Foundations of Traditional Woodworking Series
Hand Plane Foundations Class Overview
Hand Plane Foundations focuses on the fundamentals of using bench planes. This course covers the selection, sharpening, tuning and use of hand planes through a combination of discussions, demonstrations and hands-on practice. Click here to learn about the other classes in this series.
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Hand Plane Foundations Syllabus
As a student of traditional woodworking the ability to sharpen, set up, and use a hand plane is a very important skill. Hand planes are used to dress lumber, straighten edges, create and fine tune joinery, make moldings, and prepare surfaces for finishing. Even if you primarily use machines for the initial planing of rough lumber, hand planes can significantly reduce the amount of sanding required before applying a finish.
In this class I’ll introduce the different types of bench planes and discuss their setup and use, focusing on the planes you’ll need most as a new hand tool woodworker. I’ll cover sharpening the iron, setting up the chip breaker, and how to tune the tool up to perform at its best.
To get the most benefit from this class, I recommend that you have at least one hand plane of your own to work on. An 8 or 9-inch Stanley style smoothing plane, or a 14-inch jack plane are the sizes that I recommend. If you have a smoothing plane and a jack plane, I’ll show you how to set the jack plane up in the traditional manner, to be used for rapid removal of material from a board.
I don’t recommend using a brand new premium plane for the tune-up portion of the class because you won’t need to do much with it other than sharpen the iron. I also don’t recommend using a new plane from the hardware store or home center as these are not typically quality tools, and are usually not capable of functioning to the standards required for fine woodworking.
Instead, I recommend using a quality vintage bench plane, such as an old Stanley Bailey, Millers Falls, Sargent, or Record. These tools are very commonly found at flea markets and antique stores, they’re available through vintage tool dealers, and you can find them on ebay.
There are no prerequisites for this class. Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced woodworker looking to incorporate more hand tools into your work, your competence using hand planes will benefit from the topics and exercises covered in the class.
- Hand Plane Anatomy
- The Mechanics of Hand Planing
- The Types of Bench Planes
- Making Winding Sticks
- Tuning a Bench Plane
- Milling Boards with Hand Planes
- Making Edge Joints
- Building a Two-tone Cutting Board
- Lessons 30
- Quizzes 0
- Duration Lifetime access
- Skill level All levels
- Language English
- Students 67
- Assessments Yes
Hand Plane FoundationsOutstanding course! Takes a lot of the mystique out of using hand planes. Plus, you get to watch a master at work. Seeing the actual movements of using a hand plane helps me to build a solid foundation of technique as I begin my journey into hand joinery. Thanks, Bob. Great job!