This was a hands-on clinic. Most participants brought their own hand planes to the session. NOTE: Please forgive the hum in the video – this day was cold (38°F), the furnace was running, and the fan hummed. I was unable to filter out this sound completely, although it is now a little better than in the original, raw video. Additional note (added Nov. 22): A member of the WoodNet woodworking forums suggested that the sound is quite a bit better if you use a headset and adjust the balance controls.
In this episode, Deneb Puchalski, of Lie-Nielsen Toolworks, shows the basic set of bench planes (scrub, jack, smoother, jointer, and bevel-up), and their adjustments and use. He then goes on to flatten one side of a board, while describing each step and the importance of every detail he covers.
Make sure to take note of the hints he gives that will save us time, energy, and materials (all are in the video):
- Don’t lift the hand plane completely off the board; instead, tilt it slightly, and pull back on one edge toward you.
- Use a small block and test the cut with one edge of the iron at a time. If you must adjust the depth of cut, test again using this small block.
- Remove high spots on the board as he suggests, to minimize the risk of introducing other problems, such as twist and (new) low spots.
- Adjust the iron cap so that it is approximately 1/16″ above the cutting edge of the iron. Don’t over-tighten it!
- Do not over-tighten anything on the hand plane. Tighten all components sufficiently, but only to prevent iron movement.
- Lay the planes on the sole, on the workbench, not on their sides.
- Keep the irons sharp, and sharpen when needed, or when they must be sharpened.
- Some irons must be sharpened more often than others. Do not delay sharpening.