Reply by BTimmons

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Posted on Hand Planes - Why?

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2303 posts in 2480 days

#1 posted 03-08-2013 04:22 AM

In addition to the other fine answers here, I’ll give another reason for using hand planes.

I really enjoy it. The tactile sensations, the feel of the wood as it travels through the plane to my hands tells me a lot of information that would be lost with power tools. Information that says whether you’re pressing down too hard or going too fast, or when it’s all dialed in and it all feels right.

Then there’s the sounds. Oh man, the sounds. At the risk of sounding like a hippie stoned out of his gourd, the wood, it like, talks to us, man. It makes such happy sounds when the tools are sharp and moving like they’re supposed to.

Can’t forget the visual component. Seeing beautiful smooth ribbons of wood fibers appear, leaving behind a glassy surface that was nowhere near that nice just a few seconds ago.

And some woods smell great when they’re being worked. Although I don’t favor pine for nice projects, the smell of it freshly planed adds years to your life, I tell you.

So yeah, it’s a feast for the senses. The fact that it bombards you with so much to process at once, makes it very easy for me to quickly work myself into Zen-like focus, and all the mundane daily toils cease to matter, at least for a while.

-- Brian Timmons -

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