Not Just Another Plane Day

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Blog entry by benchbuilder posted 07-08-2012 04:29 PM 1319 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As most days that I don’t have a project to work on and being retired, I go to the shop to make shavings with my #5 or #4 and past the time. This gives me great stress relief and just plain fun as well as trying to learn the correct method of planing. I have watched all the videos, read all the blogs, I have gotten some good results so far. I was getting flat smooth cuts and had learned to sharpen a plane blade razor sharp .
This morning was different, the temp outside has made it near impossible to be in the shop past noon as the temp goes above 85 degrees in the shop. I don’t have air conditioning in the shop as I have never had a need for it in the past. I leave the door open and a window open to get a nice cool breeze,but this summer has been very different. No cool breeze from the shade of the trees next to the shop. Its as if mother earth is saying, “enough”, while showing us what can happen and what we have done to our selves and to her. Some big changes needed if we intend to continue living here.
As I said, I make shavings for a while to pass the time, stress relief and just plain fun, plus hoping to get a bit better at planing. But today I noticed something different. I made long full width, full length ribbon shavings, not the usual rolled up barrel type I usually make. Maybe today I have learned the proper way to hold a plane, or maybe and more importantly how to control it. This was a feeling of great accomplishment. Wow, these were like the ones Roy Underhill makes at the end of his show with his plane. Yes I know, this doesn’t seem like much of an accomplishment, but to me it was a real revelation. After several weeks of making shavings I was finally seeing something different. I have done this before but hadn’t noticed exactly how it happened, that in itself is hard to believe but true. Funny how we can’t see what is right in front of us because we are too busy looking too far ahead of where we are going.
Just a simple thing like making a long thin full width, full length ribbon shaving is such a good feeling, one that only a woodworker can understand. I noticed that I wasn’t holding the plane straight but skewed, the skew and the amount of skew made such a difference. I could make long ribbon shavings or very tightly curled and long. I had for several weeks been trying very hard to hold the plane straight and level side to side to get a smooth and flat cut, this I was getting. Now I was getting the same smooth cut but with the full length ribbon type maple shavings, not shavings rolled up like little barrels. I could make them very curly or quite straight just by the amount of skew applied as I pushed the plane across the wood. What was more interesting was the fact that I could do this with the wood on edge or laying flat. I believe I am beginning to learn something here. Why hadn’t I seen or noticed this before? I believe it is because I have been too busy trying to do as I had read and seen. One has to develop their own style and reach their destinations by their own path. I know to many of you this may seem small and uninteresting, but when it happens for the first time, its spectacular. For myself, it is.
Well this was my shinning moment for the day and made my day, funny the heat didn’t seem as bad by noon. Got to get more planes, so much more to learn…. We are never too old or too smart to learn something new.
Just wanted to share this with you, this site has and is one of my daily reads.. THANK YOU!!!

2 comments so far

View Bob817's profile


667 posts in 1804 days

#1 posted 07-08-2012 05:06 PM

Nice read benchbuilder, many more days like today only cooler to you Sir. Hope your enjoying your retirement.

-- ~ Bob ~ Newton, N.H.

View GrandpaLen's profile


1643 posts in 1694 days

#2 posted 07-08-2012 05:35 PM

There is nothing quite as gratifying as that ‘Ah-ha’ moment that you refer to.

I’ve been retired for 4 yrs. and lovin’ every minute of it.

Enjoy yours. – Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

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