Using a hand plane seems like a lost art. Even many experienced woodworkers have never picked up a hand plane. So whether you are a beginner just starting, or you’ve been working wood for years with power tools, now is the time to master the art of planing wood without machines. Handplanes open up a new world of possibilities.

In this video, I demonstrate how to secure your work to a bench, adopt the correct stance, and use the right method to grip the plane. You’ll also learn how to use winding sticks to straighten bowed, twisted and warped stock. Success comes from a combination of proper tool selection, tuning, and set-up, as well has your physical technique. (8 Minute Video)

(13) Comments   


awesome video. very informative!


It’s great that there is a web site that actually shows you how to use the tools! I am new to woodworking (so know almost nothing), so I’m glad for your website. Please add much more!!!

Paul Belgrado

Thanks for the great video lesson Keith! By the way did you build your workbench for left hand work?

Keith’s Note: Paul, you are very observant. Yes, I did build it to accommodate my left-handedness. For us “south paws” (as we say in this part of the world) it’s tough to use a right-hand workbench. After many years, I finally decided I would build my own bench so I could finally work the “right” way.


I know you don’t advise using a metal worker’s vise, but if if you had more than one of these vises wouldn’t it be possible to plane more securely?

Keith’s Note: I suppose that anything that would help to stabilize the workpiece would be helpful. So by all means try that if this is what you have at hand. But be careful you don’t nick your carefully sharpened blades on the metal jaws. :-)

Robert Brady

Just found your site. Where have I been???
Excellent content and superb video quality. Can’t wait to dig in do some learning!

Marcelo da Sillva

Awesome demonstration, and I’m look forward for more hand planes tips.

Alex Ruiz

Keith: I have finally started developing my own workshop here in San Diego and I am always looking for good advice from a seasoned woodworker. I have had a jack plane for about five years but only used it once. Thanks for the great videos on this unique tool. PS – I still remembered the beginning shop you showed me many years ago in your garage. And you are still at it!! You rock…

Keith’s Note: Hi Alex, great to hear from you.

What type of plane do you use for a 8″ wide by 4′ long twisted board?

I wasn’t sure what type of plane you were using.

Keith’s Note: At minute mark 4′ 13″ I introduce how to use a jack plane to take out twist. Generally, I prefer to use a jack plane for removing twist and getting the board roughed in. Then I grab a jointer plane (the big guy) to fine tune the board and get it dead flat. I often use the hand jack plane for this purpose even if I’m going to eventually run the board through a stationary jointer (floor standing power jointer). For me it is a quicker – and often safer way to get an unruly board flat.


You look like you are holding the plane on an angle as you push it forward, but you don’t mention or explain it in the video. Can you explain? One would assume that you’d just use it parallel to the piece but clearly that’s wrong.

Keith’s Note: Keeping the plane aligned parallel is often considered the proper way to work. And I do often hold the plane that way. But sometimes I orient the plane as demonstrated here, because if feels comfortable with that particular board and grain. I go by feel. Try different angles and see how it responds to your workpiece.

Mark Hagy


I too am left handed and find your website a fantastic source of information and training. Thanks for a great resource.

Mark Hagy

[…] How To Use A Hand Plane – Video […]


good good good good good good


Thank you!!!!! The coverage of the absolute basics, the ability to watch the process on video, your excellent presentation, and your orientation toward commonly available equipment (like sandpaper taped to a flat stone, rather than a waterstone sharpening station), made things clear and doable for me that weren’t clear or doable from other information I’d found in books and on the Web. I’m new to planes, and am setting up a pre-WWII E.C. Simmons Keen Kutter K5 (Bedrock) #5 plane. Your videos were the breakthrough.