Mighty Router Planes

routerplanesThis powerful precision tool belongs in every woodworker’s arsenal.

by Megan Fitzpatrick
pages 53-55

If you’re a woodworker who prefers to plug things in, you know there are still at least a few hand tools you need. And when it comes to planes, you likely have a block plane in your toolbox. I, however, think a router plane is of at least equal importance. It can do things that no other tool – hand or power – can. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the contents of a patternmaker’s tool kit. These precise woodworking professionals had router planes in numbers second only to chisels.

While the router plane shares the first part of its name with a power tool, the two work quite differently. A router plane roots – like a pig hunting for truffles – by getting under the wood to be removed and lifting it out. An electric router works like a small spindle moulder (shaper), spinning a bit that shears the wood away.

Web Site: Patrick Leach’s “Blood and Gore” is an excellent reference site for Stanley Planes.
To Buy: “The $5 Router Plane,” by John Wilson, in issue #149. This clever shop-made tool uses an Allen wrench as a blade.
In our store: “Handplane Essentials,” by Christopher Schwarz – now in paperback.
Video: Watch a free video that shows one technique to sharpen a router plane’s L-shaped blade.

From February 2014, issue #209

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