|Forum topic by FaTToaD||posted 08-29-2013 02:36 PM||2379 views||0 times favorited||36 replies|
08-29-2013 02:36 PM
Just wanted to share my recent discovery of hand planes with everyone:
I have a couple planes, mostly block planes, that I have occasionally played with over the last couple years. A few months ago I bought a Stanley low-angle block plane in good condition from an antique store. I took it home and sharpened the blade to the best of my ability and it worked pretty good. I’ve only really used for flushing plugs, chamfers, etc because I never could good, clean shavings from it.
A few weeks later I bought a Stanley #4C (circa 1918) and a Stanley #7C (I haven’t tried to date it yet) and they both need some serious work but are in overall decent conditions. The #4C did make some shavings right away but I could tell it needed some serious work. I mainly bought them to restore with the hopes of getting into more hand tool work.
Now, I love the idea of using more hand tools but they never seem to work that well for me. I really would like to become more of a “hybrid” woodworker but have always struggled with my hand tools. I was pretty sure a lot of it had to do with my lack of sharpening skills so I asked my wife for a Work Sharp 3000 for my birthday.
Well, I got my Work Sharp the other day and after sharpening a few chisels I decided to take out the blade of my low-angle Stanley and give it a go. After flattening the back (which was not as flat as I thought) and working the bevel up through the grits I put it back in the plane and took a big stroke down the edge of a piece of figured maple.
HOLY COW! Beautiful, thin, curly ribbons came out like I had never seen before! I was just dumbfounded at how much difference it made. So this is what hand planes are all about…
Well that got my excited so I removed the blade from the #4C, which by the way is rusted, dirty, and has a cracked tote, and sharpened it up. I took it along the face of the figure maple and BAM, more beautiful, thin shavings! I haven’t so much as touched this tool other than to adjust the blade depth since I bought it.
Next thing I knew I was running around the shop look for scraps of different wood I could practice with. I found a beautiful piece of hickory about 2” wide. I stuck it in the vice, and ran that #4C across the face. Man, I couldn’t believe the beautiful shavings coming out of that plane. That hickory felt like butter under that #4C. I immediately ran inside and grab my wife to show her. She obviously wasn’t nearly as impressed as I was at first but I stuck the plane in her hand and made her give it a try. After a few stocks she said she was amazed at how easy it was to get big, almost paper-thin shavings with that beat-up old plane I had bought.
Needless to say, I’m hooked! I felt like I had discovered the secrets of the universe. I was so excited and so proud that I spent the rest of the night planning down random scraps until they were toothpicks. I can’t wait to get these planes cleaned and tuned-up so they can really shine!
Thanks for listening!
Here’s some pictures, as promised!
Stanley #4C with some mahogany…
Stanley Low-Angle Block Plane with some hickory…
Oh my, look at all those shavings!