Working a Slab by Hand

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Blog entry by davemoorefurniture posted 1578 days ago 6477 reads 22 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

If you have ever had material that is too large for your machines, fear not. In this video I demonstrate how I use a set of planes to achieve a time honored technique by flattening, thicknessing, and joining a live-edge, cherry table top. I hope you enjoy and please feel free to give me feedback so that I may improve in both my woodworking and video abilities.


29 comments so far

View stefang's profile


12875 posts in 1961 days

#1 posted 1578 days ago

Wow David, that was a wonderful video and I also agreed with everything you said about woodworkers needing these basic skills. It is easy to see from your video and the preview of your next one that you are an accomplished woodworker, and I think a very nice person too for sharing your expertise without sparing any details. Thank you very much. I’m putting you on my buddy list so I won’t miss anything from you in the future.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View John Steffen's profile

John Steffen

218 posts in 1682 days

#2 posted 1578 days ago

David, I really appreciate your videos. They are excellent quality, and very informative in areas that aren’t widely discussed (from what I’ve found anyway).

You’ve definitely inspired me to further explore hand tools, and given me an excellent reference. Thank you!

-- Big John's Woodshed - Farmington, IL

View Tim Dahn's profile (online now)

Tim Dahn

1467 posts in 2192 days

#3 posted 1578 days ago

Very cool video, thanks for posting and sharing your talent. Looking forward to the next.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View ShannonRogers's profile


540 posts in 2415 days

#4 posted 1578 days ago

Great video. I covered this topic on my podcast a while back and didn’t really think I did it justice. I found it hard to capture the detail work working by myself with a tripod. You found a way to cover the details and the why’s and how’s of diagnosing twist and when to switch planes. While your video work is excellent I think what makes this so good is your presentation style. You build a great narrative and speak from experience which is something a lot of us weekend warriors can learn from. Great work and keep it up.

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

View Rj's profile


1047 posts in 2258 days

#5 posted 1578 days ago

Great stuff David I agree 110% with what the others have said You my friend can teach us all!!!

-- Rj's Woodworks,San Jose & Weed Ca,

View SouthpawCA's profile


254 posts in 1860 days

#6 posted 1578 days ago

Awesome!!! I am just beginning to realize the pleasure that one gets from actually using hand tools. I recently purchased a jack plane and have used it for some light practice planing exercises. I enjoyed the results I got, so I ordered a block plane and waiting for the day that it arrives. However, I felt I was missing the education needed to use these fine tools – until now.

I thank you for filling in the blanks on the types of planes and which one to use when flattening and squaring a board. I agree with ShannonRogers about your presentation and narrative style. Excellent work! I’ll be watching this video many times over. Thanks

-- Don

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 1742 days

#7 posted 1578 days ago

great vidio you have made on this basic skill
you are a great teacher
and I look forward to see your next vidio

thankĀ“s for sharing your knowledge with all
the weekendbutchers like me


View RichardH's profile


295 posts in 1629 days

#8 posted 1578 days ago

Nice video and accompanying message. Especially nice job of breaking down something that looks quite daunting into a systematic approach that yields great results. Much work and attention to detail – your final products are truly superb.

-- "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it...It's the hard that makes it great."

View Blake's profile


3437 posts in 2501 days

#9 posted 1578 days ago

Your videos are awesome.

-- Happy woodworking!

View dbol's profile


135 posts in 1625 days

#10 posted 1578 days ago

Great job! While I am just beginning in the world of woodworking. You brought to my attention that I really don’t need the huge planer and jointer to make beautiful things. Thanks.

View david9951's profile


39 posts in 1788 days

#11 posted 1578 days ago

really nice videos

View Newfounlandwood's profile


63 posts in 1662 days

#12 posted 1578 days ago

Great video! I have recently purchased all the hand planes I need to flatten and surface boards by hand. Your video was a great tutorial and an inspiration to continue learning all I can about hand tools.

Anything you would be willing to capture about four squaring slabs by hand would certainly be of interest to me. I look forward to your next installment as well. The video quality surpasses anything I have seen at other woodworking sites such as fine woodworking magazine about flattening boards. I added you as a buddy; I don’t want to miss your next video.


-- My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.

View Broglea's profile


665 posts in 1718 days

#13 posted 1578 days ago

Dave – I learned a lot from this video as well as your other videos. I am much appreciative of the time and effort you put into producing them. My projects will now benefit from what you taught me. Thanks again.

View EternalDesign's profile


237 posts in 2622 days

#14 posted 1578 days ago

Really cool man! I hand planed a slab all day today.

-- Brian, Eternal Furniture & Design

View 8iowa's profile


1489 posts in 2388 days

#15 posted 1578 days ago

This was great. Give us more!

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

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