Starting on the new plane till

I’ve been following through on my thoughts from the other night and started building a replacement for my old plane till. I did some research and saw that most people either sloped the till or used string to hold the planes in place, but the former takes up too much space that I don’t have available, and the later worries me – what if I bump the case and something falls out?

I was standing in the garage staring around trying to figure out where I could put a new till and my eyes fell on the chisel cabinet. It’s been working well and I love the magnetic racks that hold the tools in place, so why not use that same design for the planes?

I decided that I’d better see if the concept worked first, so emptied the bottom rows of chisels and loaded up some planes, one at a time and making sure they weren’t going to fall out. Turns out that one bar is strong enough to firmly hold the largest plane I have, a #7.


I decided to build a shorter cabinet than the chisel rack, just a few inches longer than the #7. I made sure it could handle a #8 if I ever happen to end up with one, as the last till couldn’t fit the #7 in, so I’m trying to future proof this one a little.

I’d bought the wood for this project ages ago so just marked it up and cut it to length on the miter saw (the new stand worked really well).


I used my z-vice to hold everything square, or so I thought…


I soon found out that I’d not lined everything up and the box wouldn’t come together it was so out of square. So far out in fact that I got a tape measure out to check that I’d cut the side pieces the same length. I had, so it was the connections causing the problems.

This is the point where I got frustrated and took it all apart so I could start over. I’d already drilled screw holes and they weren’t square so instead I resorted to nails. Not my favorite thing to use, and I split the wood in a few places, but I was just happy to have it together and once the cross pieces were on it was nice and solid.

I put one of the magnetic rails in to see how it would fit, and it’s good. I just need to find another, as I only had one spare and can’t seem to get them any longer. If I have too I’ll take the bottom one out of the chisel rack for now.


Basically to finish it just needs a top rail and the second magnetic bar added, I’ll do that as soon as I can. After it’s finished and on the wall the extra bench planes will go on ebay.


2 thoughts on “Starting on the new plane till

    1. Thanks Tom!. With the tool numbers, I think I’d prefer to have a few good planes fully tuned and ready to use than the current pile of half restored planes. I’m getting rid of the half sizes for sure, and probably my pile of bladeless moulding planes as well. The funds from the sales go towards upgraded blades or the few useful planes I don’t yet have, unless my better half takes it for cookies!

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