This week I’ve been surfacing a lot of wood by hand, from pedestrian sugar pine to funky metals that have wood-like properties (e.g. purpleheart). And all the while I have been testing, testing, testing things with my chipbreakers and the cutting angle of the iron of my handplane. Huh? You might say. Yes, there might … Read more
Tag Archives: Handplanes
In hand-tool woodworking, brains almost always trump brawn. For example, when I need to remove a lot of material from a localized area, I need to think like a tree assassin and exploit its weaknesses. Think about it for a minute: Trees are much stronger in the vertical axis than they are in the horizontal. … Read more
An exercise in dowel-making without a lathe.
By Charles Bender
From the February 2012 issue #195
Buy the issue now.
During my formative years as a woodworker my instructor, Werner Duerr, taught many lessons both subtle and gross. Sometimes it wasn’t until years later that I learned the benefit. Toward the end of the first year, students were required to make a box with different compartments to hold nails. The project was timed and had to be completed using both hand and power tools but the bulk of the work had to be done by hand. The handle, in particular, was allowed to be made only by hand. To make a wooden cylinder without the aid of a lathe was one of the subtler lessons in planecraft Werner taught me.
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There is a lot of nutty, stupid boasting in our craft. Examples: I can build that highboy in a weekend. I can rip faster than a table saw. I can eat more pies than you. But one of the boasts that gets the most eye-rolling is this: I can cut mouldings faster than you can … Read more
When I inspect an antique tool – especially one that hasn’t been messed with much – I always take a look at the cutting edge. How was it sharpened? What is the shape of the edge? Did they do any work on the unbeveled face of the blade. Usually, the edges of most vintage tools … Read more
Whether you love them or hate them, the English form of the infill plane has remained almost unchanged since it was invented in the 19th century. An infill plane is a metal shell that is stuffed – or infilled – with beautiful wood that supports the iron and helps you grip the tool. Perhaps this … Read more