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.

Worth Reading: Matt Bickford's New Blog

If you are curious about or struggle with moulding planes, planemaker M.S. Bickford has recently launched a new blog that will open your eyes: Musings from Big Pink. Using SketchUp drawings and full-motion video, Bickford has been using his blog to demonstrate how to create various profiles with hollow and round planes. The illustrations...

Use the No. 95 Trimming Plane Upright?

I’ve always held the No. 95 edge-trimming plane like a block plane. The lever cap faces up to the sky. The fence of the No. 95 is then vertical. So I was surprised to see a little tip in the February 1942 issue of The Woodworker (a U.K. woodworking magazine) that showed the plane...

Falling Off the Wagon in Style

Those of you who follow my personal woodworking blog know that I have been selling off a lot of my excess tools and upgrading my shop at home. Since August, I’ve sold more than 100 tools that have been cramming up my home shop – everything from a sliding compound miter saw to awls....

Do You Sharpen Too Much?

When I teach people to sharpen I notice a bad habit that many of them have: They think that rubbing the tool against a stone is sharpening. The more they rub, the sharper it gets, no? Well, no. I think that sharpening is more about seeing and feeling than it is about rubbing. (Snakes...

New Stanley 62: Better, But Not Yet Perfect

It looks like the folks in New Britain, Conn., want to get things right. After Stanley’s first generation of the No. 62 low-angle jack plane had some problems, including a fatal bed error and a mouth that wouldn’t close, the company sent me a replacement. It had the same problems. And New Britain fell...

Quick Update on the Stanley Chisels

Stanley’s Sweetheart socket chisels should be for sale in the United States in about six to eight weeks, according to a company product manager. The chisels are in the final testing stages in the United Kingdom right now. The chisels were unveiled at a press conference in June. Since then, I have been hammered...

Video: Stupid Shim Tricks

Some wide chisels and narrow plane irons don’t work well with the cheap-o side-clamp honing guide. They are too narrow to fit between the walls on the top of the guide. And they are too wide or thick to fit between the dovetailed ways in the guide. And setting the tool on the guide...

When Your Plane Iron Won't Retract All the Way

Reason No. 50 that I dislike chipbreakers: They can prevent your iron from retracting all the way into the mouth of the tool. Sometimes I think chipbreakers are a cruel joke on the woodworking community. Before chipbreakers (and the invention of pants) everyone was dandy. Nobody had a problem with setting their breaker (or...