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Hand tool tips and tricks #5: Starting a Handplane.

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Blog entry by RGtools posted 02-05-2013 01:41 PM 1257 reads 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Hiding Component Markings Part 5 of Hand tool tips and tricks series Part 6: No straightedge needed »

There are a lot of things written about the use of hand planes about the pressure used when starting a the tool vs finishing a cut. Getting these pressure tactics down is essential to accurate planing, but once those are mastered try this.

Next time you start your cut, skew the body of the plane a bit. What this does is cause the plane to start the cut with one pinpoint of the blade as opposed to it’s full width. The beginning of your cuts will feel and look smoother and you can of course straighten out the tool as you go along the board. This also means you won’t have to take a running start when using planes with wide blades (jointers and 4.5 smoothers).

Now, go make a pile of shavings.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan



12 comments so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

15533 posts in 1314 days


#1 posted 02-05-2013 02:13 PM

Good tip Ryan.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View AnthonyReed's profile

AnthonyReed

5075 posts in 1187 days


#2 posted 02-05-2013 02:21 PM

I’ve actually been trying this lately and it does feel like a much smoother action. Thanks for the affirmation.

-- ~Tony

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6902 posts in 1898 days


#3 posted 02-05-2013 02:52 PM

I’m not sure if I’m doing that already. I’ll have to give it a try.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Don W's profile

Don W

15533 posts in 1314 days


#4 posted 02-05-2013 02:58 PM

One of the things that may be a bit misleading is all the pictures with a full width shaving we see. Unless your doing a long piece where you’ll straighten the plane in the end of a cut, that type of shaving typically will not happen. Skewing the plane as Ryan shows make the knife action work better through out the stroke.

Most of those pictures are created for the shot.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View ChrisMobley's profile

ChrisMobley

4 posts in 683 days


#5 posted 02-05-2013 04:01 PM

Great information!
Thank you!
Chris Mobley
www.cmobleydesigns.com

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1862 days


#6 posted 02-06-2013 01:05 AM

its not just the knife action you benefit from
but allso the fact that you make the cut with a lower angle than the typical 45 degree

but thanks for the tip one of those that canĀ“t be told often enoff :)

Dennis

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3314 posts in 1401 days


#7 posted 02-06-2013 02:25 AM

Don has a pretty good point, most of the shavings taken during real work are not as pretty as what you see in the pictures…the shot above was from one of my planing sessions though; it was a full width shaving with a cambered blade to correct an out of square edge (one time where a full width shaving is taken and it’s not a waste).

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View LeslieC's profile

LeslieC

147 posts in 844 days


#8 posted 02-06-2013 02:53 AM

Thanks for the tip. I figured this one out on my own. It seems I have a decent knack for planing, which is great, because I love it.

That’s a beautiful plane you’ve got there. When I have some $ again, I’m going to buy a nice, vintage wooden jointer.

-- There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert.

View Don W's profile

Don W

15533 posts in 1314 days


#9 posted 02-06-2013 02:58 AM

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3314 posts in 1401 days


#10 posted 02-06-2013 01:41 PM

^very nice. Where did you get the flywheel for the vise?

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Don W's profile

Don W

15533 posts in 1314 days


#11 posted 02-06-2013 01:49 PM

View stefang's profile

stefang

13632 posts in 2081 days


#12 posted 02-06-2013 05:20 PM

This sounds like a very good idea. I will sure give it try next time I shoot an edge. Thank you.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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