Plow Plane

Making a molded frame and panel requires a marking gauge, a mortising gauge, a mortising chisel, and three special planes, the ovolo, the plow, and the panel raising plane. There are, however, ways to accomplish the tasks of each of these planes using other tools.

Consider the central tool for a moment. The plow plane makes a groove along the grain of a board. Each plane is fitted with eight or more irons of different widths. Some plow irons are stamped with numbers in a system that makes a 3/16-inch-wide iron a number 2 and a 1/2-inch-wide iron a number 7. This is based on starting with the smallest iron, the 1/8 inch, calling it the number 1 and counting upward in sixteenths. The irons taper greatly in thickness from nose to tail, making a double wedging action with the wooden wedge. This taper is not standard, so take care when buying a plow and irons—there are lots of cats and dogs out there.

Plow plane irons also have a groove down their backs to position them on the iron, skatelike sole. This narrow skate allows you to use irons of differing

Plow the grooves to hold the panel.
Screw Plough Plane
Strike the molding with an ovolo plane, or with a fillister planefollowed by a hollow (shown here).

widths, but it limits the smooth working of the plane to the most even-grained wood.

You can't really be knocking on the ends of a plow plane to adjust the exposure of the iron. To make the cut deeper, you tap directly on the top of the iron. To release the iron, you tap harder, enough to release it so you can pull out the wooden wedge. Each iron also has a little shoulder or "sneck" at the top end to let you tap the iron upward. If the iron is too deep, you usually just release it and start over with a too shallow set and gradually make it deeper, tapping alternately on the tops of the iron and the wedge.

The adjustable fence in a plow positions the iron a given distance in from the edge of the board, and the depth stop controls the depth of the cut. The fences of plow planes may be adjustable by wedges or by wooden screws. Like braces, plow planes were, and are, recognized as things of beauty. Presentation plows of ebony, ivory, and brass go to collectors for huge sums. You may not yet have a proper plow, but you can do its job with a double-toothed marking gauge and a chisel. Just run the lines from the marking gauge quite deep and then start shaving out the groove with long, bevel-down strokes of the chisel.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment