Monday, February 10, 2014

German Style Horned Smoother - In The Works

Not too long ago I had the pleasure of talking with Jeff Neil. He is a couple hour drive from me up in the Tennessee mountains. He coordinates speakers for a guild up his way. During our conversing he shared a bit of his passion about wooden planes.

He had written back in 07' an article for the Chronicle magazine, published by the Early American Industries Association in regard to the tool chest of John E. Kraus. This is a tool chess that he acquired. The chest dates form the 1870's and some of the tools may have come over from Europe, from which he immigrated, such as two horned planes.

So, a few months later after reading the article I couldn't seem to get these cool German style horned smoothing planes, that were in the collection, out of my head. Jeff was kind enough to take in depth photos and measurements of one of the planes so that I could copy it. Or at least have a working base to begin with. One of the two that he has appears to be a scrub type version. I am going to begin with the smoother though.

Here are a couple of photos that Jeff shared with me. If you can find the article online it is worth a read. I don't know if the one article is available anywhere but the entire 60 volumes of the magazine from the 1930's on is available for $15 here. If you like history of early American tools it is a very nice read.

I will show some of the progress and if I can get myself around to do it maybe some plans as well once I get the design down.


  1. Fun project. I have a German jack/scrub, and it's excellent: lightweight, nimble, and capable of taking big Frito chips out of a board. They also tend to be much less expensive than the ridiculously overvalued Stanley 40/40-1/2 scrubs (mine was $15).

    1. Adam,

      That sounds like an excellent plane. My first wooden plane experience was with a scrub style horned plane. It was a new experience for me and an eye opener to the beauty of a wooden plane. My appreciation has only grown since then.

  2. Checking through your blog and enyoing your posts.
    This stile of plane was part of my introduction to woodworking too.
    Maybe you might find more interesting German planes on this
    Cheers Frederik

    1. Fantastic information. Thank you for the link. I just need to google translate it and see what kind of gems I can find. Thanks again!