Wednesday 17 June 2015

A Kerfing Plane Prototype

I read in Tom Fidgen's Unplugged Woodshop book about this tool.
It totally makes sense for me what he is writing about the resawing process.
The actual driver for wanting t have one is that I have to saw some thin wood strip for the insets of my Garden Lantern.
So I decided to give it a try.

I did not want to spent a lot of money for this try. And I had some difficulties to get the origin hardware.
So I had to improvise a bit.

Wood Selection

The first chapter of money saving. Because it should be a prototype I didn't like the idea to use expensive wood for it. But pine doesn't seemed to be strong enough.
So I used laminated beech wood from the DIY store.
It's a bit thin, but good enough for a test.

Laminated Beech

Hardware Choice

The hardware Tom used isn't available in Germany.
After browsing around a bit I developed the idea to use a saw blade from a (German type) frame saw. 
That you can get cheap.

Saw Blade

Because of the thin stock also the saw screws Tom used, won't work.
So I used slotted sleeve screws and normal countersunk machine screws. Both made from brass.

Brass Screws

The Build

After sawing, rasping, filing and planing here you can find how the plane body came out.

Rough Shape

It is not finalized now. Before I will spent effort into shaping details I want to know if it will work.
I'll leave it rough for a moment.

Starting to establish a shoulder

After rough shaping it I started to make a shoulder with the help of a rabbet and a shoulder plane.

Established shoulder
The bulk of the waste was removed with the rabbet plane. For defining the shoulder I have used a shoulder and a rabbet block plane.

Sawing the kerf for the saw blade

Now I've fixed a thin strip of wood to the new established fence so that I have a continuous distance for the blade kerf.
The kerf was established with a tenon saw. 

Test fit saw blade

The used saw blade fits pretty well into the established saw kerf. Nice!

What's Next?

As soon as I'm back from vacation I'll finish this thing.
It's just adjusting the blade. Cutting the blade to length. Boring the holes for fixing.
And then give it a try. If it will work satisfying, I'll shape it nicely.

So stay tuned! 



  1. I've read that boring holes in saw blades requires a special carbide drill bit. Regular twist bits can't drill the hardened saw blade.

    1. Hi Ralph,
      I'll check it out as soon as I'm back from vacation.
      And then I'll let you know which drill bit worked for me. Honestly I guess that a standard HSS bit for metal work will do the job.

    2. putting a drill bit up-side down in a drill press. Then drilling at the place were you wish the hole to be. You are burning the metal. ( correct term alludes me at presant ) Thus making the metal soft to be able to then drill a hole. cheers peter

  2. I've made such a saw with this blade and it was too slow for me.

    1. Hi,
      I guess the blade has to have a quick sharpening before using it.
      At least that is what I've heard so far. The blade is about 6 ppi. That should work.
      But thanks for your experience. Stay tuned. I'll let you know how it goes.

    2. In fact, I haven't sharpened it. I'll resharpen it to 3 ppi and try this configuration. I have one more idea, but I have to check it out first.

      I'm curious about your results and findings!