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Thread: Finger Plane and/or Gouge Recommendation

  1. #1
    Registered User Walt's Avatar
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    Default Finger Plane and/or Gouge Recommendation

    Hey Everyone. I'm looking for recommendations on tools for carving maple: finger planes, palm planes, gouges, or other.
    They will mostly be used for maple electric mando or electric guitar tops. I'm planning on hogging out most of the material with power tools then final shaping the body/scroll by hand.

    I bought one of the Ibex planes probably 15+ years ago, but it must be the smallest one of the set (pic below). I'm interested to hear what size finger/palm planes y'all like (and thoughts on convex vs flat).

    For those that use gouges, what's a nice brand and a good sweep for this kind of work. I'd like to get something nice that will last.

    Thanks!

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Finger Plane and/or Gouge Recommendation

    ibex big ones are ok , you can make your own also

  3. #3
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finger Plane and/or Gouge Recommendation

    I find that I use the 12mm and 10mm Ibex planes the most. All of my Ibex finger planes have convex soles, my palm plane has a flat sole, but if I had it to do over again I would get a convex sole palm plane. The sweep of gouges is mostly determined by the curves they will be cutting. Be aware that the bigger radius (flatter) the sweep the more force it takes to cut wood, so having a few with different sweeps can be a good idea.
    Curly maple is not all the same. I have a toothed iron for my 12mm Ibex and sometimes I have to resort to it for challenging curly maple.

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  5. #4
    Registered User Walt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finger Plane and/or Gouge Recommendation

    Thanks! Iíll check out the Ibex and get a toothed blade.
    Are palm planes any easier on the hands? I have some mild arthritis in my index fingers, and my hands are always knackered after pushing around the tiny Ibex finger plane I have. I think the sort of ďpinchingĒ grip is what wears my hands out. Iím hoping that the larger ibex finger planes are a little easier on me.
    I might get palm plane to try as well. Iíve seen the DeAngelico and Benedetto palm planes. Anyone have experience with those or others?

  6. #5

    Default Re: Finger Plane and/or Gouge Recommendation

    Some luthiers have made their own "palm" attachments for the Ibex planes, can't remember which offhand. With painful finger joints I resorted to using a Kutzall spiky doughnut on an angle grinder for the roughout on my last few. I knew I'd only be making a few so I didn't invest in a pantograph or computer driven mechanism.

    I also found that a 1/2" soft foam interface pad on a RO sander does a nice job of following compound curves. Abranet fabric sanding discs are the bees knees if you can find them. They also require a special interface pad.

    I'm not a huge Stew Mac fan, but their Carruthers scraper is an absolute beast for shaping figured maple. The original one has the perfect French curve in it for shaping the recurve area. Not cheap nor easy to resharpen like a regular card scraper, but I shaped three backs with mine and it's in no need of a regrinding.
    https://www.stewmac.com/luthier-tool...imate-scraper/

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Finger Plane and/or Gouge Recommendation

    The thread below gives some "behind the curtain" looks at finger plane modifications made by great builders like Oliver Apitius, James Condino, and Andrew Mowry.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...plane-question

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  9. #7
    Registered User Walt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finger Plane and/or Gouge Recommendation

    Thanks all. That thread has some great info in it.

    Iíve been looking at that Caruthers scraper too. Will give it a try.

  10. #8
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finger Plane and/or Gouge Recommendation

    In no way do I want to discredit the Caruther's scraper. I have both of them and they are very useful tools....but, they are another expensive specialty tool.

    I made a copy out of a thick old tablesaw blade. A $2 yardsale blade, a $3 angle grinder cutting wheel; I sharpened it using an old belt on the sander. Under 20 minutes effort and less than $10 invested. I cannot tell the difference between that one and the fancy store bought models. I actually reach for the shop made one more often because the shape is different.

  11. #9

    Default Re: Finger Plane and/or Gouge Recommendation

    Made a bunch long ago, still reach for whatever is sharpest, lots of blades made from worn yard sale files, still prefer the horsedrawn ibex for braceshaving photo-ops and dna samples.....
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