I primarily use power tools, but lately, I have been trying to incorporate more hand tools into my wood working. One hand tool that I do not have, that would occasionally come in handy, is a shoulder plane. I was flipping through the Lee Valley catalog one day and I saw a nifty little tool called a chisel plane. It was a cast metal frame that you inserted a chisel into and tightened a screw to make a quick and dirty shoulder plane. I quickly sketched a drawing of a possible version made from oak. When I got home that evening, I sat down at the computer and worked the design into a plan, then went down to the shop to make a prototype.
I cut the rough shape out, then drilled a hole to receive the curl of wood. I then cut the slot for the chisel with a back saw and chiseled out the groove. O drilled a couple of holes where the hanger nut would rest, then cleaned up the hole with a chisel. I found the center of the chisel location and drilled a hole through the pocket I just chiseled out. Once I tested the fit of the hardware and the chisel, I finished shaping the rest of the plane. I then made a plug that held the hanger nut in place with a slight press fit.
It worked surprisingly well. I don’t like the feel of the current shape, but this was just a prototype to test a theory. I will add a lot more meat to the back-end on the next version. but for now, I have a crude shoulder plane.