Handplanes

bench planes

Bench Planes: The System of Three

We rethink the Western bench plane system. All you need to know is that there are three tools, three setups, three jobs and three surfaces. by Christopher Schwarz excerpted from the Winter 2009 issue of Woodworking Magazine Some days I think that every bench plane should come with a decoder ring to help the...

handplane essentials

The Making of ‘Handplane Essentials, Revised Edition’

When Scott Francis at Popular Woodworking Books asked me to revise my 2009 book “Handplane Essentials,” I thought it would be a short job. The plan was to add a handful of articles I’d written on specialty planes and update the text to accurately reflect toolmakers who had entered or left the market since...

Popular Woodworking in America: Interview with Caleb James

Caleb began his woodworking career designing and creating mid-century furniture, with a focus on Danish modern chairs. His entry into traditional chair making began with training from Peter Galbert and further expanded as he collaborated with Curtis Buchanan. This traditional type of woodworking guided his research into traditional tooling and led to his making...

The Wonderful Everyday

Shop time has been limited in recent weeks, but that’s normal for most of us and perfectly fine. I’ve been keeping the house quiet during the weekends as my wife is coming to the end of a course with a final flurry of assignments. That means plenty of child-friendly activities!  I decided to take...

Release the Pressure

Woodworking forums can be helpful, no really they can. It’s thanks to a forum that I read a discussion between George Wilson and Zach Dillinger (really looking forward to Zach’s book towards the end of this year). They were discussing the size of plane totes from early wooden planes and why they were smaller than the...

Handplanes, Handplanes, Handplanes

“Handplanes” is the third-most common topic of question we get at the magazine. (First is “workbenches”…specifically, “What wood should I use to build one?”* Second is “finishing.”) For those just getting into to handplanes, I usually recommend Christopher Schwarz’s article, “Coarse, Medium & Fine” (which first appeared in Woodworking Magazine, and is included in...

Coffin Smoother Tune-up

To try and inspire you to give wooden planes a try I have endeavored to keep things within this post as simple as possible, but before we get started a bit of preamble. I’m going to avoid waxing lyrical about these planes and try to let history give you a nudge. Although wooden planes...

Modern Wooden Planes … Why?

Let me be honest: I do know how to use a handplane, and I have used a jointer plane once or twice. But it was a metal-bodied plane – only remotely similar to a wooden-bodied plane as used during the 18th century. I liked the feel of the plane, and its long body made...

2013 Popular Woodworking Magazine Favs – Part 2

In a continuation of selecting my favorite articles from the issues of 2013 (read part 1 here), below covers the August (issue #205) through December (issue #208) for the year. My hands-down winner from the August 2014 issue is the article written by Mario Rodriguez, “Take a U-turn to Scoop a Chair Seat.” Jigs...