Trying to learn the Art of Hand-Planing, Got a few questions
Hello everyone, long time lurker, first time poster.
I'm planing to make a few items which require a worktop (sideboard and a table) ,however I do not have a Planer/thickneser ( I used to have but I don't have anywhere where to put one now + want to keep the noise down due to neighbors)
I have a No4 old Record marples plane which I bought on ebay few years ago, but I would be open to idea of buying a larger no 6-7 jointer plane as well as I understand it's necessary if you want to properly do larger pieces.
I will be making the tops from rather good quality Pine CLS
Being CLS it comes with eased-up edges which I just ran through a P/T in past to get everything nice and square , but now I'm a bit stuck since I do not have a P/T and need a way to remove some stock off so its with square edges and the boards can be joined/glued together to form a top.
So my questions are:
1-What kind of size plane I would need (would be the best) If I wanted to square up and finish off for example a board that is 20cm wide and 150cm long?
2- With a proper sharp plane how long do you think such task would take if the board would have minimal cupping/twisting (but still always there is some..)? - I guess It takes me about 10-15minutes to square up 2sides with planer and than run it through a thicknesser the normal way.
3-In past after I fed it through a P/T I was left with a finish that needed a lot of sanding to remove all planer marks and other imperfections behind, do you think there would be less marks left if you were to do it with a razor sharp hand plane? I have heard that in some cases you don't even need sanding after planing with handplanes? It took me about 60-80 minutes to properly sand a small 40x100cm worktop in past and still I was left with some sanding marks and the finish wasn't really that perfect, that's A LOT of effort/dust and noise pollution.
4- Can you suggest an easy to learn/not expensive system on how to properly sharpen handplane blades? I have tried to sharpen mine in past with just some regular dry sandpaper as I didn't had anything else but the results weren't really good and I wasn't really sure what I'm doing, I want to try to learn how to sharpen one so it's properly razor sharp - I have seen some articles where they suggest some crazy expensive Ł50 stones and you need few of them..there's gotta be a cheaper way to do that but without involving sandpaper? I have seen some cheap Ł10 honing guides/stone kits they sell but from the reviews those doesn't seem very good?
6- What make/model plane/s would you suggest to do such task? I have a budget of maybe Ł50-Ł70 (used) to get a larger jointer plane, however I'm not sure what's the best stuff you could get for such budget? Under no circumstances I want to buy cheap and buy twice, I want good quality stuff that would last a lifetime and be a pleasure to use - However my budget probably doesn't stretches to get something like lie nielsen planes as they cost like Ł400 new and I'm not sure what's the used market for them.
7- Let's be realistic , Is it possible to get rid of an super noisy P/T along with even noisier chip collector which takes up HUGE amounts of space in total and go do it the old-school way with just a handplane and get good results in reasonable time? There's gotta be an easier way than keeping a large/noisy/expensive Planer thickneser & chip extractor combo to use it only for maybe 1hour a month.
That's a lot of questions... If someone would have the time to chime in that would be really helpful for a total beginner in hand-planes like myself.
Thanks in advance.
Check out this link:
Hi, just to tackle a couple things for now, if you learn how to burnish a card scraper you'll find a scraper way more fun/satisfing than sanding.
You'll want a long plane. I think a 6 is too short, a 7 might do it and an 8 best. I only ever had a 7 though.
When joining, you are trying to plane the joints 'hollow' which the long plane won't let you do, but at the end take 1 to 3 very light passes on only the middle of the board with the plane at an angle. Now the board is very slightly hollow and will glue up with a tighter joint.
You use the term squaring up which I think of as a P/T term. Hand joining, don't think about square. Example, three boards with two joints to make a table. Lay them out as you will glue them up, align the grain, preferred side up, etc. label them 1, 2, 3. Now pick up and turn vertical boards 1 AND 2 for the first joint, such that the back of B1 is flat against the back of B2 and you are looking down at both edges that will make up joint 1. Clamp and plane them more or less square, it doesn't matter if you are off even 15 degrees. Done, lay them back down in order and you may see they are two slightly different angles, but that equal exactly flat. Now pick up and turn vertical boards 2 AND 3 for the second joint, such that the back of B2 is flat against the back of B3 and you are looking down at both edges that will make up joint 2. Plane those.
It's really fun to do, more fun than a P/T.
Time spent picking boards that are not warped not cupped and not twisted (use winding sticks when picking them out) will save time making about 10 to 1.
This is the process you are describing, right?
Not all YouTube videos offer the best techniques. You should always lay your plane down on its side on the bench. You want to keep the blade razor sharp, throwing it down on your he bench blade first is not a good practice.
you need 5 planes ....
First you need a short 2 handed plane 8" to 10" in length called a smooth plane.
Second, a 14" long plane or a "jack plane"
Third a 18" to 20" long "jointer" plane for straiughtening long edges for glue ups.
Forth, a low angle block plane for beveling and various mall chores.
Fifth, a scrub plane with a curved blade for dealing with rough sawn or very twisted lumber for taking aggressive cuts:
OR just grind a 3" radius in a spare blade for your short plane, but it's a bit of a hassle changing blades back and forth.
There are others in between, but that's a basic set. There are some really expensive versions by Veritas as you see from the links. I found mine in garage sales, swap meets and ebay. I've owned my Millers Falls 14" plane since I was 16 years old, bought it new at the local hardware store.
In full disclosure, I don't hand plane a lot of my rough sawn boards, having a jointer and thickness planer, but when I need them I gladly use them, especially the block planes... you can't have too many. :smile3:
As far as technique goes, learn to read grain direction and plane "downhill" to avoid tearout. When joining boards for a top, have all the grains going in the same direction or you will not get a tearout free surface when leveling it out. End grain requires a razor sharp blade and a very stable support vise. plane it from each end to avoid tearout OR use a backer. Hold your plane at aslight angle or "skewed" to the grain direction and it will shave with less effort.
Avoid looking into the Japanese style planes, they will astound you with their ability to make paper thin shavings. It will only want you to buy all you can afford, an entirely new basic set AND a whole different way of using them... on the "pull stroke".>:)
The most important part of hand planing is learning how to sharpen the irons. Different planes require different types of irons and setups. For example, the No.4 smoothing plane needs a blade with a camber, while a No.5 jack plane has a straight edge but a small extension over the chip breaker. My advice is to start reading/watching youtube for the basics of hand plane sharpening and setups. Then you can start practicing what you learn, and soon you will acquire the knowledge to be a good woodworker. Happy shavings!
I have a shop full of equipment but I still enjoy using my hand tools. The typical store bought plane needs a lot of work tuning it up before it is enjoyable, but doable. I made my own wooden scrub plane, works fine. Make yourself a shooting board for both the long cuts and the miters. Get yourself a couple of good quality cabinet scrappers & learn to sharpen them. Faster than sanding. Make a scratch stock. Blades for scratch stock or cabinet scrapers can easily be made from old hand saws. A real joiners (cabinetmakers) bench is nice to have but about any heavy bench works (not like the one in the above video!) The nice thing about a joiner bench is the ability to hold your work with the two vices. Wooden planes are easy & fun to make. They can be made with hand tools, just like in the good ol' days. If your first ones don't come out the best, beat them up, age them and sell them as antiques at the flea market. I've bought plane irons on line but found them rather soft. Next I bought some tool steel and made my own, not all that hard. My hardening and tempering is less than an exact science but it can be done over until correct. You may end up having more fun making the tools than the furniture.
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