I “grew up” woodworking with power tools since my background is in remodeling. Hand planes and other hand tools of the like are not where I come from, however, it does not mean that I cannot or do not like using them.
One of my favorite hand tools is a hand plane made by woodworker Mike Shea from California. It is uncomplicated in both it’s function and design. It has a black walnut sole that glides on wood surfaces like it is on wet ice.
I have purchased manufactured hand planes, but this was the first one that actually wowed me. I can grasp and wield it easily in one hand, I love it’s simplicity and light weight. It just WORKS!
I am a bit of a rebel when I sharpen. I only use a worn out 180 grit belt on my belt sander and follow it with the Butz strop board to hone it to a razor’s edge. After sharpening, I replace the blade in the body and lightly rap it on the table to set the blade reveal forward or back as necessary.
I have read so much on how to sharpen and use a plane that, in the end, I just pretty much ignored all of it and did what comes naturally and casually. After all, everything you read about woodworking (no matter the source) is all theory until you get out in the shop and put it to use.
I want to publicly give a big thanks to Mike Shea for such a great, functional piece of woodworking that helps me work wood. It really is a pure joy to use. Check out the short video below as I use the hand plane by Mike.
Your friend in the shop,
Todd A. Clippinger
Share the Love – Share the Knowledge
-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com