Chris Schwarz's Blog

Another Great Maker of Wooden Handplanes

Wooden Handplanes

When I first started using and writing about wooden moulding planes, there was only one modern maker with a full line of planes: the pioneers Clark & Williams (now Old Street Tool).

If you ordered from them, it could take two years to receive your tools. The two-person operation got so backed up that they stopped taking new orders to focus on the backlog (though I have heard that might soon change).

In the meantime, several new makers have entered the marketplace. (I haven’t tried them all, so this entry will mention only the ones I have used.)

The newest maker is Jeremiah Wilding of Colorado who offers a large range of tools, including hollows and rounds, moulders and an excellent wedge-arm fillister plane. I met Wilding at Handworks in May and he loaned me some of his tools to use for a few weeks at the bench.

They are excellent in every way.

Like all the modern makers I’ve encountered, Wilding makes planes that eclipse the quality, fit and finish of most vintage planes. His tools are crisp and function beautifully.

The tool that was the most fun to use was his wedge-arm fillister. It’s a skew-blade tool with a fence that adjusts like a wedge-arm plow plane. This fence system has some advantages (and disadvantages) to the traditional fence on a moving fillister, which is locked with metallic screws.

The disadvantage to a wedged fence is that the fence requires your work to hang off the front edge of the workbench or be held higher off the bench so the fence doesn’t drag on the benchtop. The advantage is the fence is easier and quicker to adjust. It’s also pleasant to use – I was surprised how much I liked it.

Right now, Wilding is taking orders for the following planes:

  • 3/16” Beading Plane, $260
  • 1/4” Ovolo, $250
  • #6 Hollow and Round, $425 (pair)

You can contact Wilding about ordering a plane here. I think you will be very impressed.

Here are the other makers of wooden planes that I have used and can recommend:

— Christopher Schwarz


6 thoughts on “Another Great Maker of Wooden Handplanes

  1. abt

    To deal with the overhang of the fence, I made a special planing ‘jig’ similar to what both Matt Bickford and Calab James use for their hollow and round planes and moulding planes. Clamp it in the bench, works great.

  2. geovincent

    These planes are certainly nice looking, but most likely affordable by only a few. Way to expensive for my budget.

    1. thekiltedwoodworker

      Instant Gratification vs. Long-Term Gratification

      This isn’t the kind of tool you buy because you’re trying to fill out a collection or because it looks pretty. You buy it because you need it. It is a one-time purchase of a tool you could use the rest of your woodworking life, whether you’re a hobbiest or a professional woodworker.

      I couldn’t sit down right now and write out a check for $250 for a 1/4″ Ovolo.

      But I understand the cost necessity and am committed to supporting small shop tool makers in return for a quality product.

      I have the discipline to make a goal and set up a simple saving envelope or jar and set aside a portion of my expendable monthly income or use my woodworking skills to do small commissions/sales each month in order to save up enough money to purchase such a plane. When/if I make such a purchase, I’m not taking any funds from our family budget. I’m not entering into any debt. I own the tool, free and clear. Because of that, the satisfaction I get every time I use it is two-fold.

    2. tsstahl

      There are many ways to wood work, so you are not wrong, nor is the plaid guy (sorry, Ethan).

      You can get along fine with 250 bucks worth of router bits and never miss a beat.

      I’d like to use more of the moulding planes, but don’t yet feel confident in using the three I have. I paid no more than 40 bucks for the ones in my collection.

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