Tool Thoughts.....

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Blog entry by Philip Edwards posted 02-14-2007 10:00 AM 975 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi Folks
Here’s a picture of the rebate plane – I’ve put full step-by-step pics on my website. Hope you find them useful. Wooden planes are a real pleasure to make and an even bigger pleasure to use! Why is this?
Thinking about it I reckon its for two reasons. One, they are made out of our favorite material and feel warm and inviting in the hand. Low friction, smooth action.
Two, they are all specialised tools.
Why is that important? And isn’t that really a negative thing?
The more I work wood the more I realise that tools that are specialised are the ones that work best. A side rebate plane trims the sides of rebates. Very well! It’s not a lot of use for anything else but when you want to make a rebate slightly wider its your tool. It’s the same for most tools – a smoothing plane is the only tool for final polishing of surfaces. You wouldn’t use a jack for that. And at the same time you wouldn’t use your smoother to reduce rough sawn boards to dimension.
So you can see that tools that are designed to do ne task, and do it very well are a quick and effective way to work. But does this mean you need a few tools in your tool chest? Yes, I guess it does. But if you are making them yourself it is not exactly breaking the bank, is it? Of course, if you ask Mr L-N to do it for you…................ ;)
On another note – I finally took my 1/8th side bead plane out of the freezer (Remember I found some worm holes on the side? It was having the deep freeze treatment to kill off any nasties). Well, I took it out and let it acclimatise to the workshop. Upon removing the clingfilm I managed to knock an egg out of one of the holes. So it was a good thing I got it in the freezer quickly! Needless to say the egg is now dust.
A quick hone of the iron and the side bead was pressed into action. And it worked great -I’m a happy chappy! It does one thing (make a 1/8 wide bead on the edge of a board) but it does it splendidly! Cue satisfied feeling…........;)

7 comments so far

View Obi's profile


2213 posts in 4204 days

#1 posted 02-14-2007 12:11 PM

Now this is what I love about Lumberjocks, and what I really thought this site was about. The way you showed how it was done and described the process makes it look easy enough for me to attempt to make my own.

You are such an inspiration I stuck you on my home page, just to make sure I could always find you. This is a personal “Thank You” for putting your art out there for those of us who want to, but just don’t know how.

By-the-way, where did you learn all this cool stuff?

When should we expect the Phillips Book of Planes?

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4282 days

#2 posted 02-14-2007 05:33 PM

I was reading “the Fine Art Of Cabinetmaking” by James Krenov and he goes into detail about handmade planes and other tools. I’m enjoying your tool making adventure. Frozen worms and all. Thanks

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4294 days

#3 posted 02-14-2007 06:05 PM

I had a freezer full o’firewood in the basement myself. Very effective and reassuring, and not to mention a healthier way to fumigate questionable wood.

Like Obi, you’re doing a good job at turning me from a tool-user into a tool maker. Thanks for the help and inspiration!

Can I get a pre-order on that book – an autographed copy perhaps?

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Philip Edwards's profile

Philip Edwards

245 posts in 4406 days

#4 posted 02-14-2007 09:22 PM

Thanks Guys!
Obi, very kind of you – thanks fot the link, I’ll put yours on my site! As to where did I find out about planes? First off I struggled with my first plane (a cruddy Stanley #4) then as time went by learned how to sharpen and then aquired other planes. And then some more for luck!!
I made a “Krenov” style plane, as described in his third book. And have slowly built upon this. One book I totally recommend is “The Wooden Plane” by John Whelan – a masterpiece! The years of research that must of went into that book – my mind boggles. I never realised there were SO many different planes.
“Phillys Book Of Planes”?? Well, for starters I have a series on making planes being published in the UK magazine “The Woodworker”, starting in next months issue. I’m excited!!!
Glad you’re enjoying the journey!JC’s books are great, a real inspiration!
You’re on the list- fear not! ;)
Best regards

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4144 days

#5 posted 02-14-2007 11:21 PM

Phil, like my Mates, you have my respect. Your woodworking is exceptional. And I, too, love what you have shown us about your tool making. But equally good, is the way you write about your passion. You complimented Whelan, but you also ave gone to pains to research the art of your craft. I consider you a real “all rounder”.

Thanks from downunder.

Talking about downunder, are you familiar with this man’s work? I own many of his planes. In my opinion, the thing that makes his planes special are the irons.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2008 posts in 4373 days

#6 posted 02-15-2007 07:35 AM

ditto from me as well.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View Philip Edwards's profile

Philip Edwards

245 posts in 4406 days

#7 posted 02-15-2007 09:02 AM

Thanks Don, Mark!
I love Terry’s planes – I have four! As you say, the massive irons are awesome. They will deal with any timber (and I love the way you can reverse them and use them as scrapers planes – genius!)

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