When I was a youngster in what they now refer to as “mid-century”, my father had a hand plane. I had no idea what kind and no idea what it was supposed to be used for, but I used it to shape my PineWood Derby car for my cub scouts race. (In case you’re wondering, I didn’t win, place or show. Just barely made it down the track.)
Until recently, that was my only experience with a hand plane. Since hanging about LumberJocks I’ve read all kinds of stuff about the joy of hand tools. It all seemed fascinating, but I wasn’t sure I was ready. Still, the number of folks singing the praises of planes and scrapers and chisels prodded me to eventually purchase a few starter tools.
The chisels were pretty easy. Especially when I figured out how to sharpen them. The card scraper I have yet to figure out, but I’m still working on it.
Not long ago Rockler had some planes on sale. They aren’t the top of the line, but I figured I didn’t want to learn on something expensive so I bought three: a low angle block plane, a #4 smoothing plane, and a #5 Jack plane; all made by Groz, and all for under $100. They required some tuning up and sharpening, but I expected that.
Well I fiddled and fooled and read and played and fiddled and fooled some more. Then Betsy took a vacation and the excitement that came through her blog series was contagious and I fiddled a bit more.
Today, I experience the pleasure of planing. I had cut a couple of uprights for a cradle I’m making and thought I might just try this plane thing to smooth the tapered edges. I wasn’t expecting much, but when I started and the blade sliced through the wood and the shaving curled so pretty I couldn’t help but say, “Wow, this is cool.”
Now I guess I’ll be looking for other opportunities to use these neat tools and increase my skills to the point where I think I’m ready to go for the good stuff. For now, though, I think what I’ve got will do me just fine while I learn. Thanks to LumberJocks for introducing me to such a pleasure.
-- Working at Woodworking http://www.VillageLaneFurniture.com