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Thread: Wood Plane Escapement Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Longview WA

    Wood Plane Escapement Question

    This style of escapement is used on many different wooden planes:

    Wide Rebate.jpg

    Is there a name for this style escapement?

    Does anyone have tips on how it is made?

    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  2. #2
    Hi Jim,

    I was just asking Larry Williams this question in the thread on skew rebate planes. In the John Whelan planemaking book, he shows a picture of a conical reamer used by traditional planemakers, to make what I guess is simply called a conical escapment or eye. The reamer was supposedly used in a brace. Judging by the flare at the top, I would say the reamer was used at a slightly angle, to make the bottom near the sole less tapered.

    Whelan explains that finding a traditional reamer is difficult, and that a pipe reamer works pretty well in Beech. I suppose the pipe reamer could only work well in a tight grained would like Beech, otherwise it would tear out a lot, I think.

    With some creativity, I'm sure the same effect could be achieved with a series of stepped drillings, albeit a lot harder. In fact, I think I read others saying they drilled in steps and then smoothed it with a rasp or gouge.

    I also thought about marking the circle off, drilling the initial hole that will be seen on the opposite side, then either sawing down a series of kerfs at the tapered angle desired (with something like a key hole saw), or go straight to a narrow chisel on a guide block cut to the tapered angle, and chiseling down around the circle. At the bottom near the sole, you could chisel at a steeper angle, becoming almost vertical at the end. Then you could smooth out the flats with a rasp/file or coarse sandpaper on a dowel.

    Last edited by Joe Fabbri; 02-25-2012 at 2:04 PM.

  3. #3
    Making a reamer, like the one used on chairs, might also be an option. Here's a link:

    And another:

    For the planes, the angle would have to be steeper, I believe, and the reamer can be shorter.


  4. #4
    Yes I've heard it many times referred to as a conical escapement.
    Trevor Walsh

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