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.

rabbet_IMG_0426-1 copy

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...

skewjig1_IMG_1885

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...

tallow_IMG_1677

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...

WA_IMG_1159

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,...

rittner_knobs_IMG_8366

A New Bookmark: Hardware City Tools for Totes

When you buy vintage Stanley planes in the wild, one of the most common problems is the tote – and sometimes the knob – are trashed. My first No. 5 had a crude replacement tote that was so poorly rasped that it looked like it was furry. I’d always intended to make a replacement...

roy_IMG_6392

New Episodes from ‘The Woodwright’s Shop’

The shows from the latest season of Roy Underhill’s “The Woodwright’s Shop” can now be viewed online for free through this link. What, you are still here and reading my crap? Click the link and get over there and watch all 13 episodes. That’s more than six hours of Roy, with less than an...

LN_large_router_IMG_2482

New Closed-throat Routers from Lie-Nielsen

In the great battle to make the best router plane (what, you weren’t aware of the war?), Lie-Nielsen has raised the stakes by introducing two new closed-throat routers. For those of you who don’t follow router plane minutiae like I do, the throat of a router plane can be either open or closed. Closed-throat...

honing_guide_IMG_0788

Tune Up a Cheap Honing Guide

My favorite honing guide is the one you can find at almost any woodworking store. The guides are inexpensive and poorly made, but you can easily tune them up to make them work. One of the major faults of these guides is that when you tighten a tool between the jaws, the jaws tilt...