Today I spent some time improving my Record 043 plow (or “plough”) plane. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while so, with a little free time, I finally decided to go ahead and do it. For those unfamiliar with plow planes, it is a simple but useful tool for making grooves parallel to an edge of the board. It is frequently used in drawer and box construction to create the grooves that the drawer bottom fits in.
The plane consists of a main body which holds the blade and a fence that registers along the edge of a board to maintain the distance between the groove and the edge.
The plane works fine as it is but it would be nice if the surface area of the fence were larger so that it registers with the edge of the board more easily and more accurately. For this purpose, there are two screw holes in the fence that allow for the addition of a larger wooden fence. I decided to make one out of walnut. I cut a block 6″ x 1.5″ x 0.5″ and plane the edges so that all the sides are square.
Next I mark out the notch where the blade will fit with a knife and chisel out the waste.
To make the fence more comfortable to hold and fancier looking, I put a 45 degree bevel on the bottom of the outside face using a plane.
Once everything looks good I apply a coat of tung oil. I drill the pilot holes for the screws and attach the wooden fence to the metal one.
Here it is in action.