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Although there are a variety of styles, four basic planes include the fore plane, jack plane, smoothing plane and block plane.
Planes have many uses; however, their primary purposes are surfacing or smoothing wood surfaces. Although there are several styles, the four basic planes include: block plane, jack plane, fore plane and smoothing plane.
Woodcraft Supply’s bull-nose block plane allows you to get into tight corners and cut right to the edge. Position the blade and iron assembly in the plane body and adjust the depth with the turn screw. Make sure the plane blade is locked square in the housing by using the lever on the handle. If at all possible, always plane with the grain of the wood or with the grain slanting in the direction of the stroke.
Begin your stroke with the blade off the end of the surface and with downward pressure applied to the front knob or handle.
Maintain your planes in good shape by an occasional light oil application to the bed and adjustments. A block plane is probably the first hand plane you'll use when getting started in woodworking.
In episode eight of our free video series, Getting Started in Woodworking, we demonstrate some of the more common uses for the block plane, identify its parts, and show you how to tune up a block plane.
The blade on a block plane, (click to enlarge drawing) commonly referred to as a plane iron, is mounted with the bevel side up to produce a cutting angle of about 37 degrees in a standard plane and 25 degrees in a low-angle plane. Block planes range in quality and price from hardware-store versions that cost around $35 to high-end brass planes that cost as much as $250. Additionally, buying an aftermarket plane iron, such as those made by Hock Tools, can improve the quality of a hardware-store plane considerably. A block plane handles many tasks, including some that would be difficult or unsafe to perform with power tools. You hold it in one hand, as shown in picture 2, with the rounded top of the iron cap (see the Plane Parts illustration, bottom right of the article) in your palm. These low-angle planes slice through wood more easily, but may cause tear-out along the grain. Stanley 12 136 No Results I xvi of 16 Today Stanley builds on their rich history offering caliber hand planes true to Pearl Mae Bailey and his Learn about Tuning metallic work bench Planes.
But, shaving down to the line with a block plane results in a nicer surface and a truer edge.

More and more woodworkers are bringing power jointers and planers into their shops, often pushing hand planes into dusty corners. A sharp, properly adjusted hand plane allows a woodworker to peel a whisper-thin shaving from wood while leaving a surface of unsurpassed quality. The block plane owes its handy size in part to the shallow angle between the blade--or iron--and the sole. Even so, a block plane's cutting edge meets the wood at about the same angle as a bench plane's. Wood can be smoothed by other means as well, including power planing, hand sanding and using scrapers. The curling iron not only adds stiffness to the blade, but also causes the shavings to curl up and out, rather than clogging the mouth of the plane. One method of adjusting for depth is to place a piece of thin cardboard or stiff paper on a flat, smooth surface and under the plane.
Place a piece of thin cardboard or stiff paper in a flat surface, position the plane on it, then adjust the blade to that thickness. Start with pressure on the front, increase to equal pressure as you continue through the stroke, then apply more pressure on the back handle as you complete the stroke.
Rely on the block plane to wipe out the wavy machine-milling marks on lumberyard stock, leaving it satin-smooth.
Position it in the plane's body, bevel up, engaging the appropriate notch over the tang on the adjuster, when applicable. And, among hand planes, the block plane ranks near the top for versatility and convenience. If gaps appear between the back of the iron and the back of the mouth, or if the iron rocks in the throat, remove the iron and carefully file down the high spots in the plane.
Rent the games begin starting with the bread and butter of Stanley upon which they built an empire the Bailey patent bench plane in its various configurations.
When sawing a tapered part, many woodworkers like to cut slightly outside the layout line, then sand down to it. WOOD® magazine's master craftsman, Chuck Hedlund, even sharpens flat carpenter's pencils with a block plane. Have a Stanley 103 block plane that was broken at the throat, brazed by an excellent welder, and works very well afer truing the base.
Some block planes feature an adjustable mouth, which allows the plane to be tuned for different cuts; Close the mouth and lower the blade for finish cuts or open the mouth and extend the blade for thicker rough cuts. While the higher-priced models are likely to perform better out of the box and include higher-quality machining and parts, low-cost block planes can perform well if tuned up properly using the techniques detailed in this episode.

A sharp plane iron is also a critical feature, and we detail one foolproof sharpening technique in episode seven of this series. Clamp the plane upside down in your vise, and you can plane parts barely large enough to grasp, as shown in picture 3. Instead of taking the door off to rework it, just mark the high spot and shave it off with your block plane. Plus, its diminutive size makes it easy to use with one hand for all types of woodworking tasks, including smoothing edges, breaking corners, trimming one surface flush to another, cleaning up end grain, and fitting joinery. A bull-nose block plane has the blade at the front edge, and can be used for smoothing in tight places, or up against another surface. Although these are no longer being made, the old Stanley planes are still around, if you can find them, but the cost is high. Woodcraft Supply has a chisel and plane-blade sharpening guide that helps to maintain a consistent angle. This prevents an arched edge caused by the plane rocking up at the beginning and down on the end of the stroke.
I will probably spend a few hours getting the planes sharp and ready for the next huge task. Planing bevels or chamfers by hand often is almost as fast as machining them, considering setup time.
When any project part would fit better if it was just a smidgen narrower or shorter, the block plane can save the day. Planes come in a wide variety of sizes, styles and designs for specific woodworking purposes.
Angstrom unit general description of stuff and nonsense to look for when examining a bench plane is listed under the 3 smoother.
Planes can range in price from about $25 for new, economical models to planes that cost several hundred dollars.
A circular plane has a flexible steel sole and is used for planing concave surfaces such as chair bottoms. A plough or tongue-and-groove plane has an adjustable blade guide allowing you to cut dadoes and rabbets for tongue-and-groove joints.

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