Router Plane

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Can anyone suggest a source for an inexpensive router plane? Please don't bother mentioning e-bay--I want to buy something, not dick around with bidding. I define inexpensive, in this context, as something between $20-$40.
See the links[1][2] below for the general type of plane I'm thinking of. $90 for something like this seems ludicrious to me. I can understand the higher prices for something like the Veritas/Lee Valley router plane[3] as that's got some engineering in it--but it's overkill for what I need it for.
I can also see building a wooden body myself and then buying the cutter from some place. Any tips/plans/pictures for something like this?
Thanks.
[1]: (Amazon.com product link shortened)68809246/ref=sr_1_161/104-0464795-5690322?ie=UTF8&s=hi [2]: http://www.traditionalwoodworker.com/product_info.php/products_id/2765 [3]: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&catQ&pR609
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only once ...
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Best regards
Han
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Perhaps when dealing with complex or precision machinery--I just don't (literally) buy that for this particular tool. If we're talking about the Lee Vally/Veritas router plane--yeah, I can see that and it looks to be well engineered--but that's more tool than I need. I need something more like the Stanley #271--and that just isn't complex enough to justify prices over $40 in my opinion.
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Leevalley sells replacement blades. If it were me, I'd by the lee Valley. Though I'm fully capable of making one like it, I couldn't do it for that price.

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Michael Faurot wrote:

I have a Stanley 271 (the smaller plane). Nothing beats it for paring a dado to exact depth. Only prob is since it's finger powered, you can't easily take more than an index card's thickness in one pass. The Veritas 71 copy would plow through wood a lot easier, and the price really doesn't look that bad if it delivers on its promises.
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Bite your tongue...that's no copy .....! :)
Cheers -
Rob
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This is what I'll use it for. The great bulk of the wood will be hogged out with chisels first. Once most of the wood is out of the dado, I just need the router for a final pass or two, to make sure the depth of the dado is reasonably uniform.
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That's a shame, because there appear to be some good deals to be had. But, it's your peroggative to spend more, if you like.

(Amazon.com product link shortened)68809246/ref=sr_1_161/104-0464795-5690322?ie=UTF8&s=hi
It appears that Popular Mechanics has an article in the August 2005 entitled "$5 Router Plane". Perhaps you can look at it at your local library unless some kind soul here would scan the article for you. http://www.popularwoodworking.com/store/backissue.asp?issuedate=8/1/2005
Then again, there's always craigslist. No bidding there.
todd
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<snip>

I made one that looks very much like the one on the above cited page. Main difference is that I put a little slant on the handles, to fit my hand correctly when in use, putting some downward pressure on the plane. Pretty easy to make. And the cutter is just a large allen wrench ground to an edge. Probably not worth squat for edge holding, but it takes a good enough edge for this tool, which is NOT creating a show surface.
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I'm thinking I'll do something a little different and maybe put some knobs/handles on mine so it'll be sort of like a #71.

Thanks for the tip on what to make the cutter out of. Looks like I'll be able to make one of these for less than $5.
Thanks!
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Thanks again for the tip on using an allen wrench for the cutter. That was the tipping point for me to figuring out how to put one of these critters together.
After gathering a few parts, I was able to build my own router plane this afternoon. All together I had to put just a bit under $5 in parts to make it happen. I all ready had the wood (hard maple) and some wood screws. I had to get a 1/4" allen wrench, threaded wood insert, thumb screw and two wooden knobs.
The complete and working plane can be seen here:
http://wood.atww.net/main.php/v/RouterPlane /
Most of the time needed to get it working was with tuning the cutter to work the way I wanted it to. With that out of the way, I've used it to smooth the bottoms of a couple dados and it works just fine.
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Nice.
Next time you make one, make the front of the blade's hole a 60* notch. Then you can use smaller Allen blades for narrower cuts.
Does the thumbscrew go into a Tee nut or a mortised hex nut?
If you blued the blade during grinding, it's a snap to re-harden.
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Thanks!
It's a threaded insert. I don't have a picture of the one I used, but it's very similar to the one at this URL[1]. I found mine at Home Depot in the nuts/bolts/screws hardware aisle.
[1]: http://www.yardleyproducts.com/fiber-sert_threaded-in_inserts_diecast.php
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Thanks for the tip. Looking at the picture on that page, it looks like the one they made is similar to the ECE router plane[1]. Between those pictures, that's all I need.
Thanks.
[1]: http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/browseproducts/ECE-Router-Plane.HTML
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Buy the replacement cutters from Lee Valley and then check out
http://www.oldtoolsshop.com/Galoots/fSronce/myTools/routers/index.asp
and give your imagination free rein.
J.
Michael Faurot wrote:

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I may wind up doing that, as the price for a single cutter is reasonable. I'm not thrilled with the way the shaft of the cutter is machined. With that diamond shape, it means I'd need to either make a square hole for the thing to sit in, or try and run a set screw at an angle to the body to hit a flat surface on that shaft. I'd rather deal with a basically round shaft that has one flat face to run a set screw into.

Thanks for the tip, that does give me some good ideas.
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A small wood block having a vertical V-groove in it, mounted to a 1/2 inch thick "baseplate" (for lack of a better term) would do the job. Attach the cutter to the small grooved block with a U-bolt. Use wing nuts on the opposite side of the block for tightness.
Might take a little imagination to make it a good looking item, though.
Come to think of it, I fancy that you could make a cutter out of an old screwdriver, or an el-cheapo import chisel, or a used up jointer knife if you didn't want to use a nice looking store bought item in a shopmade gizmo like this.
J.
Michael Faurot wrote:

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After that brilliant moment of inspired creativity I caught up on the rest of this thread and saw the ECE Router Plane. Damn. If only I had thunk it up sooner, I'd be a millionaire I tell 'ya!
J.
John wrote:

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I wound up using an allen wrench with a thumb screw to hold my cutter in place. Using an allen wrench solved the problem of how to get a bend in the metal without mucking it up (I'm not a metal worker). To get an edge on it I was able to shape the bulk of it with an angle grinder, then a bit with a hand file and then some honing with 800G sand paper.
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At that price point you have little choice. Find someone that owns one. Call every day to see if he is still alive. The day he dies, offer his widow $20 for the plane. It would also be a nice touch to express your condolences.
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