Several woodworking schools have classes on building a wooden plane. I have considered signing up for a course, but haven’t been able to make the class schedule work with mine. Recently, I found some plans on line at the Popular Mechanics website: http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to-plans/woodworking/1273456 The plans are designed to use Hock plane irons. http://www.hocktools.com/PI.htm I thought I would try building one on my own.
I placed an order with Hock Tools and after a quick trip to the lumberyard, I had a few pieces that had potential as plane bodies: some cherry, walnut, hard maple, etc. I ended up using a piece of Yellowheart for the main body, with the sole made of Jatoba. I followed the Popular Mechanics plans for a 17″ long plane. It was actually a fairly easy project. The Hock plane iron is very heavy and thick, much thicker than a traditional plane blade. I flattened the back of the blade with a course diamond stone, and polished it with Japanese waterstones, finishing up on an 8000 grit. The blade is made with a 30 degree angle, and I polished the angle face to a mirror shine on the waterstones as well.
Construction of the plane only took a couple of days. I finished it with boiled linseed oil, and a couple coats of wax. It turned out looking pretty nice, and it works well, too.
Here’s a video of the plane making shavings.