You may have a hand plane in your garage that you’ve been meaning to learn how to use. But maybe it seems like too much of a hassle, or you think hand planes are difficult for beginners. Well, the truth is hand planes are actually very easy and fun to use! In this article, we’ll discuss 6 tips for using hand planes that you should know about before going any further. So without further ado… let’s get started!
1. Where to Start?
You should start by reading our hand plane buying guide, which covers what you need to know before going out and purchasing a new hand plan. Then, take a look at our essential hand planes kit so that you have all the tools you’ll need for a successful project. The tools in this kit are our hand plane recommendations and are the most used by professionals and beginners alike.
2. Wood Thickness
The first thing you should know when using a hand plane is that it’s important to set the thickness of your wood in the correct position on the plane before starting. This will help ensure accurate results when shaving down your wood.
The thickness of the wood should be set in the front end of the plane, this is where you will engage or disengage your blade. If it is not in this position when planing, you will damage the mouth of your plane, which means that it won’t cut properly. If you are unsure, take a look at our guide on how to maintain your hand plane.
Even if you are only planing one piece, make sure that the thickness of the wood is satisfactory at all times. You don’t want every time you use your plane it nicks up the mouth of your tool. To avoid this, place a thicker board underneath your thinner boards. This will ensure that your blade always remains sharp and you can avoid damaging the mouth of your plane.
3. Keeping Your Hand Plane Sharp
There’s nothing more frustrating than using a hand plane and having trouble shaving off thin pieces of wood because the blade isn’t sharp enough. We all know how annoying it is to be able to see an edge of a board with your eyes, but being unable to finish the job simply because your blade is dull. That’s why it’s important to know how to use a hand plane properly and keep it sharp as long as possible.
There are several things you can do in order to ensure that your blades stay sharp. The first is to soak your blade in oil overnight once you are done using it. It’s also important that when you change the blades, you clean off all of the excess metal fragments. This will ensure that there’s no debris left on your blade which can cause major problems for future usage.
4. How to Use Your Plane
After you know how to use a hand plane in terms of the wood thickness, it’s time to learn how to actually use it. This has everything to do with taking thin pieces off your board using the side of your blade. Be careful when doing this because once one piece is removed, there might be sharp edges left which can be harmful.
There are two ways to use a hand plane: a push cut and a pull cut. A push cut involves moving the blade of your plane into the wood from underneath it while taking off thin pieces. To do this, you will need to press down on the handle of your tool at all times to ensure that your blades remain flat enough to remove the blade. A pull cut is when you move the blade of your plane into it from above, meaning that after each shave you will need to lift up your tool and reposition.