Highland Woodworking Wood News Online, No. 156, August 2018 Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodworking classes and seminars Woodworking articles and solutions Subscribe to Wood News
Dogbone Router Plane Project
By Randy Cordle
Sadorus, IL

Click on any picture to see a larger version.

Here's a unique little router plane that's quick to build and comes in handy for cleaning up the occasional dado bottom or any number of uses you can imagine for it. This started life as a spare 5/8" carbide tool insert from Arizona Carbide. The circular cutter comes with a mounting screw so it was easy to drill and tap the squared off end of a short piece of 3/8" all thread to hold the cutter.

I had a scrap of ironwood that served to make the base. I thicknessed two 6" long by 2-1/2" wide pieces to make the 5/8" thick top and 3/8" thick bottom sections of the body, angled the ends of the top section where the handles would be attached, and drilled the top section to house the two 1/4" tee nuts to mount the handles and the 3/8" tee nut which holds the cutter shaft. The tee nut recesses are drilled from the bottom surface of the top half of the plane body; this makes it easy to angle the tees that serve to retain the handles.

The handles could have easily been lathe-turned, but I was walking through the local hobby store with my wife and saw these 2" diameter hardwood balls with flats on the bottom labeled as "Doll heads". How could you not want to use something called a doll head? I fastened together a bit of scrap to mark out the centers on the top of the ball and drilled them for 1/4" tee nuts. A short piece of 3/4" dowel rod plugged the counterbore and a bit of sanding rounded the top of the new "doll head knobs". These were so handy I think I'll be hunting for an excuse to use them again!

It becomes a simple matter of gathering up the parts, drilling the slightly oversized hole for the 3/8" all thread cutter shaft, gluing the base to the top section of the body, and shaping the body as desired. I also sanded a large convex depression in the base so I could see the cutter and to allow room for chips to move away from the cutter in use.

I finished it off by using one of my favorite finish regimens: heating the wood and applying pure beeswax and polishing off what remains with 0000 steel wool.

The circular cutter means there's no proper orientation, so setting depth is super-quick by loosening the wing nut and rotating the 3/8" all thread cutter shaft. The flat cutter also means you can cut from any direction without the need to worry about "front or back" orientation. Even though the flat cutter isn't considered optimum for a router plane the round carbide cutter works quite well.

Holding a single knob against the side of a board also makes this a really useful marking gauge to incise a fine line to indicate the location of a cut. A Marking Gauge! Wait! Where did I put those spare doll heads?

You can email Randy at rcordle@fastmail.fm.

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