Friday, February 27, 2015

Plane till 1 From ideas to design

As for most piece of shop furniture, there isn't really any plans to go on. That's because each and everyone of us has different requirements, there are no one size fits all!.

To get a sense of what I needed for a plane till, I tried to rationalize my herd of planes to the ones, I thought I should need the most; I got it down to 52 (ish)! Go ahead laugh, it's just that I have so many to pick from :-)
This is an all important step to ensure that you have a sense of the requirements. You can also leave some room for future expansion as your needs grow, but you can also build more and bigger storage later on , so go ahead and built it now! Once you understand the design process it is easy to adapt it to what YOU need.

In the Joiners category I lumped the Jack to the joiners and I got these 9

Next I looked at my smoothers and selected these 12
Why so many? Because one can never be too smooth :-) NO really, it's because it gives me various angle for the blades from 45 to 60 degrees and various shapes as appropriate to the task

Block planes, I picked 9

Next I look at my moulding planes and special planes and sort them as such
Joint making 9. Moulders 13 and counting?? Complex moulders 2.

So if you have been keeping track so far, we have our 52, but I sense I may have room to sneak in a few more!? It's all in the design :-)

Next I simply Google "Plane till" and looked at pictures. I pretty well had an idea in mind, but it is always a good thing to look at other's work.
I quickly settled on the tilted plane idea for the long ones and separate cubicles for the others.
The only exception to the dedicated cubicle idea is for the various wooden molding planes I own
These varies in thickness too much and are quick to multiply so it would require constant re-arrangements and various size opening. Because of these two factors, it would consume too much space in a hurry.
Now there are some advantages to segregating them, you could then, put in a piece of the molding surface it produced and labeled it on the till for example. But, again to save space, I opted not to. Instead I will try to group them by their functions; E.G. H&R, Beaders, Complex molders etc.

So by now a sketch is taking shape, we now have to work in the dimensions and make sure it would fit into the designated (?) space. (subject to changes without any warnings)
In order to do that, armed with some sample specimens, we can quickly figured out the space

And this is what it worked out for me:
The two rows of separate cubicles will have inside dimensions of 3 inch wide X 6-1/4 in high.
There would be 11 separate cubicles in each rows.
The third row has an open space of 7 in hi X the length of the above two rows.
For ease of plane's retrieval and added rigidity to the till, the bottom row has a divider in the middle.

We can now factor in our dividers (1/4 in ply) and stock thickness (3/4 rough = about 9/16 to 1/2 final thickness) to come up with dimensions and worked in our joinery method now, because that will affect the pieces length.
This is what we now have

Now we have to figured out the tilted plane platform on top to get our final height dimension.
And that will be next part.



  1. Hi Bob,
    I liked the reasoning for the smoothers. I'll be using it to increase my herd. I'm a bit behind you as I only have 4.

  2. He He always glad to grease the slippery slope my friend. BTW Heather read my blog and was surprised at the numbers....hum I sure wishes the garage was warmer :-)