Rounder plane

A rounder plane makes the tenon part of a round mortice and tenon joint.  ‘Tenon’ a fifteenth century French/Latin word meaning holding on, same root as ‘tenant’ one who holds land.  ‘Mortice’ Norman word, origin obscure, but used since the 14th century, meaning essentially a hole that takes a tenon to form a secure joint.

Anyway, a rounder plane is a bit like a pencil sharpener.  The blade is set at a tangent to a hole into which you insert the stick upon the end of which you would like to make a tenon.  The infeed of the hole is conical, the end of the hole is a cylinder of the desired finished diameter. Very simple.  No idea when these things came to be made, but they are very handy when you don’t want to use the lathe e.g because the rest of the blank is very irregular, and would not turn well, like the leg of one of my deer:

(These are old ones, I prefer to choose leg branches with ‘knees’ in now)

So, making a rounder plane, first turn your blank:

This is just two handles and a thick bit for the cutting business where the blade will be mounted.

Then thin the middle down with flats:

Bore a hole of the appropriate finished diameter This one is one inch):

Sorry about the lack of focus; it’s getting rather gloomy in my workshop at this time of year, no direct sunlight for a couple of months.

Then the infeed, where the stick starts its journey into becoming a tenon, is opened up into a cone (I used my knife):

Funny, if you’d asked me, without looking at the plane, I’d have said the hole was in the middle, but, of course, it’s offset to give more meat where the blade is mounted.

Then a couple of saw cuts at accurate angles to finish the blank:

Now I think you can see how the stick blank is gradually cut down to a cylinder.  The blade will be mounted on the left-hand flat.  Just need the blade and fixings … I have this idea … If your stick is thicker than the entrance hole, you’ll be needing some work with the draw knife.

Been making this too:

And mending clogs:

New heels with beech wedges to take up the wear.  Just need the glue to set and then trim.

To be continued …



5 thoughts on “Rounder plane

  1. Made a few rounders this year the blade need a lead in and out , also to be positioned to cut right on the apex of the round, bevel down.

    • Hi Richard! Yes I’m finding that the position of the blade is rather critical, not quite achieved it yet. I think this one will end up being a prototype and then I’ll make another.
      I can’t work out the bevel up down merits, the Ray Iles has it bevel down, but the Veritas dowel maker has the bevel up. Which ever it is, I agree the blade needs to be just on the edge of the hole – I suppose it’s a true tangent.

  2. “Then a couple of saw cuts at accurate angles to finish the blank:”
    At first glance I thought you were joking but then I noticed the adjustable bevel and square in the shot – so what are these mysterious “accurate angles”?
    – Oh and thanks for the instruction x

    • Huh! Well those angles are critical, and I’ve not got them right yet – still trying to get the blighter to cut properly. It’s one of those jobs that when I get time …

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