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Bead and cove planes for edging cedar strips for canoe building

Hi, I'm Earl.

I love woodworking and I like to make and use some of my own tools. I make Boxes
and bowls and I have built several Canoes
and sea kayaks and a 26ft sailboat. Homemade tools have helped on some of these projects. Some tools were made because the right one wasn't available in stores. Other tools I made in classes taken through the Center For Wooden Boats in Seattle.

I live on Bainbridge Island. I'm 66 years old and retired. I hope you enjoy looking at these tools and that maybe you will be encouraged to make your own. It's a lot of fun and satisfying too. If you have any questions about these tools, let me know. If you have made tools too, I'd like to hear about them (via Guestbook).

Take a look at my small, but handy SHOP

Sorry, there are no plans on this site, just pictures. The link on the free plans site was someone's error.

Interested in Yakaboo?

lap plane

This is my latest tool, a joiner's bench. The plan was in MAKING WORKBENCHES, by Sam Allen. It has a Veritas twin screw end vise and a Richards Wilcox quick acting side vise. Holes in the vises and the top take bench dogs and bench stops for clamping work on top. Holes in the legs and sides take holdfasts and board jacks. It's a very useful tool. I have since added drawers for tools I need handy. Photos of bench with drawers are farther down the page.

lap plane

This is my favorite homemade tool. A smooth lap plane for smoothlap lapstrake canoe building. This plane cuts a beveled shiplap on the edge of a plank. It was made out of necessity for the smoothlap canoe project. I have never seen nor heard of another plane like it. It was used on only one boat, but was well worth making.


A decked sailing canoe under construction. The plank laps were made with the smoothlap plane and chaser plane.

lap plane

Smoothlap requires a fixed angle bevel on the lap of one plank of a mating pair. The other plank has a bevel that fits to the constant bevel on the mating plank and changes in degree from stem to stern of the boat as the angle between the planks changes. The fixed bevel is done with this plane. The changing bevel is done with a small plane and a bevel guage that matches the angle of the smooth lap plane.

lap plane

The side wings ride on the plank. A guide in the bottom of the plane keeps it aligned with the edge of the plank.

lap plane

The plane is made of black walnut.

lap plane

The side wings are adjustable up and down. With the wings up the plane cuts a deeper shoulder and thinner lap. The depth of the shoulder and thickness of the lap vary from plank to plank. The plane worked perfectly on my cedar planking. It's fun to plane a shaving 16 feet long.

chaser plane

Angled chaser plane used on smoothlap construction to finish the gains on the ends of the planks.


Chaser plane

bead plane

Bead plane for strip canoes. Though strip canoes are light and strong, I find all the sanding and fiberglassing boring and tedious. Planing the bead and cove is the most fun I have building a cedar strip canoe or sea kayak.

bead plane

Bottom of bead plane

cove plane

Cove plane of the bead and cove pair. The blades are made from 1/4 inch chisel blades.

brass plane

A round bottom brass plane made in Paul Ford's foundry class at the Center for Wooden Boats

brass plane

Another view of brass plane. I use it to plane a shallow hollow on the lap to hold a bead of adhesive caulk in lapstrake construction.

brass plane

Brass plane. I used the blade and wedge from small second hand plane. The blade was shaped in on a belt sander to match the bottom of the plane, then beveled.

brass plane

brass plane

jap plane

Japanese style plane of cherry wood. Made in Charlie Mastro's class at Center for Wooden Boats

jap plane

Japanese plane.


Clamp based on a German pattern.


German clamp with wooden bar.


clamp in use. I have made these clamps with bars up to 3 feet long and jaws up to 12 inches wide.

lap clamp

A lap clamp for holding lapstrake planks while clench nailing, from Walt Simmons LAPSTRAKE BOATBUILDING.


I prefer not to have a tool tray on top of the bench as I want all that surface for clamping and working. Instead of a tool tray I have added drawers. They are the full width of the bench and open all the way.


Here are the drawers open part way.

Lathe gouge

Lathe gouge made in a forge class at Center for Wooden Boats.

lathe gouge

Another lathe gouge. These straight tip, deep gouges are for roughing out spindles. They cut real fast.

plane handle

The blade of this rabet plane would dig into my hand when I used it. The wooden cap or handle makes it a lot easier to hold.


Center punch. I made it it Junior Highschool. The hard part was when the instructor hammered it into a piece of steel. The tip mushed over and I had to re-temper it (several times) until I got it hard enough. It still works.


A large scorpe made in a forging class at the Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle.


This scorpe is too large to be practical, at least for my strength.


I made a slick out of a Stanley Handyman 2" chisel, just by adding a long handle. It works great for cutting the scarfs on lapstrake planks. The idea came from Walt Simmons, in one of his books.


Homemade lead whale weights for holding splines in lofting canoes and kayaks.


A mallet and a fish club.


Benchhook and shooting boards for planing and sawing.


Fly tying vise made from deer horn.


This grinder was converted to a sharpening and honing machine with paper wheels and homemade tool rest.


This scribe is used to lay out parallel lines on a canoe mast or kayak paddle. Then the corners are planed off, more facets are planed until the shaft or mast is round.


Two leather strops and a silican carbide paper hone with 600 grit.

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Pictures of my remodelled shop

Links to other sites on the Web

Canoe Sailing and Sea Canoeing Pictures
NW chapter Wooden Canoe Heritage Association
Bainbrige Island Paddling Society (BIPS) home page
Recumbent Bike Rides, Hiking, Skiing, Telemarking, Snorkeling

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