Many woodworkers think it’s bonkers to use a curved cutting edge in a jointer plane. After all, the plane is designed to make things straight and flat, so using a curved cutter seems … let’s say “counterintuitive.”
But the more I use a curved iron, the more I like it. I’m always stumbling on little ways it can help me.
Today I glued up the base of a small table that has hand-cut tenons. The aprons have 4-1/2″-long shoulders, which is a lot of wood to get mated perfectly against the leg. And this is where my curved iron came in handy today.
As I was dressing the legs with my jointer plane, I did something a little odd when working the area where the aprons attach. After dressing the area to remove the toolmarks, I took three or four stokes with the jointer plane running right down the center of the leg.
This made a very small curved depression on the face of the leg , it imitated the curve of the iron. You can see this (kinda) in the photo above. It’s quite evident under a ruler to the naked eye.
When I assembled the table base, the slight curve ensured that the visible tenon shoulder would close up before the tenon shoulder on the inside of the table base. Works like a peach.
- Christopher Schwarz