Welcome to my blog Traditional WoodWorks

The purpose of this blog is to provide a resource tool for traditional woodworking practices, projects, tips and tricks.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Millers Falls Smoothing Plane

So I just spent an hour cleaning up my "new" Millers Falls smoother. OMG what a difference. I spent 40 bucks I think on that plane, and 3 others. They all have a little bit of rust and what not. Man oh man, after I spent the hour, this plane looks amazing. I used mineral spirits and a brillo pad, 0000 steel wool, some degreaser, and some johnsons paste wax. I will post pictures of it soon, when I get back from out of town. Everything cleaned up real nice. Only 3 more to go!!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Jack Plane Parts

Here is a list of the parts of a Jack Plane

1. Cutter, or bit, or blade, or plane-iron.

2. Cap, or plane-iron cap, or curling iron.

3. Cutter screw, or plane-iron Screw.

4. Clamp, or lever cap, or wedge.

5. Clamp screw, or cap screw.

6. Frog.

7. Y Adjustment.

8. Brass set screw, or brass adjusting nut.

9. Lever (for lateral adjustment).

10. Frog screw.

11. Handle.

12. Knob.

13. Handle bolt and nut.

14. Knob screw, or Knob bolt and nut.

15. Handle screw.

16. Bottom, or sole.

17. Toe.

18. Heel.

19. Throat.

20. Thumb piece, or clamp lever, or cam.


Hand Plane

The plane is a modified chisel. The chief difference in action between a chisel and a plane in paring is this: the back of the chisel lies close down on the surface of the wood that is cut, and acts as a guide; whereas, in the plane, the cutter is elevated at an angle away from the surface of the wood, and only its cutting edge touches the wood, and it is held and guided mechanically by the plane mechanism. In other words, a plane is a chisel firmly held in a device which raises the cutter at an angle from the work, regulates the depth of the cut, and favors the cutting rather than the splitting action. The plane has developed as follows: it was first a chisel held in a block of wood. This is all that oriental planes are now, simply a sharpened wedge driven into a block of wood. When the hole works too loose, the Japanese carpenter inserts a piece of paper to tighten it, or he makes a new block. The first improvement was the addition of a wooden wedge to hold in place the "plane-iron", as the cutter was formerly called. In this form, the cutter or plane-iron, tho still wedge-shaped, was reversed, being made heavier at the cutting edge in order to facilitate fastening it in the wooden plane-stock by means of the wooden wedge. Then a handle was added for convenience. Then came the cap, the object of which is to break back the shaving and thus weaken it as soon as possible after it is cut.


Hand Plane 101

The depth of cut is set by turning the knurled knob found behind the blade, try for fine thin shavings, making several light cuts.

To avoid tearout plane in the direction that the grain rises.

Fasten the material in a vise or use a Workmate because you need both hands to use the plane.

Types of Planes

Smoothing Plane

These are 8" to 9" long and 1 3/4" to 2" wide, Stanley # 3 and 4 fit into this category. Their short length makes them ideal for trouble spots where a board may have grain that changes direction and has to be planed in different directions along its length. These planes cut a very fine shaving giving less chance of tearout.

Jack Planes

These are similar looking to smoothing planes but have a longer base, ranging from 12" to 15" in length, they are used for rough shaping of boards so are made to remove large quantities of wood quickly. A Stanley # 5 is the basic jack plane.

Block Planes

Block planes are designed to shear off end grain as the blade is mounted at a very low angle making them very useful in trimming and fitting. Stanley # 9 1/2, 60 and 65 are examples of these planes.


Jointers are very long planes used to flatten and joint the faces of boards, they range from 18" up to 30" or more. Stanley # 6, 7 and 8 are examples.

Stanley #45

This versatile tool was sold from 1884 until 1962, it was advertised as seven planes in one.. Most old timers will tell you they spent more time setting them up than using them. Different blades were used to cut profiles and at the time it was a way of getting the job done. They have been mostly replaced by the router and are now generally collectors items, unless you are like me :)

Wooden Smooth Plane

The tactile feel and light weight make wood planes irresistible to lovers of hand tools. Wedged wooden plane blades are easy to adjust by tapping the metal button at the rear, or the wedge and blade with a wooden mallet.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Types of hand planes

Here is a general list of bench planes.

#1 - #8 are bench planes--what most people think of as planes #1 is the smallest, #8 is the largest, and the sequence is by size. In addition, in this range there are fractional numbers for inbetween sizes. #4-1/2 and #5-1/2 are larger than normal #4 and #5, respectively. #5-1/4 is smaller than normal #5. #1 through #4 are smooth planes. #5 is a jack plane. #6 is a try, or fore plane. #7 and #8 are jointer planes.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hand Plane Tune Up

The following are my essential steps to turn an old plane into a nice user too. Disassemble the entire plane and clean all the parts with Mineral Sprits, Kerosene or some other solvent that will not hurt the Japanning. For more heavily rusted areas, I like to use real fine sand paper to get it off, may take a bit longer, but you can control the amount of metal that is taken off. Then I would use steel wool to get of the rest. I start with 120 grit and finish with 220 with one grit between. I then will lap the sole and cheeks on 120 grit Wet Dry Paper on top of a glass plate and work may way up to 220 grit.. If you stripe the bottom of the sole with a Magic Marker you want to make sure you get good contact in front and behind the mouth and at the toe and hell of the plane. Then You want to get a Flat Mill Smooth File and run it lightly over the face of the frog checking for dings and high spots to flatten.. Now you also want to lightly run it over the surfaces that seat the frog to the base. You can add some loose lapping grit to this and slide the frog back and forth on its seat and check how much these areas touch. If the areas are less than 70% I would sharpen the end of a old file and try scraping some of the high spot off till you get a good area of contact. File or Lap the end of your Lever Cap flat.. this would be the area that presses on the Iron Cap what most people incorrectly call a Chip Breaker. Now do the same to the area of the Iron Cap that contacts the Iron with a File or Lapping it with Sand Paper on a flat surface. You can add a few degree back bevel on the Cap Iron edge so it contacts the Iron on a sharper edge so no chips have a starting point to started working there way in between the Cap and Iron and cause a jam. Also file the front of the Cap Iron so there are not dent of dings for the shaving to get caught on, trust me it helps. That is all that I would do to get an old plane in working order. Some would say degrease this or buff that, or even better wire wheel that. I do not collect planes to sit on a shelf and collect dust, I intend for them to be used. You want shiny, go to LN, you want a great user plane with loads of history, buy an old plane, tune it up into working order, and start making some shavings!!!!

Traditional Woodworks

Late Arrivals

So I received my "last" set of planes in the mail today, that I will be ordering for a while. They are:

Stanley #4 Smoother
Millers Falls Smoother
Stanley #110 Block Plane
Stanley #5 Corrugated

Still waiting on the Record Plow Plane from the UK, unknown date of receipt, but that IS the last one....... at least for a little bit anyway :) The next few posts on my blog I would like to start with techniques and tricks of how to tune up hand planes. Followed by some other stuff, do not want to give too much away. That is it for now.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Froe Instructional

A froe is a tool is used for splitting or riving wood. It is currently not a popular tool but was once considered the best tool by craftsmen who made shingles, clapboards, chair parts and many other products. Some people still prefer to use this smart old-fashion tool to kindle and make shingles because it is very precise allowing to split the wood exactly where you want. Safety is very important when using a froe as it is with anything else. So make sure that when you have the blade on the wood in one hand while preparing yourself to hammer into it, you have to keep your hand on the froe very firm and stable. This is very important to prevent the blade froe changing its angle and coming towards you. The risk of this happening is even bigger when there is a knot in the wood that the user is not aware of. Prevention is key, so remember and make sure that you're holding it firm and steady. You should also hammer with caution and start slow until you get the hang of things.
You should line the blade to the exact point you want to make the split. Hold the froe firmly and make sure that it is pointing away from you. Make a small hole in that point and use your other hand to hammer into the top of the froe. Start very slow assuring that it is going in the right direction and angle you wanted. Then slowly increase your speed until the piece completely separates.

There are three types of froes to consider and each has its specialty function. It is important to know the differences between them to find the one you that fits your crafting needs the most.

1) Straight Froes: this type of froe has a straight blade is it is known for how quickly ii divides short cross-sections of logs.

2) Curved Froes: These are also known as Cooper's Froes. They were used for making barrels but aren't looked as practical anymore. There were different sized curves. Each would make a different diameter for barrels and tanks. These are not sold anymore commercially.

3) Knife Froes: these are used to work on fine work. They tend to be heavier and have a cleaver shaped blade.

Froes are not very popular anymore and that is the reason why there are very few places to buy a froe. You should look online to buy a straight froe or a knife froe. These are sold for somewhere between $40 and $60. If you are looking for a curved froe or one for a cheaper price, try looking on ebay or an antique store.

My froe is from Highland Woodworking, and cost $50.00 plus shipping costs.


Friday, January 7, 2011

New Addition

I received my Millers Falls 140 corrugated plane today in the the mail, man is it sweet, my very first corrugated sole plane, Its my "sole plane"
Note: should be receiving my grouping of four planes hopefully tomorrow, my Record plow plane is coming from the UK, so I am unaware of when that will arrive. Updates soon.


"Hand planes are very modern, they are all cordless"
"Measure you happiness with smiles per board foot"

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Plane Picture

Here are the photos of my current planes, just recieved my 5 1/2 Stanley in the mail.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just could not help myself, I scored some sweet deals this past week to "complete" my tool list. Obviously, one could justify it as never being completed. Here they are:

Stanley Bailey No. 5 1/2 Jr. Jack Plane
Stanley No. 5 Corrugated
Stanley No. 4
Millers Falls 140 Corrugated Jack Plane
Millers Falls Smoothing Plane
Record No. 43 Plow Plane

And it continues,