What Is A Compass Plane?

compass plane
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The compass plane, also known as a circular plane, traditionally was used by wheel-wrights and joiners for planing concave and convex surfaces.

Compass planes were originally made from wood and were usually fitted with a 1 3/4 inch or 2 inch cutting iron and back iron. Most of the wooden compass planes were fixed to the curvature in which the soles were made to. If the user required a different curvature they would either need a different plane or they would need to reshape the wooden sole manually with hand tools.

In the 19th century steel versions began being sold, the peak of these sales were reached in the 20th century. At the start of the 21st century there is hardly any of these hand planes made.

The metal compass plane has a flexible steel sole which is fixed to each end of the body. The centre of the sole is adjusted with the use of a screw. This screw mechanism pushes or pulls the flexible sole to set the curvature required. The frame incorporates a feature to act as a front and rear handle.

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