Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Planing Tips

This morning, Gerry and I were talking about handplaning and I showed him a technique that I thought worth sharing. There is really only one way to push a handplane, all of the pressure on the front at the beginning of the stroke, even pressure in the middle and pressure down on the back of the plane at the end of the stroke. This is easy to say and hard to do. In the photo you can see Gerry demonstrating the way that I've found to practice. Take a small block of wood with a flat end, set the plane so that the blade is completely retracted (you don't want to cut in this exercise) and try to pass the plane across the small end without it tilting off at the beginning or end of the stroke. About ten passes later you should get the idea. Now it's up to you to use this same stroke whenever planing. There is one major problem that occurs, as humans with a sharp tool in our hands, we want to see the tool cut wood. So we abandon the proper technique in order to take a slice. It's more important to cut the right wood. Trust the plane and a proper technique, the wood will cut where it is supposed to.

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