Handplane Quest – Using the Tool to Cut a Bevel
I just did something pretty satisfying. I just completed my first woodworking task – a task that’s part of a build – with a handplane.
I’m pretty sure that no one other than me will be impressed with this feat. It was a really simple task, and if you look back in the blog archives, you’ll see that it has been a full three months since I bought the handplane in question.
In my defense, I had to tune up the plane. That took a few hours. And then I had to write about refurbishing the plane, since that’s my job – and that took another hour or so. I guess we’re only up to four hours total.
Anyway it is all the more satisfying for having taken a little while.
I’m working on my second traditional-looking tool chest, based on the Chris Schwarz design. On the first one, I used store-bought moulding to build the top dust seal and the bottom trim. This was expensive.
On the second tool chest, I resolved to make my own trim from some pine boards I have on hand. The only question was how to cut the bevel along one edge of each piece. Chris recommends using a table saw – and that is indeed an easy way to do it. But I don’t have a table saw and I didn’t want to rent one. It seemed like cutting a simple bevel would be something I can do with available tools.
My first idea was to use my lunchbox planer. I sprayed adhesive to a small piece of scrap wood and applied it to the back face of the trim piece in order to lift one side higher than the other. I ran it through the planer a couple times and it worked ok until the adhesive failed. After fiddling with some more adhesive and some blue tape, and still experiencing failure, I decided I could tackle this with the handplane.
Since the bevel was already started, the job was pretty easy. I guess this is the definition of hybrid woodworking. I simply clamped the trim piece to a workbench, adjusted the plane and started pushing it across the beveled face. After several minutes, the plane clogged up – but this only took a few minutes to fix. I got back to work and finished the job.
I can see I’m going to enjoy the rest of this build, and future projects, with the newfound skill on an old-fashioned tool.
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