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.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

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.


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