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Something soothing about hand planes...

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Forum topic by Charlie posted 487 days ago 776 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Charlie

1001 posts in 888 days


487 days ago

Over the winter I bought a couple of hand planes off eBay to try my hand at fixing them up. Lately we had a new bay window installed and my wife wanted me to make the trim. VERY simple (cottage theme) so it’s 1×6 pine with the edges rounded over. I looked at my router table and was thinking about how to feed a 10 foot board through it, make some outfeed support, all that stuff, when I decided to just take the Millers Falls No 14 and walk the board. Wife likes some tool marks. Not a lot, but it’s supposed to NOT look machined. So I sculpted the edges with that Millers Falls.

There’s something very soothing about walking a board with a plane you’ve rescued and tuned up yourself. Wood curling off smoothly, crunching under foot. Basically I just planed a 45 degree chamfer, made it 1/4 inch wide, and then cleaned up the edges. It’s going to get sanded. Came out pretty good if I do say so myself (and I do) and I can’t imagine getting that kind of pleasure from the router table. Not that I’m suddenly against using my router… but in this case, a cool spring morning, early, quiet, .... there was just something special about holding that plane and working wood with it.


19 replies so far

View SamuraiSaw's profile

SamuraiSaw

439 posts in 566 days


#1 posted 487 days ago

Sometimes you have to get back to basics, and then you discover the real joy of the craft. I love all my powerful toys, but after a while it’s nice to pick up a plane and simply make curls.

If you’re not familiar with him, check out Paul Sellers . His blog and online content are designed to renew the craft of woodworking with hand tools.

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas.... www.awwtx.com

View poopiekat's profile (online now)

poopiekat

3561 posts in 2336 days


#2 posted 487 days ago

There is a sense of gratification that you discover when using hand tools, in a silent shop, that can never be enjoyed by those who operate one noisy, vibrating power tool after another.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4137 posts in 1553 days


#3 posted 486 days ago

Also, for me, as a new dad, I can only make it into the shop at weird hours and can work with all sorts of hand tools without pissing off my neighbors at 11pm using the router or table saw. Still, one of my favorite sounds is a sharp plane making full-width shavings.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

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JayT

2096 posts in 813 days


#4 posted 486 days ago

Nothing beats the experience of using a sharp, well-tuned hand plane. I made some moldings for our kitchen recently and chose hand planning over the router table, as well. The whole process was much more enjoyable and really didn’t take much, if any, more time.

-- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1001 posts in 888 days


#5 posted 486 days ago

Yeah I have to say I was a little surprised at how little time it took. Probably in the time it would have taken me to get set up to use the router table, I was done. :) And I got a little more exercise which I can use to take off some of my “winter belly”. Now I’d like to look for some molding planes, hehehe. Ok, maybe not. Lots of other stuff I need to do, but it sure was a nice morning activity.

View Tugboater78's profile

Tugboater78

940 posts in 794 days


#6 posted 486 days ago

Just getting into gathering and refurbing some planes myself.. last 2 days i have bren planing down some old lumber from a house i tore down last year. Was gratifying seeing that rough ratty 12 ft long 2×6 turn into a solid beautiful piece of oak…yes oak.. and i have around 100 of them.. power tool would do it quicker but the satisfaction of doing it myself is better than the money spend to acquire the power tools. I am terrible at typing, sorry

-- Justin - the tugboat woodworker - " nothing changed me like the first shnick from a well sharpened, decent hand plane"

View mds2's profile

mds2

230 posts in 546 days


#7 posted 486 days ago

The zen of the hand plane. It is a magical thing.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2446 posts in 953 days


#8 posted 486 days ago

Yes, they should be be called “soothing planes” instead of smoothing planes.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View BigRedKnothead's profile

BigRedKnothead

4436 posts in 584 days


#9 posted 486 days ago

I too started with power tools. Now I’m learning to do more and more with hand tools. I want to learn both ways to get it done. I’ve already found that I just do whatever method I feel like at the time. It’s fun.

-- Red -- "There's nothin' in the world so sad as talking to a man, who never knew his life was his for making." Ray LaMontagne

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1256 days


#10 posted 486 days ago

Next time your have to shape end grain on a table try using a smoothing plane; there is a trick to it but you will be hooked for life.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View JayT's profile

JayT

2096 posts in 813 days


#11 posted 486 days ago

I’m sensing a money making opportunity here. The LumberJocks Anger Management Experience, repeat over and over “goozfraba” while making shavings. Alternative and more intensive therapy would involve popping bubble wrap.

Set up in a large office building (Wall Street, anyone?), charge $50 per person for a half hour of hand plane stress relief and rake in the dough. Anyone want to invest?

-- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1256 days


#12 posted 486 days ago

I have actually thought about doing that in my office building.

And there is space downstairs for rent…hmm?

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

4508 posts in 894 days


#13 posted 486 days ago

careful… wouldn’t want people to come in and call us elitists…

With how today is going at work, I might have to go buy a stack of lumber, and fill my apartment with shavings tonight…

Invest? How about I supply a plane? :-)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

View Don W's profile

Don W

14652 posts in 1169 days


#14 posted 486 days ago

With how today is going at work,

I made a lot of shavings this week too, just because!!!

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View JayT's profile

JayT

2096 posts in 813 days


#15 posted 486 days ago

No reason we can’t share the start-up costs. Mos, you and Don can supply planes (along with a few others we know), sounds like RG has a location scouted, now we just need to get Dan on board as a full time sharpener and find a lumber supplier. We might even be able to upcharge based on the lumber you work.

  • $50 per half hour for pine or poplar.
  • $75 for oak, walnut and maple.
  • additional charges for exotics.

Since I proposed the idea first, I’ll be the CEO that does nothing except take half the profits and is a talking head on TV.

-- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

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