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handplanes, handplanes, handplanes“Handplanes” is the third-most common topic of question we get at the magazine. (First is “workbenches”…specifically, “What wood should I use to build one?”* Second is “finishing.”)

For those just getting into to handplanes, I usually recommend Christopher Schwarz’s article, “Coarse, Medium & Fine” (which first appeared in Woodworking Magazine, and is included in the book “Handplane Essentials.”) And I send it, free. So here it is for you (click on the title below to download the PDF:

Then, I’ll tell folks to do a search for “handplanes” on the PWM Shop Blog and Christopher Schwarz’s PWM blog (using the search field on each blog’s home page right above the post listings…not the site search field in the upper right corner – that one…well we’re working on it). On both of the blogs, you’ll find scads of posts on all manner of handplane topics.

But of course, we also have available lots of articles, books and videos on the topic, for those in want of a deeper dive into handplanes. And we’ve collected some of our favorites into a “Kit of the Month” – The Handplanes Ultimate Collection. It includes “Joinery Handplanes with Bill Anderson” (DVD); “Build a Traditional 18th-century Jointer Plane” (DVD); “Choosing, Using & Refurbishing Moulding Planes with Bill Anderson” (DVD); “Make a Custom Ogee Moulding Plane with Tod Herrli” (DVD); “The Woodwright’s Shop” Season 20, Episode 4: “The Rounder Plane” (download); “The Woodwright’s Shop” Season 22, Episode 5: “The Spill Plane & Bookstand” (download); “The Woodwright’s Shop” Season 23, Episode 4: “Using Planes” (download); “The Woodwright’s Shop” Season 25, Episode 4: “The Melencolia Plane” (download); “The Woodwright’s Shop” Season 26, Episode 6: “Japanese Planes with John Reed Fox” (download); “The Woodwright’s Shop” Season 31, Episode 5: “Handplane Essentials” (download); the book “Handplane Essentials” (PDF); issue #207 of Popular Woodworking Magazine, which includes “Make a Fixed-Width Panel Raiser,” by Bill Anderson (PDF).

The Handplanes Ultimate Collection is just $80 – 57 percent off the total retail price of each individual item (I think only 100 are available…might be 125. It’s Saturday; my brain is only working at half speed.)

And I just closed on my new (old) house yesterday. My handplanes (and just about every other tool I own) are going to get a good workout in the next couple years. Good thing there’s plenty of room for a shop!

Megan Fitzpatrick

* What wood do you have? Or what wood can you get cheap? Is it dry(ish) and heavy? There’s your answer.

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