Online Plane Making Classes with Scott Meek

Fall and Winter class schedule is now live, including my new Advanced Plane Making Class


The internet has obviously changed the world in dramatic ways in the last decade. It has become so much easier to seek out knowledge on a seemingly endless range of topics. One of the most fascinating things to emerge in all this is the ability to take classes online, and this has not been lost in the world of woodworking. I believe the internet has helped to further this craft tremendously with the wealth of information available online. I’ve seen fellow woodworkers start to teach others using the power of the internet. Shannon Rogers has The Hand Tool School. Chuck Bender has  No BS Woodworking. Also, there are numerous sources of woodworking knowledge available for free through videos, blog posts, and more. Now, I’ve decided to throw my hat in the ring and offer classes of my own. I want to use the knowledge I’ve gleaned in the past three years to teach others how to make wood body hand planes.

I will also, at times, have some copies of my recently released DVD, Make A Wooden Smoothing Plane with Scott Meek, available below. The DVD covers the same topics as my online classes, but you don’t get the 1 on 1 interaction and real time questions and support as you craft your plane. The DVD was produced by Popular Woodworking Magazine. If I don’t have the DVD available right now, or you would like the digital download version, buy it directly from Popular Woodworking.

Advanced Plane Making Class

I have had quite a few requests for an advanced plane making class, and I’m pleased to announce that it is now available. This advanced class is much more in depth than my regular class and it is highly recommended that students will have taken my other class or watched my DVD before taking this one. 
In this class, I will guide students through making two planes: A jack plane with an applied sole and a jointer, shaped just like my uniquely gripped jointers that I sell. 
This class will cover: 

  • Applying an exotic wood sole – Why and how
  • Choosing a bed angle
  • Choosing material for a longer plane
  • Inserting a patch in front of the blade for better wear properties
  • An in depth exploration of shaping a plane, as we make a long jointer become the most comfortable plane you own.
  • Access to my templates for my unique jointer design. I’ve spent the last 2 years perfecting the shape of my jointer planes. With my full size templates, you will be able to make your jointer as close as possible to how I would myself.

The tool list is very similar to the regular class, will be held online using Google Hangouts, and will require 4 sessions. Taking my basic plane making class or watching my DVD previously is required.

Learn How To Make A Wood Body Plane

Click on a question to see the answer

What tools do I need to have to take the class?

Please use this list as a general guideline, not as set in stone requirement. If you have a different option you feel does the same thing as another tool listed, by all means ask me about it. If you have any questions regarding the list or a lack of some of the tools, again, ask me about it. There are usually ways around a missing tool. If you would like a printable version of this list, click here.

Online Plane Making Class - Smoother

  • Band saw, table saw, or hand saw
  • Drill (drill press preferable)
  • Crosscut Saw (hand, chop saw, etc.)
  • Router (For routing a notch for the cap iron on the blade. Can be done with mortice chisels also, if need be)
  • Block plane
  • Hammer/mallet
  • Bastard mill file
  • Clamps
  • Square
  • Straight edge
  • Protractor
  • Screwdriver
  • Chisels (1/2", 1 1/4" is helpful also if you have it)
  • A way to sharpen the blade
  • Sandpaper
  • ⅜ Drill bit
  • A way to mill stock (hand planes or planer and jointer)
  • A coarse rasp (Or other way to fine tune the shape of your plane)
These tools are helpful, but not required:
  • ⅜” Plug cutter
  • Spindle sander
  • Spokeshaves
  • Fine cut rasp
  • Card scraper
  • Winding sticks
  • Plane makers floats
  • Marking gauge

Advanced Plane Making Class - Jointer and Jack

Tool list
  • This advanced class will have much more to do with shaping planes then the first class you took. Because of this, I HIGHLY recommend having 3 rasps. One coarse (6 or 7 grain cabinet makers, 10” or 12”), one medium (9 or 10 grain, 10”), one fine (13-15 grain, 6” or 7”). A shinto rasp can do a lot in place of the coarse and medium. However, it will be very tough to shape inside curves that the jointer grip will require.
  • Sharp card scraper
  • Spokeshave
  • Band saw, table saw, or hand saw
  • Drill (drill press preferable)
  • Crosscut Saw (hand, chop saw, etc.)
  • Router (chisels can replace the router, mortise chisels preferably)
  • Block plane
  • Hammer/mallet
  • Bastard  Mill file
  • Clamps
  • Square
  • Straight edge
  • Protractor
  • Screwdriver
  • Chisels (1/2", 1 1/4" is helpful also if you have it)
  • A way to sharpen the blade
  • Sandpaper
  • ⅜ Drill bit
  • A way to square and plane stock (hand planes or planer and jointer)
Not necessary, but useful, especially if you choose to make more than a couple planes
  • ⅜” Plug cutter
  • Spindle sander
  • Winding sticks
  • Plane makers floats
  • Marking gauge


What is the difference between the regular Online Plane Making Class and the Advanced Plane Making Class?

The regular Online Plane Making Class teaches you to make a Smoothing Plane and is a perquisite for the Advanced Class. The Advanced Plane Making Class teaches you how to make a 12" Jack Plane with an exotic sole and 22" or 28" Jointer in the same style that I make mine. You will receive full scale drawings and patterns of my jointers. Students taking my advanced class must have taken my Smoother class previously, either through my online class, an in person class, or watched my DVD.

What are past students saying about the class?

Justin Leib, aka The Half-Blind Woodworker, wrote this fine review of the class here on his website!
  Al Flinck wrote this review of the class on his blog here.
 
As an avid woodworker I have admired the wood body planes made by Scott Meek for some time. Recently I had the opportunity to take a class in their making, led by Scott, and I jumped at the chance. What a treat. Scott shares his experiences freely, guiding you through the process and options, and away from the things that you otherwise only learn when it goes wrong. While new to me, the online format gave me access to a top toolmaker and instructor without the cost and inconvenience of travel. In the end I had a nice smoothing plane, the knowledge and confidence to make others, and a tremendous sense of satisfaction that comes from making my own fine tools. And I also have a few new friends who share my passion for woodworking. -Barry Chatwin
Scott has clearly built many fine hand planes and access to that experience through live instruction is worth the price of admission. It's really inspiring to arrive at the end of the class with a fine hand plane of your own and enough knowledge to build many more. -Trevor Angell
I would highly recommend Scott's Online Classes. Not only do you get access to Scott's accumulated experience and wisdom, but you get it in the comfort of your own shop! -James Finley Highly recommend this class.  This is a class that will teach you not just how to make a wooden hand plane, but how to make the first of many wooden planes.  Scott gives the students the tools to learn the craft, then demonstrates the methods in an interactive video class in a way that makes the instructions come alive in a series of "Ah HA!" moments.  If you've ever wanted to make your own wooden plane but don't know where to start, this is the class for you. -Josh O'Quin  

What kind of plane will I make in the class?

Online Plane Making Class - Smoother

I will walk you through making a smoothing plane, 8-11" long, approximately 3" wide, and with a 2" wide blade. It will have a bed angle of 50°. The plane will be made using a laminated method popularized by James Krenov. You will be able to take the lessons learned in this class and make many different planes to meet your needs.

Advanced Plane Making Class - Jointer and Jack

In this advanced class, I will show you how to make a 12" Jack with an applied exotic sole and a 22" or 28" Jointer plane with the unique grip style I developed. With the advanced class you will receive full scale drawings and patterns to make your jointer the same way I make them.  

How will the class take place online?

These classes will be live, using the Hangout feature of Google+. The live portion of the class will consist of approximately half observation/demonstration and half following along working on your plane. Because of this, you will need to have a way to watch the live session in your shop. A laptop or tablet are your best options. Between each session (of which there are four), there will be homework to accomplish. Any documents, images, or diagrams relative to the class are shared via a Google Drive folder that you will have access to when signed up for the class.

What materials do I need for my plane?

I've listed multiple options for the wood size choice in order to make it easy to find something that will work. You only need one of the listed sizes, not all of them. As always, if you have any questions about the materials, please contact me.

Online Plane Making Class - Smoother

  • Quarter sawn hardwood (Beech, White Oak, Maple, Red Oak, Birch, or similar) in one of the following dimensions:
    • 4/4 nominal (minimum ¾” finished thicknes) 3 ½” x 66”
    • 6/4 nominal (minimum 1 ⅛” finished thickness) 3 ½” x 42”
    • 10/4 nominal (minimum 2 ¼” finished thickness) 3 ½” x 24”
    • 16/4 nominal (minimum 3 ¼” finished thickness) 3 ½” x 12”
  • 2" plane blade with chipbreaker. (Hock Krenov blade preferred) http://hocktools.com/PI.htm I recommend the 2" x 4½ #PLI200 I do sell these blades as a package with the class with free shipping!
  • PVA Glue (Titebond 1, 2, or 3)

Advanced Plane Making Class - Jointer and Jack

Materials:
  • Quarter sawn hardwood (White Oak, Maple, Red Oak, Birch, or similar) in one of the following dimensions (dimensions are minimum sizes needed). Remember that the wood for each plane should be from the same log if at all possible. This is harder to do on the jointers sometimes. If it isn’t an option, at least try to make sure they are of similar age and density:
    • 12” Jack Plane
      • 8/4 x 2 ¾” x 30”
      • or 16/4 x 2 ¾” x 15
      • and a harder wood for the sole, crosspin, and wedge. You will need a piece at least ⅜” thick by 3 ½” x 15” and enough for the crosspin and wedge.
    • 22” Jointer
      • 5/4 x 4 ½” x 72” (or 3 pieces at 24” long if one board isn’t possible)
      • harder or exotic piece for mouth insert (approx. ⅜” x 2 ½” x 4”), crosspin, and wedge.
    • 28” Jointer
      • 5/4 x 4 ½” x 90” (or 3 pieces at 30” long if one board isn’t possible)
      • harder or exotic piece for mouth insert (approx. ⅜” x 2 ½” x 4”), crosspin, and wedge.
  • 2- 2" plane blades with chipbreaker. (Hock Krenov blade preferred) http://hocktools.com/PI.htm I recommend the 2" x 4½ #PLI200
  • PVA Glue (Titebond 1, 2, or 3)
  • Dowel if you aren’t planning the ½” x ½” crosspins

How long is the class?

Both the regular Online Plane Making and Advanced Plane Making classes consist of four sessions that last between 1 1/2 to 3 hours. In between the classes there is homework to accomplish which will be between 1 and 4 hours (approximately).

How many people will be taking the class at a time?

I've limited the classes to four people.

What is the benefit of taking a class like this online?

Taking this class online has a few benefits.
  • You won't have to travel anywhere to take it (saving money on the associated costs that travel would entail)
  • You get to use your own shop and tools that you are already familiar with
  • It keeps the class cost down. Because so much of the work on your plane happens during homework, it cuts down the time that you are paying me to stand there and watch. It also means I'm not charging extra for the travel time I had to get to wherever the class is happening.

When are the classes offered?

The current schedule is below and is also available in a calender form here.
  • October 2014 Online Plane Making Class #18
    • Session 1: Oct 6 @ 8pm EST
    • Session 2: Oct 13 @ 8pm EST
    • Session 3: Oct 20 @ 8pm EST
    • Session 4: Oct 27 @8pm EST
  • November 2014 Advanced Plane Making Class #2
    • Session 1: Nov 15 @ 11am EST
    • Session 2: Nov 22 @ 11am EST
    • Session 3: Nov 29 @ 11am EST
    • Session 4: Dec 6 @ 11am EST
  • December 2014 to January 2015 Online Plane Making Class #19
    • Session 1: Dec 27 @ 11am EST
    • Session 2: Jan 3 @ 11am EST
    • Session 3: Jan 10 @ 11am EST
    • Session 4: Jan 17 @ 11am EST
  • January 2015 Advanced Plane Making Class #3
    • Session 1: Jan 5 @ 8:30pm EST
    • Session 2: Jan 12 @ 8:30pm EST
    • Session 3: Jan 19 @ 8:30pm EST
    • Session 4: Jan 26 @ 8:30pm EST
  • February 2015 Online Plane Making Class #20
    • Session 1: Feb 10 @ 10:30am EST
    • Session 2: Feb 17 @ 10:30am EST
    • Session 3: Feb 24 @ 10:30am EST
    • Session 4: Mar 3 @ 10:30am EST
   

How much does the class cost?

The Online Plane Making Class is $145.00. The Advanced Plane Making Class is $325.00. The blade from Hock Tools that I recommend is $59. (If you order the blade from me when you order the class, you will get free shipping). Wood prices and options vary with what is available to you.

 

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Al Flinck December 28, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Hi Scott
I love that you are offering classes in wood plane making. I’m trying to figure out when is best for me and I will be there if there is still a opening. You will love it too. I always learned more than my students, not the same stuff but……..

Reply

Scott Meek December 28, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Hi Al! Good to hear from you my friend. I look forward to having you in one of the classes.

Reply

Chuck Hart March 23, 2014 at 3:52 am

I would like to take a class at my own pace. Sometimes here in Washington we have weird disasters all including weather.

Global warming is really having an effect on our wheather

Reply

Scott Meek March 25, 2014 at 12:13 am

Chuck, I sent you an email mentioning a couple options for taking a class at your own pace, but I will reply here also just in case that email didn’t get to you and also to answer for anyone else that may have the same question.
If you look at the questions posted above, the last one (Do you offer private classes for myself or a group?) shows the costs for one on one classes.
If that isn’t an option, I also have my DVD, Make A Wooden Smoothing Plane, available above as well. Obviously the DVD isn’t the same as being able to ask questions live as we go, but I am really proud with how it turned out.

Reply

Tom Oak January 30, 2013 at 9:34 am

Great post Scott, great idea with the wood plane making.

I’ll get back to you, thanks :-)

Reply

Robert Smith February 23, 2014 at 4:19 pm

I just completed making a Scott Meek Smoother using the DVD and the Hock Blade! It turned out great! I suggest to everyone interested in making their own plane, that Scott’s DVD can help make any first time plane-maker, as I was, into a seasoned pro! LOL Well, maybe not a pro, but certainly resulted in a successful experience and my shavings are coming out super thin! Making the cross pin was the most difficult thing using the plug cutter to make a round end out of a square piece. Taking my time and being careful about each step following Scott’s DVD insured my success! It won’t be my last one!

Reply

Scott Meek February 26, 2014 at 12:40 am

Thanks Robert! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the DVD and making your own planes.

Reply

Lane April 17, 2014 at 9:37 am

Any hardwoords to avoid when making planes?

Is cherry OK?

Reply

Scott Meek April 18, 2014 at 11:56 am

I personally avoid using Cherry for planes. It is softer and less dense than I prefer. That isn’t to say that it won’t make a workable plane, just that there could be issues. It won’t have the longevity of other woods. If you must use it, I recommend applying a sole of a harder wood.

Reply

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