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Thread: What is a plane ?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Midlands of South Carolina
    Posts
    271

    Question What is a plane ?

    I am not quite that uninformed, but close. They seem to be really neat tools.

    In the past, I have been mostly utilitarian based with woodworking. Basic bookshelves, coat racks, etc that work well but would never be classified as fine furniture. Used power saw, power sander, power drill/screw driver. Did I mention power tools?

    I recently started turning, and now I am "getting into" the wood and working my way into the finer side of woodworking, so I am trying to learn as much as possible while building the shop. Using hand tools when appropriate would seems to be more enjoyable than powering thru for speed.

    I know what a basic plane looks like, and I know it is used for smoothing wood - but every time a read another posting or article, there seems to be a new title/version for it: Jack plane, Jointer plane, Scrub plane, Smoothing plane, Block plane, etc. Then there are frogs, totes, chipbreakers, etc.

    If I want to start to learn to use a plane, how should I proceed? Buy one (which one), make one (which one), find a class, find a tutor, wait until later, buy a book/DVD, YouTube, or don't bother since power tools made planes obsolete?

    Really starting from scratch with this...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    Posts
    8,529
    Oh where to start. I guess you should read Patrik's, "Panes blood and gore". Go to this site to start.
    every shop should have a few. I only two but they can make your life easier. Very often I can grab my block plane or my Jack plane and accomplish a task faster then it would be for me to take out and set up one of my power tools. Plus nothing is more satisfying then making curlies that are paper thin and the only noise you hear is the soft swoosh, swoosh. I can get a finish using a plane that requires no sanding. I recently used my jack to flatten a table top in very little time that other wise would have caused me to take the same top down to someone with a wide belt sander, pay them 100 dollars and taken me half a day to drive over waite and bring bring it back to the shop.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,472
    first stop is patrick's blood and gore website,, yu will and can ask him anything yu dont know..

    http://www.supertool.com/StanleyBG/stan0a.html
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  4. #4
    Check these out

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/home...s/1273861.html

    http://www.woodmagazine.com/woodwork...-plane-basics/

    http://www.handplane.com/wooden-bench-plane-basics

    And if you really want to know how many planes are available...

    http://www.supertool.com/StanleyBG/stan9.htm


    You opened a can of worms and "Fightin' Words" to some

    Belay the idea the Hand Planes are a thing of the past or replaced by powertools, as although I do most of my work with powertools there is seldom if ever any work done w/o a hand plane of some sort slicing wood, I keep a small block plane in my work apron pocket as I will constantly find a need.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
    Posts
    6,098
    Don great site, bookmarked it. Rick, thanks for asking, planes are something I plan on wrapping my hands on and head around someday when I have some time.
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    DSM, IA
    Posts
    5,719
    Rick, I recently inherited a few planes and I want to learn how to use them at some time as well. Thanks for asking, now I have a starting point!

    And thanks to all who relayed info too.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,256
    Thanks for asking the question Rick. Ya got the main boys giving you the best advice.

    Hey Don thanks for your post now i have the economic justification for that there jointer plane i bought on Ebay and paid too much for. Heck it would have cost me as much to get my benchtop sanded and that would have only been a one time use. I still have the jointer for another project.

    Rick no body warned you this is a vortex equal to them spinny things. Now you have been warned. Ask Toni and I ......ebay + planes = poorhouse but lots of fun.

    I posted some of my amateur experiences recently just look up my posts i dont feel comfortable with quoting them here. But you will get an idea of what i have been through with sharpening and playing with two planes also the tips i got on how to buy them on Ebay.

    Bill you just disclosed another source for planes on ebay thanks errr i am not so sure about that.

    Given the fact that you still in the building of your shop stage Rick you have lots of time to be a patient buyer and shop carefully. I paid the price of being overzealous but wanted to get my bench done.
    cheers

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,472
    Rick, follow this <LINK> to see some of the many ways that yu can get hooked into this vortex.. it happens so fast yu dont realize it,, and if yu get to where yu really use them its over yur dun fer
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    15,807
    Good question, and for an answer that you can lug around and "go to" for reference, I would suggest ......

    >> Garret Hack's "The Handplane Book" <<

    ...... well worth the $17 or so it costs.

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Catalunya
    Posts
    4,632
    Apart from all that has been said, I would define a plane as a blade holder.
    A handle holds a gouge blade in a specific way, a different one holds and axe, and a different one holds a knife blade and so forth.

    So a plane is a different "handle" for a blade, if you look at it under this perspective there is no mystery at all, but lots of fun building and using it.
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

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