I started making
planes in the late 1990s. At the time, I was a
struggling grad student and part-time machinist,
and making tools seemed like a sensible solution
to the problem of wanting nice things but not
being able to afford them.
My earliest planes were laminated, “Krenov-style”
planes, but I was never really satisfied with that
approach, so I began to research traditional
British/ American planes and planemaking methods.
At some point, I realized that just about all the
problems in planemaking had been solved a couple
centuries ago, and there was no point in trying to
reinvent the wheel.
As luck would have it, my immersion into
traditional planemaking coincided with a
resurgence of interest among woodworkers in the
use of double-iron planes. Most custom planemakers
build single-iron planes, but I gradually became
convinced that British-style double-iron planes of
the type found in the Seaton toolchest, ca. 1796,
represented the peak of the planemakers art, at
least as far as bench planes were concerned.
Observing that no one was making these planes, I
resolved to do something about the situation, and
in August 2015 I founded Voigt Planes.
Today, I build these
traditional double-iron planes in my small shop in
the Lehigh Valley. They
are bespoke planes, made one at a time. I
use a few basic power tools for rough
dimensioning, but the vast majority of work is
done by hand, much as it would have been 200 years