Hand planed my first board last night

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Forum topic by empeg9000 posted 11-11-2011 06:54 PM 1798 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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86 posts in 2447 days

11-11-2011 06:54 PM

I bought some rough cut quarter sawn red oak last week. Last night I was a little bored so I decided to try and see if I could handle plane the cup out of it. I only have a smoothing plane a jointer plane. I used the jointer. I managed to get teh board flat. It took my a couple hours and I am pretty sore today. I can see where a scrub plane would certainly come in handy.

I do have a trouble shooting question for you hand plane guys. The edge of the blade is digging in and leaving gouges. This is a Stanley #7 plane, an older one, and I tried adjusting the lateral level but it would stick dig in on the left or right. I could never get it to make a straight across the blade cut. Does the blade need to be sharpened? Is there something I need to adjust?

12 replies so far

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2973 days

#1 posted 11-11-2011 07:26 PM

Welcome to the club. :-) Some people put a small camber on the iron or round the corners just a little bit so that the blade doesn’t dig in at the corners. It may also have to do with the way the board was cupped. What were the dimensions of your board? Was the iron fully seated on the frog? Have you sharpened the iron yet?

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View HerbC's profile


1763 posts in 2881 days

#2 posted 11-11-2011 07:29 PM

Rule One! Tools always need to be sharpened. If you ask, the answer is yes! A sharp tool is a safer and better tool.

Keep up the good work.

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2902 days

#3 posted 11-11-2011 07:33 PM

First of all congrats on flattening your first board… Its a very rewarding feeling…

As for the blade digging in.. Could be a number of things… First I would check to see if the cutting edge of the iron is square to the side, hold the iron up to a square and check to see if the cutting edge is square. If its not then that may be why one side digs in..

Also check the mouth and frog of the plane. You want to make sure the iron is square to the mouth. Frog may need to be slightly adjusted or in a rare case the mouth may need to be filed a little bit…

I would start there… I am sure the iron needs to be sharpened also but make sure its square first.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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Don W

18754 posts in 2589 days

#4 posted 11-11-2011 08:25 PM

I agree with everything said so far, but remember, your using a jointer to flatten. The most I would do is round the edges. If you camber your jointer and you try to joint, the board will not be flat and they will not mate. It would need to be a very slight camber, only on the outer edges.

Also keep in mind when you use a scrub, or a jack, its meant to be smoothed with a smoother after, so it sounds like you actually did pretty well.

I would start with just rounding the very edges. Assuming the plane is flat and adjusted, that should do it. I’ve flattened with my #8, and it leaves some marks, but the smoother makes short work of them.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4947 posts in 3982 days

#5 posted 11-11-2011 09:25 PM
Welcome to the world of planes. Watch Jim Tolpin use his on this board. There is a world of info about tuning and sharpening planes. It can be a very satisfying part of woodworking.


View empeg9000's profile


86 posts in 2447 days

#6 posted 11-11-2011 10:19 PM

Bill thanks for the video. I had seen that video earlier in the day and it’s what got me wondering if I could do it. So I just decided to go for it. I used the method he did in that video but I don’t have a scrub plane.

To everyone that asked I have not sharpened the blade, I was told that it was already sharpened by the person I bought it from but perhaps I should just try doing it myself to make sure.

Don W good points also. If I am going to try and continue down that path, I might just need to pony up and buy a scrub plane. I see lots of them on ebay that seem in good shape. They also don’t seem too expensive brand new either.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18754 posts in 2589 days

#7 posted 11-11-2011 10:42 PM

don’t think I’m trying to talk you out of buying a scrub. I just won one yesterday on ebay myself. But here is another option. Get yourself a nice #5 and get 2 blades for it. Put a camber on the second. You’ll have an aggressive jack/scrub which with the switch of a blade can be a smoother, small jointer, or almost anything else you want it to be. Its not a scrub, but you can get a Stanley knock off #5 for about $15-$20. $25-$35 will get you a decent Stanley.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3020 days

#8 posted 11-12-2011 03:03 AM

The scrub is not that comparable to a jack. They eat through wood at an astonishing rate.

You put a little camber (curvature) on the blade so the corners don’t hit unless you are only going to use the jointer for edge jointing. It doesn’t take that much.

Doing a whole board like that is much like sanding a wooden floor starting out with 400 grit sandpaper. You can do it but it takes a whole lot longer. You can surface off a board with a scrub in a few minutes. It is like pulling out the 20 grit sander on the floor.

Here is someone getting fairly serious with a scrub. Still not being that aggressive.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2862 days

#9 posted 11-14-2011 06:28 AM

Scrubs were designed for the job site to make quick work out of framing timber. Remember coarse medium then fine. Jack or fore, tri or joiner, then smoother. Winding sticks are your friends. And keep up the good work.
And you picked oak as your first. Wow. Thats one tough board to start with. Keep makin shavings…..

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View empeg9000's profile


86 posts in 2447 days

#10 posted 11-14-2011 03:01 PM

Funny this came up again. I borrowed my future father in law’s delta bench top planer last night. While that planed the other side reasonably quick, although not as quick as I thought it would, what a racket! I was longing for the sound of my hand planes! That alone makes want to become more proficient in hand planing.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15366 posts in 2640 days

#11 posted 11-14-2011 06:07 PM

Ah, you’ve been bitten! :-)

Ditto to the Course, Medium, Fine point made above by Super. You really should get a Jack in this process, with a proper camber on the blade, and see what a difference it makes before moving to a scrub. A well-tuned Jack is the real workhorse in this process; cut across, then at diagonals, to removing cupping and your Jointer will sing. Relieve the corners and apply a slight camber to the jointer’s iron and the tracks should disappear in short order. If nothing else, take finer shavings (note that removing lots of material is indeed the Jack’s primary purpose, not the Jointer’s…)

I also agree on using a thickness planer and/or jointer. Such racket, dust and danger… Love me some hand planes! Good luck!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Dallas's profile


64 posts in 2987 days

#12 posted 11-19-2011 05:16 AM

I “third” coarse medium fine.

A camber will help. If you aren’t in love with doing that, skew the plane a touch (meaning swipe it forward at an angle where your hands aren’t directly one in front of another) and play with the lateral adjuster. This takes finer shavings but can sometimes negate a sharp corner that is digging in. You might be able to come at it at an angle and tilt the corner of the blade away from the business side of things.

If you want to see my exercise in futility, watch me go at a cupped board in this video.

I filmed it just to see what I did wrong. Learned quite a bit. Perhaps it will help you.

-- If a tree falls in the neighbor's woods, and no one is there to hear it...can you take it home, mill it and turn it into a coffee table without your neighbor making a sound?

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