Monday, December 23, 2013

Plow planes

My new German plow is a nice excuse to show off my small collection of plow planes (Veerploeg in Dutch).

From the left, first the metal ones. A Stanley #50 was my first plow plane. Works perfectly allright, but with the two skates it is a bit more work to set up then the Record 044, which comes next. That one is probably one off the best metal plow planes ever produced. Easy to use, foolproof I'd say.

Next is the English wooden plane, made by Moseley. I dearly love wooden planes, but just to be honest, they have a learning curve! And they often need restauration work. Mine works fine, except the fence is not parallel to the skate. I'm not sure yet how to solve that. Just planing the fence until it is square is probably the easiest, but maybe it doesn't look so hot when I expose a fresh piece of beech. Setting up the plane with the wedges is not so easy as the metal ones, but as soon as it gets going, nothing is going to stop it!

Then comes the German plow, allready presented in the previous post. And finally on the right my Dutch one. This is made in 1847. It is a typical 18th century design, but produced some time later. Mine is very beautifull, but lives in the house and not in the workshop. It doesn't really work. The iron I have fits really badly and to make it fit I should make quite a bit of changes to the skate, the bedding of the iron and wedge. I don't really want to do that, so I leave it as it is, a conversation piece.

So far my little collection. I think that I have enough now. Collecting plowplanes takes up a lot of space as you can see in the first picture. And I think I now have most types covered. Only a Japanese plow fails.


  1. Hi Kees,
    Nice collection! About that British plow…the fences on wedge arm plows are not supposed to maintain parallelism. The arms are supposed to be free to rotate on top of the fence (that's why they're riveted), so you can move them independently. That way, you can set one arm, lock it, then set the other. If the arms on your plow don't rotate, that would be the first thing to try and fix.

  2. Yes thanks. I wasn't clear. I mean parallel in the vertical direction. Then underside of the fence is leaning away from the skate. Maybe due to heavy wear?

  3. Very few movable fences are dead-true vertically, in my experience. With a shallow fence running on the board edge this is not a problem if the plane is kept upright in use, but I agree that it can be an issue if you rely on a deep fence to be true with the face edge of the board when grooving the sides.

    With the old wooden one I think that you have three choices:
    First, do nothing;
    Second, plane a track that is at right angles to the cutting axis;
    Third, if you don't want to cut an old plane about, fix a secondary fence and plane it at right angles - double sided adhesive tape ill generally suffice.

    All best and hope this helps,


  4. Thanks for the ideas. Something to think about over the Christmas days. I like the third idea, getting a better fence without reapairing the old one.