My Ultimative Saw File Guide

Some years ago I received an old Saw Filing Guide  from Briggs & Shultze patented September 1919.


Briggs&Shultze - 2


I didn’t work often with this guide, though the adjustment is repeatable.

The handling is a little bit too fiddly.

I tryed to recreate the guide, but fortunately Veritas was quicker.

In my mind  I turned the guide around and now  the prototype of my Ultimative Saw Filing Guide is ready.


The File Guide is designed for needle files. These files are fixed very tight  with a set screw . To adjust the rake a small gauge is prepared. It is quite easy. Filing-Guide-10


The adjustment of the gauge is done by opening the wing screw and setting the required size on the scala. The filing guide is laid on the top of the gauge with the set screw opened, the guide is turned till it is horizontal and the set screw is fixed. Fleam adjustment is self-explaining, the new guides are fitted with a scala.Filing-Guide-9Filing-Guide-8

To adjust the slope I swivel the saw vise in the end vise of the bench. So it is easy to keep the file leveled.




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The easy way to build a Block Plane from a Plane Kit

It is very easy to komplete a wonderfull plane from a plane kit. This are the main parts of which the kit is consisting off.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


At first the tails of the side plates are very tight inserted in the sole by filing. After that a small angle is filed at the tails. Check wether all parts match perfect together.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The gap between the tails and the sole will be closed by peening the overhang of the sole in this opening.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

To do that a peening block is prepared. The peening block is composed from a piece of hard wood, two steel plates screwed on, a clamp and two screws to ceep all things together.  This  peening block is now clamped in a machinist vise.


At first the gaps are closed by peening with a rounded chisel from the sides.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now the slot on the sole is closed.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At last the pins are peened in the small slits on the sole.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The shell can now be filed and sanded as well as the wood parts are treated with rasps and sand paper to the final shape. At least the wood is oiled with Danish Oil or a similar product.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Isn’t it a nice looking plane, and it is working perfect.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here it is with one of his greater brothers.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


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Building a Krenov Plane

James Krenov was born 1920 in Russia and died 2009 in California.

Famous is his simple furniture design and the facile construction of his versatile hand planes.He taught at many schools in America as well as in Europe. Many woodworkers revere him by his inspiration to fill there own work with simplicity, harmony and not at least with the love to the fantastic wood.

In 2003, Fine Woodworking magazine asked Krenov how he would like to be remembered… He responded, “As a stubborn, old enthusiast.“

Many of his books with his creativity , survive also in future generations.

To create an own woodworking plane you must have:


 a.                  a piece of hard wood like Ash, Oak, Hornbeam or a tropical hardwood

b.                  a blade with a back iron like mine

c.                  a cross pin

d.                 and maybe a piece of lignum vitae

e.                  a piece for the wedge

The wood for the body will be precut and angular planed. The dimension should be app. 300 mm long and 75 mm high. The width depends on the width of the blade. Width of the blade + 1,5-2 mm + 2 x saw blade cut +  2 x sides with 10-12 mm and 3 mm for truing.

I like trOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAuing with my jointer.


When the wood is on all sides angular and the sole side is fixed, it is the bark side,the wood is drawn and sliced. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

To slice the wood a band saw is ideal because the saw cut is very narrow and after the gluing the annual rings of the wood suit nearly exact.


Now to the layout.


The mouth is drawn app 20 – 50 mm in front of the middle. You can prepare a bedding angle between 45 and 55° and the angle in the front should be app. 62 °. Create the outer shape according to your own liking.

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe middle section is cutted.

The  place for the lignum vitae wear plate is cutted and angular chiselled and planed.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The wear plate is glued.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now the bedding angle is angular planed.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The deepening for the back iron screw is drawn and milled or chiselled.



After adjusting of all parts the components are clamped and the auxiliary holes for the dowels and the hole for the cross pin are drawn. Don’t forget the place for the wedge.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The blade should touch the front about 1 mm from the sole level.Before gluing the shape of the cross pin is triangular planed or rasped and inserted.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGlue with supplements under the clampsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA and after curing of the glue the outer line is sawed. 


After sharpening and inserting of the blade and the final planning of the sole, the mouth can be opened after own requirements. I prefer a very narrow mouth.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now the plane is ready for the first test shavings and for the final finishing and the surface treatment. I prefer an oil finish like Danish oil or similar products.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now good luck with the finished smoother


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Improving a WW II Stanley No 6

The WW II plane belongs to a friend of mine. He had already changed the beech handles and he asked me to install one of my heavy plane blades.

I dismantled the plane and saw that the sole is warped and slightly convex. So I started with filing and then with a mechanical scraper and a leveled cast gray iron plate to flatten the sole.
My blades are 4,5 mm thick and the new back iron is 3 mm thick. By these dimensions the small lever didn’t no longer touch the back iron. I have cut a „H“ into my back iron and bend it so that I eliminated the gap. The installed screw was too short so I made a longer screw with a thread of 7.5 mm.
The mouth is opened only 0,6 mm and now the plane is working perfect.

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An dovetailed Infill dovetail plane

Diese Galerie enthält 6 Fotos.

Hello Woodworkers, my last plane is this Dovetail Plane. The mechanics for the fence is gliding between two brass bars and the two screws for the the fence are moving parallel in the 30° slots, driven by the screw on the … Weiterlesen

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The Ultimative Honing Guide

My Ultimate Honing Guide
For Plane Blades and Chisels
complete in stainless steel

Now with extra wheel for small chisels and widened for Stanley No.7 and 8 blades

I bought seven different honing guides and all of them didn’t satisfy my expectations.
Some times they are too small to handle, sometimes they aren’t solidly built and a lot of them rust by using them on water stones with water.
So I started my own design and :

>>>>>>Here it is<<<<<<

     To assemble it, the single wheel is to be mounted with the star knob to the body. As anoption there is a rubber strip with an added adhesive which can be fixed on the rest.


The blade or the chisel has to be fixed with the both star knobs to the base. The honing angle can now be adjusted with a protractor by lowering or increasing the wheel.

The watered honing stone has to be fixed or wedged on a waterproof base. In front of the honing stone there must be a 30 – 40 cm plain surface where the wheel is running.The blade or the chisel has to be fixed with the both star knobs to the base. The honing angle can be adjusted with a protractor by lowering or increasing the wheel.The honing stone should be frequently trued for example with a diamante plate. My best reference is to use a diamante plate with a 120 grit to prehone the blade and also for dressing the stones.

The adjusting range for a bevel is between 0 and 35°. Very helpful is a digital protractor as shown. With this protractor you can zeroize the surface of the honing stone and adjust the blade easily to the requested angle.

Now you can start honing at the complete length of the honing stone.

To start honing, grab the both star knobs tight and move the blade under maximum pressure over the length of the stone. To get a crowned blade, add the pressure frequently changing from one star knob to the other.

When the blade is honed to the requested angle and there is a burr all over the mirror side you should change from the diamante plate to a 1000 grit water stone.

To get the blade to an optimal sharpness, use a 6000 or 8000 grit stone and increase the honing angle at app. 1°. With this procedure you will get a circa 1 mm micro bevel. Finally the mirror side and the bevel are honed on a leather strap several times changing against the cutting direction until the burr has gone completely.

If you have stones with different high as usually, and you have the magnetic „mini digital protractor“ you can very easy adjust the honing guide from one stone to the other. There is a knob where you can zeroise the angle when you have presharpened the blade with a coarse stone. Now you can change to the finer  stone and level the honing guide with the wheel to the same angle.The honing guide can also be used for skewed blades, for very slim chisels and to create a minor back bevel on the plane blades.To sharpen skewed blades, clamp the blade as a straight blade and with the single wheel, the honing guide adjust alone to the angle the blade is pre sharpened. 

To sharpen very slim chisels use an extra wheel and mount it beside the wheel holder with the adapter.

So you have again a three point rest and with this optional equipment also slim chisels don’t wobble anymore.You can prepare a blade with a small back bevel when you stack planed stones with water together. Affected by the adhesion the stones will stick together and you can hone a back bevel near 0° on this package of stones.

You can also use this guide for sharpening of the short Japanese chisels, but the length of the blade is too short to put the magnetic protractor direct on the blade. The sharpening angle, I choosed, for these two chisels is 25°

I think the shortest blades to sharpen have to be in the minimum 28 mm long. These blades can be sharpened to a cutting angle of 30° as you can see on the picture.







Another helpful practice is to plan the back iron. I had troubles to hone or file a flat surface on the bottom of the back iron which prevents clamping shaving between the iron and the back iron. So I stack water stones together till I reached the level to hone a slight angle on the tip of the back iron the adhesion keeps the stones together, it works perfect.

I am very satisfied with this honing guide and the results. It shortens the honing time and fulfills all my requirements.

To be able to hone also blade angles in the range of 45° or even 48° I made widened wheel holder.

Gerd Fritsche.


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Infill meets Kanna

Hello to you all,

I competed on the “ Hobelmeisterschaft“ in Germany with my A11 Mitre Plane and although I polished the plane blade the thinnest shavings had 0,026 mm thickness. The shavings produced with a Kanna are much thinner. So I read what is the difference between an Infill and a Kanna. With this knowledge I designed an Infill with dimensions based on a Japanese plane. Length is 270 mm, plane blade is 60 mm wide and 5,5 mm thick and the bedding angle is 30°, the blade has no back iron. The adjuster has a thread with M8x0,5mm, that means because the bedding is 30°, one turn pushes the blade app 0,3 mm deaper.

The plane cosists from the following parts:


You can see that the sole touches the wood only on two places and these parts are aligned by marking the high spots on a surface plate and using a precision scraper.

I am satisfied with the first results after rough honing the mirror side of the blade with diamant past on a MDF plate. The first shavings have a thickness of 0,02 mm and I’ll improve the results to the next „Hobelmeisterschaft“

Greetings from the lake of Constance


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One year ago I got a plane blade from Gerd for my simple Record plane No. 5.
Now it is a really good plane. I never thought that it`s possible to create such a difference only with the blade. I have used the plane for several projects and I am really satisfied.
To sharpen the plane blade itself is a pleasure. You can see the high quality of the steel at the sharpened edge (homogenous structure leeds to highly mirroing edges).
Thank you for this plane blade, excelent quality.

kind regards,

Richard Heider

(original source: guestbook entry

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Einem Holzwerkertreffen in Darmstadt habe ich das großzügige Geschenk von Gerd zu verdanken: Eines seiner selbstgefertigten Hobelmesser, passend für meinen Low angel jack plane von Veritas, mittlerweile auch für meinen Bevel-Up Jointer Plane, also für die Veritas Flachwinkel Raubank.

Der erste Eindruck war ganz klar überzeugend, das Eisen ist ein Stück dicker als die Original Veritas-Eisen, etwa 1-2 mm. Selbstverständlich kam es komplett geschärft und gebrauchsfertig, wir hatten es seinerzeit natürlich gleich eingebaut und alle Anwesenden waren überzeugt von der guten Schneidleistung. Gerd bat mich einen Langzeit-Erfahrungstest durchzuführen, wofür er mir das Eisen überlassen hat.

Hier nun also meine Erfahrungen:

Das Eisen so wie es von Gerd kam war rattenscharf und ging auch durch schwierige Hölzer mit wechselnden Wuchsrichtungen (bei mir in der Hauptsache Ahorn) wie durch Butter. Nach einiger Zeit ließ die Schneidleistung natürlich etwas nach, aber nicht so rapide wie bei den Veritas Eisen. Insgesamt war die Standleistung ca. doppelt so hoch wie bei den Veritas-Eisen. Eindeutig ein Pluspunkt für Gerds Eisen.

Die Flachwinker neigen ja ohnehin nicht so sehr zum Flattern, mit Gerds Eisen aber war davon nichts, aber auch gar nichts zu spüren. Noch ein Pluspunkt.

Das Schärfen dauert definitiv länger als bei einem Veritas-Eisen. Ich schärfe auf japanischen Wassersteinen (200er nur wenn nötig, dann ein 1000er, abschließend ein 8000er), eine 5° Microfase und eine 3° Rückenfase auf der Spiegelseite. Da der Stahl von Gerds Eisen härter ist als der Stahl der Veritas-Eisen, braucht es logischerweise mehr Zeit zum Materialabtrag. Dies könnte man als Minuspunkt sehen, ich tue es aber nicht, da ich ja mit eine unproportional längeren Standzeit belohnt werde.

Ich hobel nicht ausschließlich per Hand, im Wesentlichen bearbeite ich nur zum Schluss die Flächen mit den Flachwinklern. Einzig wenn die Breite eines Brettes die Nutzung der Hobelmaschine nicht mehr zulässt, kommen die Handhobel auch Stärke in Gebrauch. Gerade für diese Fälle ist Gerds Eisen die erste Wahl für mich, da ich einfach nicht so oft zum Schärfen unterbrechen muss.

Ganz besonders möchte ich noch eine Hauptnutzung erwähnen: Ich stelle sehr gerne und recht häufig offene Schwalbenschwanz-Verbindungen her. Hier werden von mir die Schwalben und Zinken jeweils ca. 0,5 mm länger als die Brettstärke hergestellt und anschließend verputzt. Da hier ja Stirnholz gehobelt wird, kommt vernünftigerweise nur ein Flachwinkelhobel für mich in Frage. Die Kombination von Veritas-Rauhbank bestückt mit dem Eisen von Gerd liefert hier wunderbare Oberflächen bei einem geringen Kraftaufwand. Die Masse des Hobels bringt die scharfe Klinge so in Schwung, dass es nur so zischt. Oft kann ich tatsächlich hauchdünne Späne vom Stirnholz abhobeln. Natürlich zerbröseln die Späne bei der geringsten Berührung, aber es macht (mir) doch deutlich, wie perfekt das funktioniert.

Will ich aber schnell mal eine Fläche verputzen und es ist kein scharfes Eisen im Hobel, greife ich immer gerne auf die Veritas-Eisen zurück, aber nur weil die eben schneller geschärft sind und ich abends oft keine Lust habe, lange Zeit mit Schärfen zu verbringen.

Da ich aber mittlerweile in der glücklichen Lage bin, drei Eisen für zwei Hobel zu besitzen (2 x Veritas, 1 x Gerd Fritsche), bin ich dazu übergegangen immer alle drei Eisen zu schärfen und dann nacheinander zu nutzen bis es wieder Zeit ist für einen Gang an die Wassersteine. Dank dieser Methode und vor allem Dank der langen Standzeit von Gerds Eisen ist mir bislang noch bei keinem Projekt „unterwegs die Puste ausgegangen“. D.h. mit den vorhandenen und geschärften Eisen konnte ich immer bis zum Schluss arbeiten.

Der Preis von Gerds Eisen ist mir nicht bekannt, ich würde ihn aber jederzeit zahlen, da sich das Zeit-Verhältnis zwischen Schärfen und Arbeiten deutlich positiv zum Arbeiten hin verschiebt. Wenn man aber den Handhobel nur einmal im halben Jahr hernimmt um eine Brettfläche zu verputzen, lohnt es sich vielleicht nicht. Für die Bearbeitung von Stirnholz, würde ich ein Fritsche-Eisen immer vorziehen. Auf jeden Fall ist Arbeiten mit dem Eisen eine Offenbarung und um Klassen von den Original-Eisen entfernt.

Beste Grüße und nochmals herzlichen Dank an Gerd


(Gästebucheintrag von Gero Meyhöfer)

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