HTT017 – Getting Started with Molding Planes

On today’s show, I discuss sharpening angles, straightening a kinked hand saw, making large mortises for workbench legs, and getting started with molding planes.

From the Shop

  • Finally got a little bit of shop time to finish up some saws I started last year.
  • Rough electrical and rough plumbing inspections passed on the cabin.
  • Getting ready to build a hickory staircase.


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Listener Questions

  • Bill wants to know about strategies for sharpening angles.
  • Matt needs to straighten out a kink in the middle of a hand saw.
  • Bill is looking for the best way to make the large mortises in the legs of a workbench.

Main Topic

Today’s main topic is getting started with molding planes (check out Matt Bickford’s excellent FAQ and blog for lots of great information on this topic,

Feedback, Questions or Topic Suggestions?

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Posted in Chisels, Hand Saws, Sharpening and tagged , , , .


  1. Several years ago thinking I was pretty savvy about buying hand tools I bought a 30” wooden jointer plane and took it home to someday ease it into use in my shop. After a couple of years of it’s sitting on the shelf I decided to pull it down and inspect it closely and consider setting it up for use. It didn’t take long to realize that the sole was in WIND!!!! Not a lot but enough to see it when sighting down it. After seeing that it was put back up on the shelf and there it sits. Having worked with my hands all of my working life, at 61, I have realized that I would need to put it up and think over the process needed to put this plane back in use rather than jump in and do something that I would not be able to recover from. So, my question is what is the best way to salvage this plane and bring it back to life in my shop as a go to user?

    • So what’s important is that the plane’s sole is flat, free of wind, and generally aligned with (i.e. at the same angle to on both sides) the bed. The sides of the plane matter not in the grand scheme of things. They have nothing to do with the plane’s function.

      What I will generally do in these situations is plane the wind out of the sole of the plane and use the mouth of the plane as a gauge. If you are planing everything fairly evenly, the front and back of the mouth should stay parallel. If you plane the sole unevenly, the mouth will be wider on one side than the other. It doesn’t need to be perfect because there should be some lateral play in the iron anyway to allow for adjustment. I’d just get it close.

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