Hand planes are time-honored woodworking tools that can do a wide range of tasks from sizing and preparing stock to cutting and fitting joinery, smoothing, decoration, shaping and more.
If you are a beginner in woodworking, then you should invest in a good quality hand plane to start with. These planes can be pricey, especially if they are made in India or the North America.
A block plane is a small, one-handed, versatile hand plane that’s capable of smoothing curved surfaces and chamfering square edges. It’s also great for trimming miters and cleaning up saw cuts.
A well-made and properly set up block plane is one of the most useful hand tools a woodworker has in their shop. Once you learn to use it, you’ll wonder how you lived without it!
It’s easy to tune up a block plane and make it ready for action. Here’s how:
To tune up a block plane, disassemble the tool and clean all the parts with mineral spirits. Scrub them if necessary with a brass brush or steel wool.
Then, reassemble the plane and check its sole for flatness. If you see scratch patterns across the sole, it’s a sign that the sole isn’t flat and needs some more sanding and polishing.
The Smoothing Plane is a woodworking tool used in the final stage of woodworking to remove fine shavings. It is also used to make the surface ready for a final finish.
These planes are usually 8″ to 10″ long with an iron that is about 2″ wide. They have the perfect width to create a glass-smooth surface without using any sandpaper.
This is an important step in making the surface ready for a finish because it prevents the wood from cracking and splitting. The iron of the smoothing plane is crowned (slightly cambered) with no sharp edges that can leave unsightly tracks on the wood’s surface.
Traditional iron smoothing planes have remained very similar in design since the second half of the 19th century. However, over the years a variety of different planes have appeared on the market that have evolved slightly and added enhancements or changes to suit mass production techniques. These included the transitional plane which bridged the wooden design of the plane with more modern traditional iron smoothing planes.
A Jointing Plane, also known as a try plane or long plane, is a longer version of a standard hand plane. Its length allows it to ride over peaks and valleys on uneven stock without following them, which makes it a great tool for accurately truing up long edges and leveling wide boards prior to squaring them for edge-jointing.
It’s also a good flattening plane, especially when used on large panels. Because it’s so long, it can slice off the high spots and leave only the surface smooth for further finishing with a smoother.
Before power jointer machines became popular, woodworkers used hand planes for many of their milling jobs. They were more efficient than sanding or using an electric jointer, and they left better surfaces.
Low Angle Jack Plane
The Low Angle Jack Plane is an extremely versatile and essential tool for the woodworker. It performs trimming, flattening and stock removal tasks accurately and effortlessly.
It is also an invaluable tool for smoothing figured timbers. This is done by using the small square teeth on the blade which leave a textured surface which can be smoothly finished with a finely set plane or a scraper.
The body is fully stress-relieved ductile cast iron and is accurately machined so that the sole is flat and the sides are square to it. The sheer mass of the plane, combined with the large side wings, makes it both more stable and more effective than its predecessors.