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Anybody used hand planes?


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If you setup the planes correctly,, and get in a few hours of practice on scrap, you can expect significantly better results than any power planer can offer. There's a definate learning curve, but if you really know what you're doing, a hand planed surface is *the* ultimate way to showcase beautiful wood.

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I bought a hand plane a while ago and I still have a hard time to get 100% flat surfaces.

Still looking for a tutorial on the web...

You can read pages and pages of verbage on technique, but it's far better to get some offcuts of decent hardwood and try to get them flat. This is definately a case of 'practice makes perfect'. That said, the things I got from the web which helped were:

-Keep the mouth of the plane small. Move the frog forward until the blade sits in position with barely enough clearence for the shavings. It will clog more if you take short strokes, but the tearout will be reduced and you'll produce nice curly shavings :D

-Lap the sole of the plane on wet'n'dry glued to plate glass. Most mass produced planes do not mave flat soles,and having a flat sole is very helpfull. Make sure the frog and blade are in position and tightened (with the blade retracted!) before lapping.

-Keep your plane iron sharp! I scary sharpened mine, and it performs much better. It's much easier to keep the edge flat and true with this system.

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A hand plane is THE way to go in my opinion. I have a electric planer, but I only use my hand plane and my drawknifes most of the time, because they give way more accurate and controllable results. The trick for getting good results with hand planers is to adjust the knife so that it's cutting depth is minimal. Just short before the point of cutting nothing at all. I used to think that hand planes don't work that well and my fault was that I set the blade for a way too deep cut. The bottom line is that I could not work without my hand planes.

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One of the most important things my dad has taught me is to keep checking your work. Inevitably you will find that the end furthest away from you will be planed moreso you gotta keep turning the wood and remember to apply pressure with your front hand when closest to you and as you move away transfer the pressure to your back hand.

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