How to Make a Hand Router Plane

Written by tom fritchman
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How to Make a Hand Router Plane
Hand router planes are useful tools that allow a carpenter control over his project. (wood plane tool image by Wiktor Osiecki from

Hand router planes were used to cut grooves into wood long before machines were invented to do the same thing. In fact, some carpenters still prefer to work with hand tools because of the amount of control they give the user. This method of working is a slower process, to be certain. However, it also gives the carpenter plenty of time to make adjustments and avoid costly mistakes. Building your own hand router plane is a great way to save some money while acquiring a handy new tool.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Metal grinder
  • Allen wrench
  • 2-by-4 lumber
  • 5/16-inch drill bit
  • 3/8-inch drill bit
  • 1-inch diameter circle drill bit
  • 2-inch diameter circle drill bit
  • Power drill
  • Sabre saw
  • Thumbscrew
  • Washer
  • Wing nut
  • French curve
  • Clamp

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  1. 1

    Mark a length of 8 inches on your 2-by-4 lumber. Measure to find the exact centre of one of the larger flat surfaces on your 8-inch section. Mark this both on the widest flat surface, as well as the thickness .

  2. 2

    Drill a 2-inch diameter hole into the centre mark you drew.

  3. 3

    Measure and mark 1 inch from both short ends of your 8-inch section. Drill 1-inch diameter holes centred on both of those points.

  4. 4

    Drill a 3/8-inch hole through the width of your 8-inch section, centred on the centre mark you made previously. Verify that your drill penetrates into the side of the 2-inch hole you already drilled. This is the only hole you will drill into the width of the wood, instead of into the largest flat surface on your lumber.

  5. 5

    Draw a curve from the underside of each of your 1-inch holes to the short end of your 8-inch section. Use your French curve as a guide. These will be your hand holds.

  6. 6

    Cut along the curve you drew with your sabre saw. Then cut the 8-inch section away from the rest of your 2-by-4. This is the wooden frame to your hand router plane.

  7. 7

    Grind the shorter end of your Allen wrench into a blade using your metal grinder. Cool the Allen wrench several times during the grinding to prevent overheating. Verify that the Allen wrench is securely clamped to a workbench surface before grinding.

  8. 8

    Drill a 5/16-inch hole in the head of your thumbscrew. Secure the thumbscrew with your clamp for safety.

  9. 9

    Push the long end of the Allen wrench through the hole in the head of your thumbscrew. Then put the thumbscrew into the 3/8-inch hole in your router plane. Use the washer to prevent the head of the thumbscrew from touching the wood, and secure it in place with the wing nut on the other end of the thumbscrew.

  10. 10

    Test your new hand router by carving a groove through another piece of 2-by-4.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear protective gear and work slowly while working with power tools.

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