|Review by Manitario||posted 06-21-2011 05:47 AM||1456 views||1 time favorited||8 comments|
The first plane that I bought was a $25 big box store special block plane, that I thought might be useful to trim the edges of some boards that I trimming my basement with. Out of the box it did nothing more than gouge and tear the wood, and quickly was assigned a place of dishonour in my shop. That was a year and a half ago. Since then, I’ve learnt a little bit more about planes, and managed to tune it to produce some nice curly shavings from it after a lot of sole flattening and blade sharpening. However, for the most part, planes didn’t really occupy much of my woodworking thoughts, other than as a curiosity. I since inherited a couple of my grandfather’s planes (a Stanley Sweetheart jack plane and a no-name #4) and thought that it would be nostalgic to learn how to properly tune and use them. Enter Garrett Hack and “The Handplane Book”…. I read this book with a growing excitement. For starters, it is a detailed manual on how to tune and use planes, and de-mystified for me some of the plane terminology (eg. why I should care about the difference between bevel up and bevel down planes). It is written in a clear and easy to read fashion, and has multiple diagrams and drawings. Most importantly though, this book is clearly written by someone who loves planes, and gets a thrill from producing a long thin shaving from a finely tuned old (or new) plane. His enthusiasm is infectious, and left me wondering why I would ever use sandpaper again, or how I would ever financially recover from all the planes that I now feel the need to go out and buy. Seriously, the book is full of pics of beautiful old and new planes, and I have come away from reading it with a deep appreciation for these simple but indispensible tools.
-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil