Bengt Carlen photography

Bengt Carlen photography

Coopering & Curved Bottom Planes

We begin with the rough milling for our solid wood cabinet exercise which will span roughly six weeks. With the wood for the door and the cabinet resting, we prepare the wood for our coopering plane. While much of the process is similar to flat bottom planes, the shaping of the forward ramp and the ‘soul’ of the plane, give us the opportunity to further develop our relationships with our planes and files. 

With the coopering plane underway we return to edge jointing the stock for our cabinet and door. The door is split into staves, and edge jointed with a modest bevel, which gives us the starting point for our door. For our first door, the bevels are started on the jointer and finished up with our jointer plane made in the previous week. When one becomes more comfortable with our planes, we can avoid the jointer altogether. The door is dry fit and clamping strategies are discussed at which time it is assembled in stages and left to relax. 

The ‘soul’ of the plane is shaped using our jointer plane, and the mouth opening dialled in with a file. The profile of the plane is cut, an edge fitted and initially shaped to fit our hands. As the work of the door progresses, the three planes will be carefully fitted to our hands to ensure a comfortable grip, enabling us to work for hours of enjoyable and comfortable work.  

The concave and convex sides of the door are then shaped and tapered using all three of the planes made at the school, leaving only ‘fingerprints’ or subtle traces of our planes. The door is refined as we move onto Joinery & Surfaces.


Impractical Studies