Handplanes

Here I am, dragging back my jointer plane on the return stroke.

When Planing, I Can Be a Real Drag

I’m the first to admit that I have some bad habits. I drink beer. I occasionally curse. And I sometimes drag my planes back across my work on the return stroke. When you receive traditional training, dragging a plane back across your work will get your knuckles rapped by the shop nun. That’s because...

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Make Your Own Hand tools

I’ve turned hollow mortise chisels into square punches, refashioned chisels and their handles, made a number of scratch stocks, ground steel bar stock into embossing punches and a made a few other quick tools. And I’ve built a few wooden, Krenov-style handplanes over the years – I had a fine time and wound up...

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Planing Plastic?

Did you know that you can plane plastic? Me neither. I used my old Stanley #4. Its sweetheart era blade was razor sharp, though I’m not sure it needed to be. The “shavings” are UHMW (Ultra High Molecular Weight) polyethylene. I also mic’ed these (never measured shaving with a micrometer before either). They were...

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More Experiments with Chipbreakers

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...

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Exploit the Weakness of the Tree

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...

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Cut Rabbets by Hand

Even if I have an entire shop filled with power equipment, I like to cut my rabbets by hand. Why? It’s fast and fun. Once you master a rabbet plane or a moving fillister plane, your router table and table saw will get a lot less use. To push you along this path, I...

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Just Plane Round

An exercise in dowel-making without a lathe. By Charles Bender Pages: 46-49 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,...