Monday, February 15, 2016

Roubo Hollows and Rounds Popular Woodworking Article April 2016 Edition!

For those of you who are interested in planemaking, you'll want to keep an eye out for the April 2016 issue of Popular Woodworking magazine. I wrote the cover article on the subject of making hollows and rounds in the style shown in AndrĂ©-Jacob Roubo's masterwork "L'Art du Menuisier." His plates show side escapement planes that can easily be made by the craftsperson. This article deciphers the basic construction behind those planes. My aim was to explain a simple method you can use to reproduce your own hollows and rounds. I suggest dimensions for three sizes - 1/4", 3/8". 1/2" (no.4, 6, 8). 

Roubo Planemakers Toolkit

What's so interesting about these planes is that they are made using the typical hand tools that a joiner would have, rather than specialty planemaking tools that would be required to make the traditional British and American-style side escapement planes typical to the 18th-19th century. With the possible exception of a carving gouge (to shape the escapement) and a 1/8" narrow chisel (for clearing the mouth), the average woodworker probably already owns the tools they'd need to make these planes.
I think you will really enjoy what is contained in this 8 page article. What you learn here will not limit you to hollows and rounds - you can easily experiment with other traditional profiles or develop your own.

By the way, this plane article all started with a little 1/4" ogee plane that I made one afternoon while Peter Galbert was teaching a chairmaking course here at my shop. He gave me the encouragement to present it to PWW as an article. I'm glad I did and I hope you enjoy it. Below is a little video of that plane in action.

To keep up to date with my daily shop work and shop tips follow me on Instagram @calebjamesmaker. Enjoy!


  1. I think this is fantastic, they may not be as asthetically as pleasing as the traditional side escapements but they seem easy to make and most importantly a very functional tool. What's missing in my shop is an array of different profiled planes, I'm definitely going to purchase the magazine and start building my own set. I also love your new panel raising plane another tool that is much needed in my shop but finance is always the issue and the low Aussie dollar doesn't help.

    1. I think you will find that they function just as well as the traditional British style planes when tuned up well. They are just a bit less sophisticated.