I read a lot about how much everyone loves their handplanes and how relaxing it is. I love the idea of using a handplane to remove mill marks or smooth over edges. I love what I see others on TV do with handplanes and how smoothly they work.
I loath that I have yet to get a hand plane to work like I’ve seen them work on TV. I mentioned in one of my projects that I don’t own a hand plane. That was partially true, I picked one up at Lowes a 25$ stanley block plane when I first started wood working. I took the plane home and tried to use it, try as I might the thing didn’t work very well and I got frustrated and returned the plane.
I later began reading about hand planes and watched episodes of woodsmithshop and youtube videos about hand planes. I also read a lot of suggestions to buy an old used handplane and restore it instead of buying new. This somewhat makes sense after reading about restoring a hand plane it looks straight forward as long as there is no major damage. Clean off the rust, repaint, flatten the soul and sharpen the blade etc..
After several comments in my previous project about hand planes I went over to ebay and bid on a few hand planes. I won a stanley bailey #5, it looked pretty old and had the large “Made in USA” embossed on it so I gathered it was the old style of hand planes that everyone thinks is the bees knees.
I was happy when I recieved it and cleaned off all the rust showed no major damage, just cosmetic rust and a few knicks on the knob from normal use. I casually spent the week cleaning off the rust, repainting the top side of the soul (I also re-painted the knob and handle after sanding away most of the knicks). I spent a good deal of time flattening the soul of the plane and using a new Worksharp 3000 that I purchased to sharpen blades to sharpen the blade.
With everything sharpened and flattened etc.. I put the plane back together and fiddled with it to get it all set up so I thought. This is where the problem comes in. Try as I might, I can’t for the life of me make this thing work the way I see hand planes work on rough cut or on Woodsmith shop. When I try and scrape some shavings either I don’t get any because the blade isn’t sticking out, or I feel like I have to shove the plane over the wood to get a very thin shaving but it is rarely a consistant shaving.
It may be the wood I don’t know, I was testing on some scrap maple, it may be my technique, or it may be I didn’t sharpen the blade right, or flatten the soul enough or any number of other problems.
I loath hand planes because they won’t work for me, and I don’t know why.
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