Tweaking the Kerfing Plane Design

A while ago I made myself a dedicated kerfing plane, adapting the designs by Tom Fidgen which in turn were probably originally documented by Roubo in the 1760s. Tom re-invented the idea unaware of Roubo’s tools, and in turn I adapted them for my own use. My first foray into this arena was re-purposing a derelict plow plane, and idea that worked okay, but then I moved on to a dedicated tool made with Baltic birch plywood build more along the lines of a backsaw profile.

For the workshop I taught last summer in Arkansas I made a few more kerfing planes, and their shortcomings, which I had dealt with unthinkingly, were a serious issue as almost every person who used them got their pinky finger knicked simply due to their configuration.

I noticed that the students modified their handhold to grab the tool differently, as I had done at home almost unconsciously after ripping open my pinky knuckle a time or two. It was time to address this nuisance and I did.

I’ll show you how next time. Stay tuned.