How to handle an Inside Job

I used a router to create an inside edge along the seat extensions.  This edge provides a place for the seat filler boards to rest when spanning from seat to seat for sleeping on your Scamp.  The router more like ripped the wood out as opposed to cutting it.  I think the problem was the grain of the wood.  I used vertical grain douglas fir.  I have noticed before that it’s grain pattern is often a problem even when trying to simply round over it’s edges.  This created quite a mess on the edge of the seat extensions.  They were uneven, ripped too deeply in places and pretty much a mess.  Yes, the bit was sharp…in fact, brand new.  And, yes, I tried to remove only a little at a time by adjusting the bit as I went.  It ripped and fractured the vertical grain douglas fir like you wouldn’t believe.

I thought long and hard about the proper way around this problem.  How do you reach an inside corner to work it properly?  I’m not that good with a chisel and the results wouldn’t be consistent.

I’ll tell you how, with a Lie Nielson shoulder plane.  

DSC00416I’ve always secretly wanted a shoulder plane, but I try not to buy a tool unless I have an actual need for it.  Well, the need had arisen.  I got on the internet and made my purchase.  These are not cheap but one will last several life times.  

DSC00419Lie Nielsen recommends the large plane as your first shoulder plane purchase.  It has plenty of heft and mass in your hand and slides smoothly along for consistent cutting.

DSC00421It cleanly shaved off all the high spots, removing material cleanly and effectively.

DSC00417I still need to fill a few areas with thickened epoxy where the router ripped the grain to deeply but things are looking much, much better.


  1. These plane are designed to run in the vertical and horizontal position…both edges being square to each other.  This makes it very easy and effective to clean up both surfaces.
  2. It felt secure in my hand and worked like a fine hand tool should.  I am very impressed.
  3. The seat extensions are not perfectly parallel to each other.  When inserting the filler boards, I noticed a gap of 1/8″ – 1/4″ plus.  This makes it hard to get a good fit with the filler boards.  By using this shoulder plane, I was able to remove more material in some places, while leaving material in others.  My gap is now consistent across the entire seat edge, fore to aft.  This means I can recut new seat filler boards and they will all fit perfectly (in any order)  along the seats.  This alone is worth all the money I spent on this cool shoulder plane.
  4. Like a women, it’s beautiful.

I plan to remake my filler boards for a better, uniform fit between the seats.  I’m also considering using baltic birch instead of pine for the filler boards.  One pine board broke as I stood on it.  I want the filler boards to be bomber, so baltic birch ply it will probably be.  

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