Hand Plane Use


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For the last couple of weeks, I have been using a #5 to take the slight  twist and bow out of a walnut slab. I probably had three, 5 gallon buckets of shavings when completed. I used winding sticks and a good straight edge to get it close enough to run thru the ds, as it was too wide for my jointer and/or planer. It seems that this was easier accomplished, aside from the labor and liquid consumed, than putting an edge on a board. When you guys use a hand plane on the edge of a board, do you constantly refer to a square and straight edge to get it right, or does it just come naturally? 

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I check the surface of the board for high spots by rubbing the board on my bench, get the wobble out, then check the board with the side of my plane. If I'm getting long shavings out of the plane running in diagonals, I'll take a swipe long ways. Then I'll hit it with the jointer plane, again checking my progress with the side of the plane. Doesn't take long to get it "flat enough" to send through the planer or DS if it's too big for the planer. 

 

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I think Colin made a thread about a jig he made to make edge jointing by hand easier  :ph34r:

 

With very little hand tool experience, I obviously check with a square.  I usually suspect before I put the square on if I am off or not, but the square is absolutely necessary for me to be sure. 

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2 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

If you own a tablesaw, why would you even attempt to edge joint by hand? For me, "feeling" square has never worked.

Ross, I wanted to be like everyone else and be able to edge joint boards for the perfect glue up. Apparently I'm already like some, in that I do use the ts for that purpose. I've even taken my board out the vise and put it thru the ts to clean up my hand plane work:(

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One option is to edge joint it by hand, and clean up with the table saw. If you get the edge flat even if it is 85 degrees instead of 90 you can still run it against the fence, the leading edge will ride the fence fine. So you cut the other side to 90 and flip and cut again.

1 hour ago, wtnhighlander said:

If you own a tablesaw, why would you even attempt to edge joint by hand? For me, "feeling" square has never worked.

Edge jointing by hand is pretty fast and fun. Nice to have options. 

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I check constantly with a square and either a straight edge or the side of the jointer plane.

 

Mention of table saws in the handtool section of the forum is probably taboo. Otherwise it should be known as the Hybrid section :D

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When edge jointing I use a square to check at different parts of the board. I grab the plane in such a way that the middle phalanx of my left hand index finger makes contact with the face of the board I'm squaring against, acting like a fence. Only my thumb is on top of the plane, the rest of my hand is under it. That seems to help me "feeling" the squareness.

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I check very frequently once I get a smooth looking edge and a good shaving.  Both for square and for flatness. You may already be doing this, but I mark the out of square sections with a pencil, and just work that segment.  Same for high/low spots.  Checking and marking has really sped up how quickly I get to where I'm going.

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Thanks everyone for your input!

21 hours ago, Brendon_t said:

Well it's official,  now that Coop has gotten into the hand tool world, the bottom will indefinitely fall out.  If you've got boutique planes,  sell em now or risk their price going to cast iron salvage price.... the end is near. 

And no, your investments are secure!

I'll continue the unique up on it method, until the board gets almost too narrow to use, then I'll take it to the ts and correct the previous hours work:(

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The lazy way to do hand work is get it good enough to reference a machine surface. :P If you're going this route then don't settle for anything less than good enough. Make sure you incorporate this into your workflow so you can tell people you hand milled your lumber. Be sure to leave out the part where you used machines, nobody wants to hear about that. Also, be sure to take plenty of pictures with a hand plane sitting on top of the board, it makes for ultimate authenticity. 

In all seriousness, this was a twisted board that I made stable enough to pass through my industrial lunchbox planer. 

IMG_3395.jpg

IMG_3396.jpg

IMG_3400.jpg

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