Hand planes 101?

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Forum topic by Vrtigo1 posted 981 days ago 786 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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430 posts in 1593 days

981 days ago

Can someone recommend a resource that explains what the different types of hand planes are used for, as well as how to clean them up and maintain them? I recently was in a situation where I needed to flatten a board that was too wide to go through my planer. I remembered a friend had given me an old Stanley plane so I thought I would try to use it…didn’t go too well so I ended up ripping the board in half, planing each side with my electric planer then gluing it back together.

Ideally I would like to find one source that is informational on what the different planes do, how to use them, how to sharpen them, etc. I went to the library and started reading a book on hand planes, don’t remember the name, but I do remember that it was incredibly dull and I couldn’t get through it. I read magazines all the time, but as far as books, well lets just say that unless they’re written by Michael Crichton or Tom Clancy I can’t get through them. So maybe there is a book out there that is written more like a magazine?

I looked at my local B&N but didn’t see anything that caught my eye. I’m not opposed to paying for a good book, I just need to know what the best books on the subject are.

7 replies so far

View jusfine's profile


2280 posts in 1527 days

#1 posted 981 days ago

Lots of info and handplane use on the thread here on LJ’s, Handplanes of Your Dreams here

Good luck!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1276 posts in 1600 days

#2 posted 981 days ago

How about this one?

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View pintodeluxe's profile


3272 posts in 1415 days

#3 posted 980 days ago

I had some good luck flattening a tabletop recently.
However it was with a 50” wide oscillating belt sander at a local woodworking shop!
It is now perfectly flat, and the cost wasn’t bad either.

I look forward to reading the responces, because I would like to get better with a hand plane too.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


9598 posts in 1220 days

#4 posted 980 days ago

There is a book out there that is a collection of magazine articles dealing with all things hand plane, and that’s Christopher Schwarz’ Handplane Essentials book.

Believe it or not, it addresses every one of points you raised in the original post above. And it’s interesting reading, too.

Good luck!

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

View CharlieM1958's profile


15664 posts in 2820 days

#5 posted 980 days ago

I have the the Christopher Schwarz book recommended above… very good reference.

Also, there is a lot of information here about all the planes Stanley has offered over the years and what they were used for.

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

View knotscott's profile


5369 posts in 1977 days

#6 posted 980 days ago and have a wealth of info on planes.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Don W's profile

Don W

14651 posts in 1169 days

#7 posted 980 days ago

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