My woodworing ideas and tips #8: Hand planes and their many uses

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Blog entry by Betsy posted 07-12-2008 09:01 PM 1585 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: The lowly butt joint Part 8 of My woodworing ideas and tips series Part 9: My mind set and woodworking »

So I’ve been sitting here thinking and thinking and thinking about woodworking. An amazing hobby to be sure and certainly a great way to make a living if you so chose. But honestly, it’s the pits as far as a hobby when you find yourself sidelined and unable to use your tools. They just sit there mocking you, calling your name, making noise to get your attention and yet to no avail. You can’t use them. Well at least I can’t – not just now. Come this Fall though, watch out——- there won’t be a bit of wood safe from my reach.

Until then though – what to do, what to do. Can’t let those tools sit idle—after all you must protect your tools from rust and the best way to do that would be to use them. So I’ve come up with some ways to use my favorite plane.

So the first——pretty easy—a paperweight for all those bills that you keep around for no particular reason after they’ve been paid.


And who needs a pretty cloth covered brick when you have a plane for a doorstop.


Of course, who can’t relate to trying to keep a book open on the table while you use it as a reference. Hence – the book keeper opener.


Then, naturally, there’s the purely decorative uses.


ohhhh – here’s a woodworking application——- a sandpaper cutter!



One of my best ways to use this plane is as a prop to keep the lid of my jigsaw puzzle upright while I spend countless hours trying to figure out the latest jigsaw puzzle.


Then, last, but most certainly not least, use it to keep the other tools you aren’t using company on the shelf.


Yep fellow LJ’s I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself. Trying to stay upbeat while I wait for my surgery and the healing time to take place. It’s going to be a long summer.

So what other alternative uses for this plane can you come up with? Entertain me!

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

15 comments so far

View SteveKorz's profile


2134 posts in 3862 days

#1 posted 07-12-2008 09:13 PM

LOL… That’s hilarious….

I’d put it on the endtable and put the remote on the front, sitting on the Iron….

Maybe under the “clip” for the lever cap you could put a photo… lol….

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4087 days

#2 posted 07-12-2008 09:26 PM

Betsy, I like you’re ingenuity. I know that you’ve been using hand tools longer than I have so it’s only natural that you would know things that never occurred to me. But the depth and breadth of your knowledge is remarkable. With so many uses, I’m sorry I only have three planes.

As for the summer, as long as you’re looking forward to what you’ll do when you can, then it will be like the frog said, “Times sure fun when you’re having flies.”

-- Working at Woodworking

View Sac's profile


268 posts in 3782 days

#3 posted 07-12-2008 09:45 PM

Hehe, nice post Betsy. Well it could be used as a straight line marker from point A to B I suppose. Remove the blade and fill the emptyness with a strip of wood with bristles glued to the wood and brush your dog or cat. That may help to keep your arms worked up for the time when you will use it for woodworking once you start back. Attach it to a wall for a hat rack maybe. And ohhh yeaaaa, What an Awesome BACON PRESS!!! No Rust will build up on it for sure! :-)

-- Jerry

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5622 posts in 3861 days

#4 posted 07-12-2008 10:06 PM’re supposed to pay them? I just use them to keep my plane busy… this is such an educational site! LOL

How about heating them up and using them to iron your clothes, or I my two #4 make great matched bookends, the ever popular straight edge for drawing straight lines (of course it hasn’t helped my Sketchup any :-) .....

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Al Navas's profile

Al Navas

305 posts in 4023 days

#5 posted 07-13-2008 12:28 AM


How about a “curlie-holder” ? Good for when the high winds kick up… lol

-- Al Navas, Country Club, MO,

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 3932 days

#6 posted 07-13-2008 02:36 AM

Cheese slicer anyone? Ever seen paper-thin cheese slices? (Well, you won’t with mine, heh.)

-- Eric at

View lew's profile


12328 posts in 3903 days

#7 posted 07-13-2008 04:42 AM

Shaved Ice for rum and cokes?

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View FlWoodRat's profile


732 posts in 4057 days

#8 posted 07-13-2008 03:55 PM

Betsy, It’s plane to see that you have way too much time on your hands. Glad to see you still have a sense of humor. Please keep posting, I look forward to seeing what clever things you have to say.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 4044 days

#9 posted 07-14-2008 12:42 AM

You guys have good ideas. As to those uses involving food——humm me thinks not so good. Of course, I cook very little so the chance that my planes would be used in the kitchen is not very high. :-)

Woodrat—- if I didn’t joke around about my situation—- I’d be in the looney bin!

Thanks for humoring me!

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View moshel's profile


865 posts in 3832 days

#10 posted 07-14-2008 07:43 AM

Oh! the trivial use! if you hone the iron to P8000, shave your legs with it! i am using my #4 to shave my face when my electric razor run out of charge. real smooth results, and i think my nose is getting smaller.

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 4044 days

#11 posted 07-16-2008 02:42 AM

Shaving – YIKES! I’m too curvy to shave with a flat iron of a plane!!! :-)

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View moshel's profile


865 posts in 3832 days

#12 posted 07-16-2008 11:37 AM


-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

View Allison's profile


819 posts in 3947 days

#13 posted 07-21-2008 07:52 PM

I love this post Betsy, Thanks for the smile today!

-- Allison, Northeastern Ca. Remember, Amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic!

View Keith Cruickshank's profile

Keith Cruickshank

41 posts in 3793 days

#14 posted 07-24-2008 05:28 PM


-- Keith Cruickshank, - on-demand woodworking videos

View MsDebbieP's profile


18616 posts in 4309 days

#15 posted 07-29-2008 12:58 AM

brilliant :)
keep smiling during this little “hickup” in your life.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

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