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Bench Planes

If you can get your wood already planed, you can glue up boards, for example, with little effort - and that's really the way to go. But sometimes you need to do it yourself. That's where a bench plane comes in.

Besides joining edges, you can dress surfaces before carving and if you are lettering it might be the nearest thing you'll get to an eraser or delete button...


| 17 September 2019 19:23

Imran - No, you are right, we don't have anything on our site specifically about joining wood. To be honest, I don't use these sorts of planes for joining my material, whether a panel or a block. (I will use them for fine tuning and cleaning up surfaces before I carve into them, however.)
I get my wood ready machine planed, or have it done by a joiner, In the long run this is so much quicker, better and more efficient than anything I could do by hand that it's worthwhile.

Joining word is a basic woodworking skill and nothing really to do with woodcarving. I will think more about making a video about hand-joining but for now there are lots of videos online that you can use to find out how to do it - probably much better than I can present here.

| 17 September 2019 13:24

Hi Chris. I was not sure where to put this question. In your tools and technique book you have a nice chapter on joining wood. Do you have a video demonstrating the technique? Thanks.
Best, imran

| 16 August 2017 14:52

Thanks for this video, very helpful knowing how the parts go together and what to look for when purchasing.

| 20 August 2013 16:11

Chris - thanks for this extra info on tools not normally thought of as being in the carver's repetoire. I might add that planes are complex tools which require a bit of knowledge with respect to buying and tuning but, as you mention, well worth learning to use. You can get new, high quality ones (we know who the makers are) and know what you are getting but pay dearly for them, or you can save substantial money buying a used one at a flea market or garage sale (most of which are better made than many made today; I see you have a nice, old Stanley-Bailey). Even a seemingly rusty, beyond-hope plane, as long as it's solid and complete, can usually be brought back to life with a bit of elbow grease. However, a gorgeous-looking one may have fatal flaws such as a cracked or warped body or a mouth that has been broken or improperly altered. In the case of old planes it's not a matter of "you get what you pay for" as much as "you get what you know about".

I'd also add that some people like to just barely nick the corners off the blade (I know you are big on keeping corners on gouges and chisels!) in order to keep it from leaving score marks/ripped fibers along the edge of the cut as you plane a surface.

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