Monday, 24 August 2015

The medieval toolchest: Reconstruction of a medieval plane

This post features a reconstruction of a medieval plane that was excavated in Greifswald in northern Germany. The descriptions have already been given in a previous post, as well as a glimpse of the reconstructed plane during our visit to Castle Hernen. Bram decided to take the challenge to reconstruct this 14th century plane.

The drawings of the original 14th century plane from Greifswald, Germany.A layer of  1 cm was added to the sole. Also this plane is wider, due to the use of a wider iron.
While the original plane is made of beech, the reconstruction was made from maple. Like the original plane has been made from one single piece of wood, chopping out the space for the blade with a chisel. Even with a low angle of 20 degrees, the opening for the plane blade in the sole is too spacious. Likely, the original plane had seen much use, and layers of wood were worn away. Bram calculated one extra cm to the bottom of the plane in order to have the blade correctly fitted. The iron Bram used for the blade is a recycled old one, a bit smaller than the original (4 vs 4.6 cm). Also different is the iron pin, which is square in the original and round in the reconstruction. Nevertheless, the oak wedge holds the iron securely against the pin. The plane works very fine, although for a more comfortable grip the iron will need need to be shortened in length, as it now pricks in the palm of your hand. 

The 14th century replica plane made by Bram.


  1. Nice job , But it just looks to modern, leave a few tool marks bevel off the edges like in the original. Then it will really look the part

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