Hand Plane Foundations

$ 400.00
Edge planing the box side

Foundations of Traditional Woodworking Series

Dates: Contact me to schedule this two day class

Tuition: $400

Materials Fee: $25 (wood only)/$100 (wood and vintage hand plane)

Class Overview:
This class focuses on 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.


As a student of hand tool 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, fine tune joinery, create moldings, and prepare surfaces for finishing. 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 we’ll go over the different types of hand planes and discuss their uses, focusing on those planes you’ll need most as a new hand tool woodworker. We’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, we recommend bringing at least one hand plane of your own to work on. An 8 or 9-inch smoothing plane, or a 14-inch jack plane are the sizes we recommend. If you have a smoothing plane and a jack plane, bring them both and we’ll show you how to set the jack plane up as a traditional fore plane, used for rapid removal of material from a board.

We do not recommend bringing a brand new premium plane because you will not need to do much with them other than sharpen the iron. We also do not recommend bringing a new hardware store plane as these are not typically quality tools, and therefore are not capable of functioning to the standards required for fine woodworking. Instead, we recommend bringing a quality vintage bench plane, such as an old Stanley, Millers Falls, Sargent, or Record. These tools are very commonly found at flea markets, antique stores, and 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.

Topics Covered

  • Hand Plane Anatomy
  • Sharpening
  • Tuning a Bench Plane
  • The Mechanics of Hand Planing
  • Hand Plane Appliances
  • Making Winding Sticks
  • Milling Boards with Hand Planes
  • Making Edge Joints
  • Building a Cutting Board

Course Features

  • Lessons 0
  • Quizzes 0
  • Duration 2 Days
  • Skill level All levels
  • Language English
  • Students 0
  • Assessments Yes
Curriculum is empty

I'm a passionate woodworking enthusiast of over 30 years, with an interest in the methods of pre-industrial joiners and cabinetmakers. I'm a furniture maker, teacher, and author, and I share my thoughts and experiences with the goal of educating and inspiring others who are pursuing the craft of traditional woodworking. In addition to writing about and teaching traditional woodworking, I also build commission pieces for customers, and speak at woodworking shows and seminars.


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$ 400.00