Hand Plane Problems...Probably user error...:(

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Forum topic by dwhite0829 posted 04-06-2011 05:16 AM 3940 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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21 posts in 2616 days

04-06-2011 05:16 AM

So I bought a hand plane today. When I started using it, It would get stuck or bounce, i guess would be a good word for it, down the board. I watched some videos and they said to put most of the pressure on the front of the plane. Did that same thing, bouncing down the board leaving nasty divits in the board. Anybody had this problem when learning to use them? Is it just because it was a cheap plane? grr…I love doing this stuff but it’s so frustrating sometimes. lol

Any Help/tips would help me.

10 replies so far

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 3379 days

#1 posted 04-06-2011 05:34 AM

The two things I would try first in order to reduce that problem is to sharpen the iron and then back it off some to take thinner shavings, as thin as possible. You could also try changing the direction, beginning at the other end of the board, as you may be going against the grain.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View dwhite0829's profile


21 posts in 2616 days

#2 posted 04-06-2011 05:34 AM

I tried the Blade at multiple lengths thinking that was the problem. The blade was the one that came with it, so maybe I’ll get a good new blade and give it another shot.

View Paul C.'s profile

Paul C.

154 posts in 3241 days

#3 posted 04-06-2011 05:38 AM

Is the sole flat?

View Jack Barnhill's profile

Jack Barnhill

366 posts in 3361 days

#4 posted 04-06-2011 05:47 AM

Unless you purchased a very high-end plane, the blade is likely to not be a sharp as it should be. As DealM said, I would start by sharpening the blade and then adjust it for thin shavings. Even if you buy a new blade, it will, most likely, need sharpening before you use it.

-- Best regards, Jack -- I may not be good, but I'm slow --

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18268 posts in 3671 days

#5 posted 04-06-2011 05:58 AM

If you are going to use a hand plane (& most other cutting hand tools), you need to be able to sharpen.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Chelios's profile


568 posts in 3062 days

#6 posted 04-06-2011 06:07 AM

You have major chatter because the blade is out too far. You don’t need t replace the blade just yet. Learn to sharpen it first and take very light cuts. Start at zero grab and very lightly advance the blade in 1/8 of a turn increments. Make several passes the very first time the blade grabs a bit of wood.

Try the lie nielsen page for a very simple one point lesson on proper sharpening technique.

Once you have learned to use a plane, you will get hooked. It is nothing frustrating or anything near it.

all the best

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2876 days

#7 posted 04-06-2011 06:13 AM

I also think your problem is the blade. When learning hand planes the first step IMO is to learn to sharpen the blades. I struggled for a long time on this but once I got the hang of it it made a world of difference.

Buying a new blade wont really solve it. I have a couple premium blades and many old ones and its not possible for me to get the premium blades any sharper then the old ones. The new blades have more mass and may stay sharp longer but they wont be any more sharp then what you can get your current blade.

Another possibility could be the grain direction. I would assume you are planing with the grain? If you plane against the grain you wont get a good cut.

Good luck!

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2994 days

#8 posted 04-06-2011 06:15 AM

Your depth of cut is too deep. the iron should only be out a tiny bit from the mouth. Maybe the thickness of a piece of paper to start with for a general ballpark.

By eye:

Have the iron retracted into the body. Sight down the sole like looking at a gun sight. Advance the screw little by little until you see it emerge from the mouth of the plane. Also look to see where it peeks out of the mouth. If only on one side, use the adjusting lever to move it over the other way.

There are some further adjustments but we need to know what kind of plane to tell where to go next.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4214 days

#9 posted 04-06-2011 04:39 PM

I like the method Chelios suggested. Retract the blade all the way so that you can run the plane over the board without the blade touching at all, then advance by 1/8th turns of the know until you are taking fine shavings.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View D1st's profile


290 posts in 3036 days

#10 posted 04-06-2011 05:03 PM

Just remember to be patient no matter whos direction you take. To Plane wood correctly is a like a zen experience. Very relaxing and rewarding in the end. Good luck.


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