A 17th century “Dutch Plane” – (free plans!)

In 1628 the Swedish warship Vasa set out for its maiden voyage. With 64 canons on 2 decks it was the pride of the Swedish marine. But this was shortlived; after only one mile she keeled over, water poored trough the lower gunports and sank to the bottom of the Stockholm harbor.

Due to low oxygen conditions the hull was preserved, and 333 years later Vasa was lifted from her watery grave. After a long preservation process with a PEG (Polyethylene Glycol) solution the ship was brought over to a new museum where it can be seen today.

Along with the ship many of the objects it carried were preserved. Tableware, casks, weapons coins, carvings and…

The shipwright’s tool chest!


Inside this rectangular wooden box we find everything a shipwright needed to maintain a ship during its voyages. (But perhaps we might say that it was asking a bit much to do this on a 1 mile maiden voyage?)

(These photos were maliciously stolen from our friends of the St. Thomas Guild)

All kidding aside, inside the chest were also a couple of planes. One of them is classified as “Den Holländska Hyvel” (The Dutch Plane).

The form is closely related to that of the so called “gerfschaaf” another Dutch plane type.

I really like the design of this plane, smooth lines, and even a little decorative touch… So it wasn’t hard to figure a reconstruction had to be made for my re-enactment tool chest.


The plane is made from beech (like the original and most Dutch planes). For the blade I took some tool steel from Dictum.

Because I already was making one, it was fairly easy to put a piece of carbon paper under it and make a couple…


And you can make your own! 

Download these free plans, get a piece of beech, sharpen your chisels and whack away!

(Click here to download these plans in PDF)

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This entry was posted in History, Projects, Re-enactment, Research, Tools, Uncategorized, Woodworking, Workshop and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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