep it in mind for a future project. Scott

  5. Hi Scott. It is a great workhorse when you have to cut large rebates.