Learn to Use a PlaneAdmin 12021-04-27T18:46:04+01:00
Learn how to use a plane, the quintessential woodworker’s tool.
In this course, you will make a chopping board and, along the way, cover:
Setting up your hand plane for course stock removal, flattening surfaces and preparing them for a finish
The differences between bevel up, bevel down, Bedrocks and Baileys, scrubs, jacks and smoothers
Flattening a surface to very fine tolerances
Using a plough, and a rebate plane
How to shape boards with spoke planes
How to smooth boards to a tear-out free surface
How to sharpen blades
How to troubleshoot a plane and how to get a vintage plane up and running
How to sharpen and use a cabinet/card scraper
By the end of the class, you will feel confident in your ability to flatten, join and smooth any surface without resorting to abrasive papers.
Is My Plane Any Good?
If you happen to own a hand plane, please feel free to bring it in for an assessment. We can walk you through what you’ll need to do get it working. In most cases, it will just need sharpening, but occasionally a little extra TLC might be in order.
Planing Taster Class
If you want to learn how to use a plane but four days of planing fills you with horror, try out our one-day Planing Taster class instead.
Which Plane Do I Need?
Let’s keep this simple, for your first and arguably your only plane, a No5 or 5½ is a good start. Known as the jack plane, it covers all the things you’re likely to do with a hand plane, from flattening to smoothing. The shape of the blade is often more important than the length of the plane, so buy a second blade that you can shape for the task at hand.
You’ll find many second-hand planes on eBay for around the £40-50 mark. Look out for the older Record, Stanley and Millers Falls brands dating from pre-1980. Sadly, cost-cutting exercises have made some of the newer planes virtually unusable for fine work.
If you’re planning to buy a brand new or secondhand and don’t mind spending a bit more, then your choices are Veritas, Lie Nielsen, Clifton or the myriad planes that come out of the Luban factory in China with brand names such as – Wood River, Qiangsheng, Quangsheng, Luban, Jumma.
Expect to pay somewhere between £160 to £350 for a new one. These planes tend to hold their value so secondhand tools aren’t that much cheaper. Still, it’s worth keeping an eye out for one that’s under the market value. If this is going to be your only plane, then investing a sizable amount of money on a good quality plane makes sense.