handplane STRAP help

Hi Guys,

long time.. no post.

Have made a few alaias since my last visit :)

I'm looking at making a couple of handplanes out of western red cedar offcuts, I have done some research into dimensions, shapes, finishes etc, but cannot find any useful info on handstraps, all I have seen is seatbelt webbing screwed on top which creates a fixed size, ideally I am looking for some kind of adjustable strap, I have seen kite board foot straps but i assume that they would be too big and bulky for a hand to fit in nicely and comfortably.

any ideas guys???

how about a velcro fin saver doubled over itself through the leash plugs?

I was wondering about the same thing a few weeks ago.  Here is what I ended up using...


I had installed a couple of the small leash plugs on the deck that were meant to hold a strap.  I cut the ends off of the strap shown in the link above, and slid off the rubber attachment.  I then burned the tips with a lighter so they didn't get too fluffy while tying the knots.  I fed the ends through the plugs, cinched down as much as possible and tied off some knots to hold them in place.  I trimmed the ends, and burned them again.

It isn't an adjustable strap, but luckily my knots came out just right.  The rope does not stretch, so it should stay tight for a while.  I'm happy with how it works and looks.  I'll post a picture later tonight when I get home.

Here are the pics…





wow, that's certainly thinking outside the square! well done, is that made from cork by the way?

Cabela's nylon strap belts. Nylon webbing with a plastic clasp/buckle, adjustable. Slip neoprene pipe insulation over it for padding.


Handboard strap            

Cabela's nylon strap belts. Nylon webbing with a plastic clasp/buckle, adjustable

You can buy nylon strap with buckles, including in multiple kit form, at most hardware stores. Something like $6 would get you a roll of strapping and something like 3 buckle sets. I eventually stopped using the buckles and just cut to fit and screwed the straps in to the handboards (into silicone to coat on the part of the screw under the strap that went into wood). About the only thing you need to remember is to lightly burn the cut edges to keep them from unraveling. The screws I use either have a washer as part of the design or I use washers as spreaders to cover more strap. I've never had a strap pull off, either. The rider doesn't "pull" on them for the most part, as most of the strain is "push" as the rider pushes down. I'm easy on equipment though, don't ride the Wedge, and rotate useage. If the wood was too thin for the screws I've glued some "runners" underneath and screwed into them.

I doubt if I put in more than maybe $25 USD into all the materials used in all the handboards you see in the photos, plus I made others not shown, and I still have unused wood and strap.

Make sure the strap is soft enough for you before you buy it, though. Some are quite abrasive, and salty water won't help.



Wow, I like the images. And how much time did you spend doing this job?

And how much time did you spend doing this job?

If you started in the morning (and had the materials and tools) you could hit the evening glassoff. Playing around with paint or in some cases putting down printed images, and waiting for that stuff to dry before actually coating with Minwax polyurethane, took most of the time. Layout your shape, cut, sand...fit-check your screws to see if you need to add a bit of wood to contain your screw, then art or coat immediately with poly. Once all that dries, fit and cut your strap, screw it in, and you're ready to go.

I used basic .25" 24" x48" birch ply, cut with a scroll saw, hand sanded, acrylic craft paint, inkjet printer images that amused me, and Minwax polyurethane in the small container. Literally $25 of materials would make a dozen or more handboards. Or a paipo and 4-6 handboards. I never figured they would last made this way, but they have...I had to stop making them when my wife started asking how many I really needed!



Nylon Straps (My Old Thule Roof Strap) Cut it than screws and washers.

You can checkout my solution…that’s a retro fit for my hand planes that have a handhole on my blog: www.thirdshade.com
hope this helps cheers rich

Straps are the hardest part of handplanes.  I think most shapes end up working, but the strap is the tricky part.  I have had my share of problems.  I originally screwed 1 inch webbing into the top of the plane using 2 stainless steel screws and washers per side.  This is not readily adjustable but it can be adjusted by removing 2 screws and placing new holes in the webbing.  Removing and replacing the screws has not weakened them much as far as I can tell, but I have had one side rip out when hit with a powerful wave up at Point Mugu.

To make a stronger connection to the plane I drilled 2 holes 1/2 inch diameter 1/2 inch into the deck.  I took the strap and rolled it like someone rolls their tongue and then stuck it into the hole as far as it could go.  A set screw was then drilled sideways into the strap to lock it in place.  The head of the screw is below the surface of the deck.  Once both sides had been placed and set with a screw I filled the holes with regular epoxy.  This created a very strong, water tight, attachment point that looks great as well.

I then decided I wanted my straps to be adjustable like the ones over at Brownfish, so I purchased velcro brand “industrial strength” one-wrap and attached 2 separate pieces with the hole and set screw technique above and then put a neoprene sleeve over it.  The one-wrap proved to not be strong enough as one of the pieces ripped in half while being rolled up by another wave.  So I bought the very heavy duty 3M brand velcro (the kind you attach a fast-track or EZ-pass onto a car windshield with) and placed a neoprene sleeve around it.  The problem with this velcro is that when wet it has a tendency to break the connection.  It has not broken, per se, but it becomes very loose when the two sides disconnect forcing me to roll back the neoprene sleeve and reattach it (which is very hard and time consuming while treading water) 

What I now use is a version of 1 inch webbing screwed to the board in a “rolled over” style.  It is not complicated, but it feels much more secure than the velco versions I have previously used and it is plenty comfortable.  I have decided that form truly does follow function and that the screwed in webbing is the most functional solution.  The screws allow it to be adjusted if needed, but I don’t find that I need to adjust it very much.  My brother uses my plane’s frequently and although his hand is smaller he just pushes down with his fingers when needed to secure in more tightly.   

I think I am going to start attaching the webbing in the hole and set screw fashion and add some neoprene for good measure.  This will not be adjustable at all, but I think it will be very strong and comfortable.  

I would ask yourself how important easy adjustment really is and then maybe double up some industrial strength velcro if it is a high priority.  I’m sorry I haven’t attached any pictures, but I am not at home right now.