Hand planes 101

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Forum topic by ChunkyC posted 11-08-2009 10:24 PM 4667 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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856 posts in 3282 days

11-08-2009 10:24 PM

There are so many different types of planes for all sorts of applications and being totally hand plane ignorant I have no idea what type of plane does what. Does anyone have a link to very basic information on hand planes? I’m not a hand tool guy but would like to learn to be able to use some hand tools. I know that having the right tool for the job makes the job a lot easier and yields much better results.

Example. I’m making a cabinet and I ended up making the dados just a tad too tight. The only way to really go back and widen the dado was to use a chisel in a paring sort of motion. There has to be plane that would do this much more easily and yield much better results that I can get using chisels. So what kind of plane takes a little of the shoulder without making the dado deeper? My guess would be a shoulder plane, oddly enough, but is that right? So that’s the sort of thing that I would like to learn more about.


-- Chunk's Workshop pictures:

7 replies so far

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4126 days

#1 posted 11-08-2009 11:37 PM

I have a blog topic that has a bunch of reference materials for planes. There are sections for web, books, and videos. \\

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View lwllms's profile


555 posts in 3310 days

#2 posted 11-09-2009 02:37 AM


The special purpose plane that will widen a dado is a side rabbet plane. If you’re working across the grain, one of the metal ones has a good cutting geometry. These include the Stanley 79, Stanley’s 98 & 99 pair or any of the British copies of the Preston side rabbet. For working with the grain a wooden side rabbet has a better cutting geometry.

When it comes to “hand planes 101” I don’t think you can beat the information Richard Neve published in his Builder’s Dictionary way back in 1736. Since Stanley came along more than a hundred years later, Neve’s information doesn’t include Stanley’s numbering system but Neve’s descriptions give a very good indication of what planes do what jobs. Neve’s list is also probably the most concise list of a collection of planes that enable a woodworker to make just about anything he/she can dream up. Here’s Neve’s list:

Richard Neve's Builder's Dictionary

View mikedddd's profile


147 posts in 3258 days

#3 posted 11-09-2009 05:43 AM

I got this for Xmas last year work great. Veritas® Side Rabbet Plane

-- Mike

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147 posts in 3258 days

#4 posted 11-09-2009 01:34 PM

Here is a link to a book I just picked up on hand planes. It seems quite informative, haven’t read the whole book yet.,46096,46107&ap=1

There are lots of other books and articles online about hand planes.

-- Mike

View TroutStalker's profile


30 posts in 3397 days

#5 posted 11-09-2009 06:49 PM

I highly recommend Garrett Hack’s classic ‘The Handplane Book”
Chris Schwartz’s ‘Handplane Essentials’ (referenced above) is a close second.

-- The best thing online is a fish

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

943 posts in 3422 days

#6 posted 11-10-2009 03:57 AM

Another good place to visit:

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View Bothus's profile


441 posts in 3205 days

#7 posted 11-10-2009 04:00 PM

Great question Chuck. Thanks for asking.


-- Jerry Boshear, Professional Kitchen Designer, amature woodworker.

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