Handplane Techniques

The handplane is perhaps the most recognizable symbol of all that is hand tool woodworking; of all that is finely crafted from Earth’s most durable renewable resource. Look no furthur for your handplane essentials than right here. Learn handplane techniques that have been passed down through the generations from woodworkers who were crafting the finest furniture on earth before the advent of electricity. Whether you’re a professional or hobbiest, and handtool nerd or a power tool pro, the handplane has a place in your shop.

The Genius of Miter Shooting Boards

Cutting miters so they are ‘just right’ is a problem faced by all woodworkers. Here’s how to sneak up on the perfect miter with scrap wood and a plane. by Don McConnell You find yourself in a quandary. To ensure that you don’t cut a miter too short, you end up...

bench planes

Bench Planes: The System of Three

We rethink the Western bench plane system. All you need to know is that there are three tools, three setups, three jobs and three surfaces. by Christopher Schwarz excerpted from the Winter 2009 issue of Woodworking Magazine Some days I think that every bench plane should come with a decoder ring...

What Hand Planes are Good For

The difference between school and real life is that in real life the tests come first and then the lessons. This is especially true of woodworking; you never know how far you should take one step of a project until you are knee-deep in the next step. That’s when you realize...

Improve Hand Plane Performance

There was a time when nearly even adult male in the United States owned a Stanley #4 smooth plane. The one I have was passed down to me by my dad (a chemical engineer) who got it from his dad (a tool and die maker). When I was a kid, dad...

Restoring an Early Spiers Smoothing Plane

The first time someone showed me a photo of an infill handplane, it was bewilderment at first sight. “That’s a handplane?” I asked. All I could see were a bunch of odd lumps of wood and some steel. This was years before both the Internet and modern toolmakers made this form...

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...

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...