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 In Techniques

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Much has been written about the importance of a true and flat plane sole as a key to achieving optimal results during planning. Premium planes come with a very flat sole, do not need any interventions, and are ready for work straight out of the box. Unfortunately, this is not the case with second-hand tools such as planes bought in flea markets or on eBay, and new inexpensive planes. To make these tools worthwhile and effective, we have to flatten their soles by abrading their underside on a sandpaper or diamond media that is backed up by a flat surface. Over the past twenty-five years, I have flattened dozens of planes. Most were my own, many belonged to the woodworking programs I taught in, and a few were owned by friends or my students. I trued cast-iron planes made by Stanley, Record, Miller Falls, Sargent, and more. Some of these planes were short and narrow, while others were long, heavy, and wide.


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