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In the last video post, The Kerfing Plane Part One, you’ll see it began with this statement:

“Make a full size template and rough out some 4/4 hardwood for the plane body”

I’m pretty sure that my book also says to use 4/4 hardwood.

So, what if you have a nice piece of 5/4 sitting on the wood rack for the past few years?

Use it !

Should you start by flattening one face and then scribe the thickness down to 4/4?

Hell no!

Make it S6S ( square on six sides ) then cut the rabbet for the saw plate.  (the specs are in my book )

Drill the saw nut holes and start shaping.


This is true for all of my projects and I try to get this point across to all of my readers and viewers.

If you have other wood species or other thickness’ of stock then use them.


kerfing plane,the unplugged woodshop, Tom Fidgen, woodworking, handtools,

Full size pattern on quarter-sawn cherry blank.


I rarely measure exact board thickness.

I’ll take it off the wood rack, have a quick glance at the rough thickness, and then dimension it square to itself.

If it starts out as 4/4, it may very end up at 15/16-in. or even 3/4 if it’s a difficult piece to flatten.

Whatever it ends up at, is usually OK by me.

There are certain times when a design calls for a specific thickness and in those cases yes,

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Put the ruler to the plank[/inlinetweet]. ( Tweet that )

But otherwise, this is a hand tool project, use what you have and don’t worry too much about thickness’.

Shape the piece so it feels good in your hands- that’s the point!

Could you use thinner stock if you have smaller hands?


One of my earlier prototypes was a 3/4-in. walnut and oak plane.

It worked really well.

It felt a tad thin for my hands but it still does the job.

Here’s a trick-

pick up your favorite, and most comfortable saw and hold it in your hand.

Measure the thickness of the tote and make your kerfing plane match-

you could go a step further and shape the tote to match as well.

My kerfing planes look a lot like one of my favorite backsaws~; )

Can guess what that is ?