Some might call this type of hand plane exotic, eccentric — even antiquated, but Japanese planes are attracting increasing notice and attention, even in today’s world where modern tools and machines offer instant ease and results. The Japanese plane, known as Kanna to the native speaker, appears to be simplicity itself. Historically, this plane was comprised of only two parts, the Dai or body, and the blade. But this apparent simplicity is deceptive because the designing and crafting of each part is a complex and exacting process steeped in history.

Fortunately, using a Japanese plane, at least at a basic level, is far easier than making one. In this video, Japanese tool expert Craig Vandall Stevens introduces us to this interesting, useful, even powerful hand tool. He’ll break down the basic construction of the plane and take a closer look at the uniqueness of the Japanese forge welded iron & hardened steel blade. Craig also demonstrates the correct methods — the hand & body positions and the unique pulling motions for enabling maximum success. (6 Minute Woodworking Video)

(11) Comments    Read More   

Use a Smoothing Plane to Prepare Wood For Final Finishing

Before the widespread use of sandpaper (or glass paper as it was formerly known), artisans used smoothing planes to prepare their work for final finish. It was the “smoother” that the master journeymen of the past used to achieve the mirror-like finishes seen in many examples of the finest historical wood masterpieces.  So with such a pedigree, it seems a shame that this specialized hand plane has been all but replaced by the widespread availability and appealing usability of sandpaper.

Now don’t get me wrong, I use sandpaper as much as anyone, but despite sandpaper’s dominance, there remain good reasons to use a finely tuned smoothing plane for some of your projects. One is the simple pleasure of creating whisper thin shavings from wood. Plus, the smoother makes no dust so you eliminate the messy and dangerous particles that can clog up your shop, your tools, and your lungs. But perhaps the most attractive reason to consider this tool is the superior finish smoothing planes can impart to the finest of work. In this video, furniture maker Craig Vandall Stevens reveals the secrets to using a smoothing plane for final finish work. Craig’s mastery of this tool for final surface preparation is inspiring. After watching his amazing demonstration, you may become tempted to master the technique too. (4.5 Minute Woodworking Video)

This video demonstration features a Japanese smoothing plane, but the methods and concepts described apply directly to any smoothing plane including western style metal & wooden hand planes.

(5) Comments    Read More   
Filed Under (Hand Planes) by Keith

Learn how to get peak performance out of your hand plane. This video overview will show you how to dismantle a typical metal bodied woodworker’s plane and then clean it, hone (fettle) the sole to optimal flatness, and then reassemble all the parts accurately and confidently. Even old or damaged planes can be repaired, adjusted, and made like new again. It’s easier than you think.

In this quick video, I discuss the parts of the handplane including the sole, mouth (or throat), handle, knob, cap iron, cap lever, cap-iron (or chip-breaker), blade, frog, and various adjustments screws. I’ll then demonstrate the easily mastered techniques that will bring new life into old planes – the same process I used to revive a once rusty and neglected, 1907 Bailey (Stanley Tool Works) #5 Jack Plane I found in a junk bin for $25. Come along for the ride, fix what’s wrong, and you’ll be planing like the pros in no time. (10 Minute Video)

(26) Comments    Read More