don’t get to read much fiction anymore, but I do read old woodworking
books almost every night (last night I finished the potboiler “Cabinet
Construction” (1937) edited by the great J.C.S. Brough). And the reason I
keep reading these books – even basic ones – is that there are gems to
years ago I stumbled on a tip for planing a board by hand that I use
all the time in the shop. I’ve only seen it repeated a couple other
times in older texts, so I’m going to repeat it here.
when you are handplaning a board with a hollow you reach the point
where you are going to have to work for a long time and perhaps thin the
board too much to get at the low spot. If the area is in an area of the
board that doesn’t have joinery, or if it is on the show face of the
board (and its flatness isn’t critical), here’s what you do.
the board off the bench and place a few shavings on the bench below the
hollow. Secure the board again with your end vise and try planing
again. This will usually help you get at that hollow in a pass or two.
I also keep some really thin offcuts to place under a board that has a slight bow, as shown in the photo above.
— Christopher Schwarz
• This blog entry is brought to you by “Handplane Essentials,”
the book I wrote a couple years ago that was a big old brain dump on
this tool. Now I have more room in my skull so I can concentrate on
collecting Hummels. I still really like this book. It’s big. It’s
printed in the United States. And it has a lot of good tips on planing.
You can get it in our store, with free shipping in the domestic United States.
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