Router Plane Storage – Bit holder

A few days ago I started work on a router plane tool holder for my soon to come French cleat tool storage wall. I decided to start with the router plane storage just since it was top of mind. It was also a great place to use the new Veritas router plane and try to get used to it. Suffice to say, Im quickly becoming a fan. I think I was initially thrown off by the sharpening of the tool – which then made me start making a direct comparison to the LN router plane which I love. The Veritas plane is most definitely balanced differently. When I say that I mean that it has to be driven differently. Not a bad thing, but it took me awhile to get used to it. One of my earlier complaints was that the height stop was on the thread height adjustment rod. This seemed like a poor design choice to me but the plus side is that it separates the tool from the height. That is – the height adjustment stays the same even if I switch bits. The LN height lock was on the tool itself making this not possible (not that LN had other size bits to start with). Having different width bits is a huge deal – at least for the work I’m doing now so Im starting to appreciate the difference between the Veritas and my beloved LN router plane. At any rate, back to the build….

My goal is to be able to do all of the builds going forward with hand tools only. As I talked about in my last post, the piece of wood I want to use for this is thicker than the slot in the router plane bits. This means that in addition to the slot for the bit to slide into the holder, I also need to recess the area where the top of the bit sits. I actually like this idea because it will keep the bits from twisting in the holder. So above I marked all my knife lines and then used a dovetail saw to cut the through cuts for the bits to slide into the holder. Notice that I cut back from the knife line. My intent is to pare down to the line once Im further along.

Next I used a small chisel to bust out the bigger chunks from the cuts. Again – staying well off the knife line again here. Once that was done I chisel marked the other knife lines for the recesses and started at it with the router plane…

The trick here of course (as always) is to take small slivers as we go down. As I went down I continued to pare down the walls with a chisel. It was a long process but the results were worth it. One thing I wish I would have considered was leaving more wood on each side of the holder for the hold downs. A small piece like this means that I had to clamp close to the part I was working on which meant that I couldn’t get the router plane close to the hold downs. Lesson learned. Once I had all of the recess done and cleaned up, I tipped the holder up on its side and then pared the rest of the waste out. It was a weird angle and I’ll admit that some of the slicing wasn’t perfectly straight but I was generally happy with the end result…

I put the bits in one at a time paring more where needed so that the bit slide in and out of the slot cleanly. Next, I glued some sandpaper to a block and smoothed the top and the bottom to get rid of the marking lines…

All in all I was happy with the results. A lot of this would have been easier on something like a table saw – but doing all the work with hand tools is good practice for me. It also helped me to start loving the Veritas router plane 🙂

Anxious to move onto the next piece which is cutting the dado on the main holder for this to slide into!

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