Users Plane Till
For the past few months, I’ve had a half-dozen hand planes sitting on my workbench. They’re the ones that are regular “users” and I never quite seem to get around to putting them away, at least partly because they don’t have a regular home in my larger plane till.
The planes are a transitional jack plane, a few smoothers, three block planes, and a shoulder plane. There’s also a small, Stanley #1 sized plane I got in the most recent plane swap. This ended up taking quite a bit of space on my bench.
I started yesterday by figuring out how much room I needed for the large transitional plane, then having enough room for the smaller planes on some shelves. Next was dovetailing together the carcasse, then cutting dadoes for the first divider.
Next up was cutting sloped ends on the board that would hold the transitional jack in place. I laid the board against the case and set a bevel gauge to the angle I needed. Set the table saw blade to that and nibbled away until the board fit into the case. I ended up “wasting” about a half inch of board, but it was a lot quicker than doing trig and making a mistake.
With that in place, I called it a night.
This morning, I realized that I wanted the transitional plane to sit entirely within the case, in case I later decided to add a door to keep the dust out, so I changed the angles on the end of the board and shortened it a bit more so it only used about ¾ of the depth of the case. I also made a sloped piece to sit on the bottom of case for the toe of the transitional plane to sit on.
With that done, I cut the dadoes for the shelves on the right, spacing them more or less equally within the available space. I had a little math problem with the dadoes in the right side of the case because I measured from the end of the board, which came up a little short of the end of the case. Oops. One of the shelves is noticeably sloped due to this.
I measured some boards for the back of the case, and got them ready, then with all the lumber done, I decided I wasn’t going to put a door on the case immediately, but I would decorate the front of the case with my trim router after it was assembled. I had thought about carving decorations onto the front of the boards, but I couldn’t come up with any design I really liked.
Finally, just before lunch today, I glued everything up, glued and nailed on the backboards, and screwed on a cleat and a spacer so I could hang the case on the wall.
After lunch, I trimmed a little extra length off one of the back boards and off the cleat, and used my trim router to “fancy up” the front of the case. The case is done, except for a coat of oil, which I’ll put on after I clear a few other projects from the shop. I may end up deciding to put a door on the case yet, too.
Update June 15, 2023
I added a door to the till today. It’s constructed from some pallet wood and a bit of plywood. Half-lapped corners with miters, and a floating panel. Should help keep the dust out, and give me a place to hang my spokeshaves, too.