Handplanes

Handplanes are the mascot of hand tool woodworking – its profile is instantly recognizable, harkening back to a day when the loudest noise in the woodshop was a hand-wielded hammer. But don’t let that image fool you. Every shop needs at least one handplane. We cover the gamut – from the simple block plane to the more complex joinery planes and moulding planes. Here you’ll find the resources to learn how to use the many species of handplane as well as the handplane essentials you need to know. Master handplane techniques and you will be well on your way to mastering woodworking.

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Veritas’s New PM-V11 Steel Coming Soon

Unlike many hand-tool woodworkers (and turners), I’m not much of a steel nerd. I’m not on a quest for the steel that promises the ultimate in edge life. The reason I’ve not experimented with lots of exotic steels is that every time I used CMP-10V, CMP-3V, D2 or whatever I found that these steels...

LarryDon

Old Street Tool (a.k.a. Wooden Handplane Porn)

Last Friday, I skipped out of the office for a trip down to Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking in Berea, Ky., (the most bucolic woodworking school I’ve had the pleasure of attending) to visit with Kelly and Larry Williams and Don McConnell of Old Street Tool. I arrived just in time to cadge a...

Here is a breaker installes less than half a millimeter from the cutting edge. Look closely. The line under the cutting edge is  secondary bevel on the chipbreaker.

Reconsidering Chipbreakers as Not Totally Evil

I have always disliked chipbreakers, which clog a handplane all too easily. But tonight I dislike them a little less. After the recent spate of discussions about a series of Japanese films on chipbreakers (here is the complete and translated film) and some encouragement from woodworker David Charlesworth, I decided to experiment with the...

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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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Correct the Skew on a Plane Blade or Chisel

Some woodworkers would rather stick their hand into a running disposal while naked than turn on a dry grinder. So when they need to correct the skew angle on a skewed plane iron or skewed chisel they are at a loss. I even met a guy who would just buy a new blade rather...

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Get Lubed Up in 19th-century Style

Ever since Roy Underhill wrote about the joys of mutton tallow as a tool lubricant in Popular Woodworking Magazine in the August 2010 issue, readers have been asking where to purchase the stuff. Or, even more alarming, how to render it themselves. The good news is that Lee Valley Tools has started to carry...

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Confession & Redemption

I have a palm-grip random-orbit sander that I’ve used for many years on household projects that could not be planed because they were too big, such as 16’-long runs of base moulding nailed to a wall,  or weren’t designed for handplaning, such as plywood that is covered in paper-thin veneer. A couple years ago,...