Handplane Techniques

The handplane is perhaps the most recognizable symbol of all that is hand tool woodworking; of all that is finely crafted from Earth’s most durable renewable resource. Look no furthur for your handplane essentials than right here. Learn handplane techniques that have been passed down through the generations from woodworkers who were crafting the finest furniture on earth before the advent of electricity. Whether you’re a professional or hobbiest, and handtool nerd or a power tool pro, the handplane has a place in your shop.

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Make Square Rabbets – Theory and Practice

I’ve been using rabbet planes for years and I have made my peace with them. However, there are thousands of woodworkers out there who are driven to distraction by these simple and essential planes. I hope to help you eliminate the two most common errors that lead to rabbets with sloping shoulders and angled...

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Planes are Stupid; Saws are Smart

I am married to a very smart woman. This has its advantages – life is never boring. It also has its disadvantages – she does not suffer fools (such as myself) lightly. What the heck does this have to do with woodworking? Plenty. In the world of woodworking tools there are two overarching varieties:...

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The Lie-Nielsen No. 51 in Use

A dedicated shooting plane is a luxury item, much like a European table saw with a beautiful sliding table or a full keg of beer by your bedside. For many years, I’ve used my jointer plane to shoot edges and ends, and I’ve never wanted a fancy tool for the task. But after some...

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Things I Cannot Teach About Woodworking

The best things about the craft of woodworking – the things that bring pleasure in the work – are beyond my skills as a writer, teacher or friend to explain. Example: Powered jointers are – in my opinion – the most sensitive machine ever invented. They are like Phil Donohue with an induction motor....

Don’t Forget About Sindelar’s Event This Weekend

Quick reminder: I’ll be in southwest Michigan this Saturday (June 4) giving demonstrations and generally mopping up the drool in my vicinity at the open house of tool collector John Sindelar. Sindelar is going to open crates of tools that haven’t seen the light of day in decades. And his tool museum is outrageous....

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A Trickier Ruler Trick

Anything – a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g – that reduces the time I spend sharpening my tools makes me giddy. Care Bear giddy. Monchichi giddy. Making tools dull is more fun. A few years ago I found a way to use a thin ruler to help me stone the faces of my card scrapers. It’s an adaptation of...

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A Few Spots left in the ‘Handplane Weekend’ Class

Handplane irons should be sharpened completely straight across. No curve. Ever. No, scratch that. All bench plane irons should be sharpened with some sort of curve. Always. Ah yes, this is one of the many debates that twist the knickers of modern woodworkers. The truth is that you can work with your tools set...

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Meet Raney Nelson of DAED Toolworks

One of the best things about the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool event we hold in our shop each year is getting to hang out with the toolmakers and demonstrators who come to town for the event. One of the guys I got to spend some time with was Raney Nelson of DAED Toolworks. He’s been...

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55° Frog Now Available for No. 4 Planes

For years now, Lie-Nielsen has made 55° frogs for its No. 4-1/2 bench planes. I’m a big fan of higher planing angles, but I’m not as big a fan of the No. 4-1/2. I prefer the smaller smoothing planes – give me anything from a No. 2 up to a No. 4 and I...