To complete your work, scribe your finished thickness on all the edges and ends using a marking gauge. Then plane the other way. Editor's Letter: Technology and the future of woodworking. Ive worked a lot with the mouths of planes, and I am still on the fence. The #7 is 22" long with a 2 3/*" wide iron while the #8 is 24" long with a 2 5/8" wide iron. Many surfaces (typically show surfaces, such as tabletops) dont need to be dead-nuts flat. Youll also be able to discard the weirdo numbering and naming systems for bench planes. Then theyll insert a reminder of the original point of the sentence and swoop in on the end of the phrase. Because you are trying to take a large bite of wood, you want the iron to be pitched fairly low. My first love is a Stanley No.

At this high angle, tear-out doesnt stand much of a chance. Back it off. Unless the surface is really rough, I would suggest getting a jointer plane rather than a jack or fore. Why? Narrower planes can get the work done faster if wielded correctly. Then I forget about the breaker unless it causes problems. But the length of the tool is only part of the story. Work with your jack until you almost hit your scribe line on your edges. And these two features the length and the setup can be adjusted by the user to do all sorts of cool, crazy and downright dumb things. Perhaps I could ask the question in a different way. Published in 1678, the Exercises cataloged the tools and practices of the blacksmith, joiner, house carpenter, turner, bricklayer and those who make sundials. I currently have a 4-1/2 smoother, but I believe Id need a larger plane to do the initial flattening. With a dip, the corners of the straightedge will drag. But to a handplane, wood looks like a series of gentle waves. Get complete site access to video workshops, digital plans library, online archive, and more, plus the print magazine. Like the planes length, a planes width also affects how flat the resulting board will be and how much work it will take to get there. 5-12 panel plane for most tasks? Mark all the way around the board the finished length you desire. When you set up a plane for finishing, lots of factors become important. All you need to know is that there are three tools, three setups, three jobs and three surfaces. A panel plane is just a jack plane with the guts of a smoother. One more important detail about width: Wider planes are always heavier and harder to push. Would this be jointer plane to smoothing plane or a more complex sequence of Scrub to jointer to smoother? How should each plane be set up? In the traditional British and American shop, there are three bench planes, each with a particular job. Use a jack on the opposite edge to get down near the scribe line. A tool that produces remarkably flat finished surfaces. This curve is created on the grinder, by the way, and refined on your sharpening stones. I am obsessed with my heavy machinery like Moxons workmen were attached to their fore planes. Long planes remove the peaks of the waves and try to flatten the board (top) while short planes tend to ride the peaks and valleys of boards (bottom). Even slight bumps in the sole interfere with your ability to take thin shavings consistently across the face of a board.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google, Blade angles for LN #62 Low Angle Jack Plane, Plane sole flattening consideration : plane flex. These planes can be pretty pricey and they don't even come with a motor! The Rule of Length Check your work with a straightedge, the corner of the sole or winding sticks. I happen to prefer a longer plane as well because it makes it easier for me to achieve a flat surface. Jointer planes are generally used diagonally. Or perhaps theres another way to look at this (bear with me, I know this is getting long). Become an UNLIMITED member and get it all: searchable online archive of every issue, how-to videos, Complete Illustrated Guide to Woodworking digital series, print magazine, e-newsletter, and more. On the outfeed side, plane or chisel a small chamfer to stop spelching. Im not sure how to figure out what is the right plane for this type of work. Great! Start your 14-day FREE trial - and get building. The Lie-Nielsen #7 can be had with either the standard 45 degree frog or a 50 degree frog. If you want to get the work done quickly, select the plane with the shortest and narrowest sole possible. It has a 22"-long sole and an iron that can be straight or slightly curved. Plus tips, advice, and special offers from Fine Woodworking. The fingers trail behind and act as a fence.

And you can create your own combinations. With your iron sharp, its time to attach the chipbreaker (if your plane has one). But then how is it that the late legendary English craftsman Alan Peters used a No. Try the edge with a straightedge (or a known straight edge such as the edges mate in a panel glue-up). The Clark & Williams jointer really is an outstanding tool, but there is a long wait time.

I am fond of an 8 radius though others like a 10 radius. Though I have seen scrub plane maestros do the job easily. 4-12. We show you how to think for yourself when it comes to bench planes. There is a lot of blustery rhetoric about chipbreakers. I can manage .004 to .006 thick in most woods (and thicker in softwoods). I bought a Clark & Williams 30" jointer for surfacing large tops. Work until the plane stops cutting. And metal jointer planes are difficult to true for the user. Personally, I try to take the thickest shaving I can without the wood tearing. Reconsidering Chipbreakers as Not Totally Evil. Jointer planes can use irons that are 2 to 3 wide. I imagine they could be used in conjunction quite effectively. Then follow through with a stroke or two all the way along the edge to bring it into true. Im shooting in the dark on this one, but it would be interesting to know when Jack planes first made their appearance. For my roughing plane, I use a vintage Stanley No. This is a point of personal preference. All three types of edges work brilliantly. This Stanley No. Are they the same? So when you are standing in your shop and trying to decide which tool to set up and use, the first thing you have to do is grab the one that is the right size for the job (you cant change the length of your tool without a hacksaw or a welder). WM, For all things handplane, get the revised edition of Christopher Schwarzs Handplane Essentials.. Here is the proper hand position for a jointer plane. Hollowing out the middle of an edge makes it easier to get it straight. Should it be tight to control tear-out? 5 (called a jack) and the No. Now use winding sticks or a straightedge (positioned on each diagonal) to look for wind. Aim to create a slight hollow or get it flat. Neat posting! We may receive a commission when you use our affiliate links. Place the stock of the try square against the reference face and look to see if the edge is perpendicular. In general, the heart side will be crowned in the middle and the bark side will be cupped. I had it pretty much sitting around until I read your recommendation to put a significant camber on itboy does it make it one of my favorite planes for quickly removing wind from a board. Work with the grain. The fore plane is the British equivalent of the scrub plane. ), Editors note: Since writing this article in 2009, Chris has rethought chipbreakers. Clearly, there are lots of valid ways to work wood with your bench planes. The jointer plane gets some discussion, but not nearly as much as the fore. But before we can put those systems in the waste bin, we have to understand what were throwing away. Now plane directly across the width of the board with your jack. Once you know what the length of a planes sole does to its performance, and once you know you have three basic setups to try, you can understand some planes that have vexed classification. For my jointer plane, I have a Lie-Nielsen No. For example, the earliest English instructions we have on handplanes (from Joseph Moxon from the 17th century) indicate there are three bench planes a fore, a jointer and a smooth plane. If you are a member, there are several FWW articles on flattening a board. Recently we had Matt Grisley from Leigh Industries in our shop to demonstrate his companys new dovetail jigs. So how do I use this system to choose the bench planes that I use? 2022 The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved. Open the mouth up so it can easily pass a gnarly shaving. So a 22-long jointer plane can reliably straighten a 44-long board. Keep working until you get consistent shavings from all points of the board. Save up to 64% and get a free gift. Others mock this notion and point to early planes that perform great and have never had a chipbreaker. What strikes me during this reading of Moxon is his affection for the fore plane a tool that is typically 16 long, which is shorter than jointer plane and longer than a jack plane. When you set the chipbreaker of the jointer plane, you want to prevent the tool from clogging in use. The shavings will begin as irregular. And have used it many times to flatten one side of a warped board prior to power plane. Neither plane is cheap. Flip to the bark side of the board and being by traversing with the jack again. Is it OK to copy projects from the magazine? Many insist that an iron that is sharpened straight across is the way to go. I love its small size, but the 45 pitch makes it suitable for mild woods only. Some people go right to the smoothing plane. Open it up a little more if needed. The soles of smoothing planes need to be trued occasionally. Now test the edge for truth with a try square. Enter now for your chance to win more than $2,000 worth of woodworking equipment from Woodpeckers. To straighten the face or edge of a board, the most critical characteristic is the length of the tool. I would suggest getting an additional iron, sharpen one with the heavier camber and the other with just the hint of a camber. Heres how it works with the traditional setup of three planes. Its shorter than your fore plane description, but it has a rounded blade and is used to quickly remove material. Dont go for gossamer shavings (youll be working at it forever) and dont go for raunchy curls (youll wear yourself out). Strong, OK and Weak

A scrub plane (foreground) is a smoothing plane with the heart of a roughing plane. Learning to flatten a board is easier than learning to joint an edge because the plane is fully supported by the wood. It also can be useful when removing small (and controlled) amounts of material. Planing the Edges

How it trues faces and edges. It is used to rapidly make rough stock fairly flat. Other woodworkers change the lateral adjustment of the tool. Look to see how cupped it is. Its 14" to 16" (sometimes 18") long. Start by taking a fairly heavy cut working diagonally first one way, then the other. Anywhere from 37 to 45 is ideal for a plane thats set up for roughing out your material. Then switch to the jointer plane. ;o). That observation by Matt Grisley is right on the money. Either approach works. I wrote it down after he said it. UNLIMITED membership - Get access to it all. This makes the tool easy to push, but it has the risk of creating some tearing. How thick is gnarly? About the pitch of the tool: I think that 45 (the common pitch) is simply not high enough for anything except softwoods and mild hardwoods. If so, skip to the next step. Or does it have little control over tearing? And because typical furniture parts max out at 48, this makes sense. And for my smoothing plane, Im torn. I think a good shaving for removing material is about .03 thick (about 132). I wish I could get by with only one smoothing plane, but Im afraid thats like eating only one potato chip: somewhat impossible. No more seeking for the gossamer shavings. How would that sequence change if this was highly figured tiger maple instead? The tools cutter should have a curved edge that looks like a carving gouge. Ill lift the plane up off the board when I reach the pencil mark. I use it quite often!! Im not a scrub plane maestro by any stretch, but I do use the scrub quite a bit. I am assuming that I'll need a fair amount of practice in order to get good enough with the jointer plane. Go to the flea market. If its serious, correct the wind by working the high corners with a jack until the board reads flat with the winding sticks or straightedge. Its backed way off. A true fore plane would get the board along further, since the chamber on the iron is gentler. So what should you do? When dressing boards by hand, the first step is to plane a face flat. Which brings us to the mouth of the tool. Paint Creatively on Your Walls With the Best Masking Tapes for Painting, Transform Your Garage Into a Cozy Workshop With the Best Garage Heaters, Draw Precise Reference Lines Every Time With the Best Marking Gauges, Level up Your Woodworking Skills With the Best Power Saws, Drive and Pull Out Nails Conveniently With the Best Claw Hammers, Keep Your Strikes Precise With the Best Dead Blow Hammers, Work With Ease and Comfort With the Best Cordless Angle Grinder, Make Your Furniture More Durable With the Best Threaded Inserts, The Best Wire Crimping Tools for Electricians and Homeowners, Connect Your Wires Safely With the Best Butt Connectors, 40 Years in the Making: A Timeline of Popular Woodworking. I like to start planing the heart side. Ah, the difference between a fore and a scrub. Those two variables trump the other things you can control. In essence, they are jack planes with a smoothing plane setup. Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We have created these special content collections organized to give you a deep dive into a range of topics that matter. These big smoothing planes have an appealing mass to be sure, but they also tend to skim over the waves of the wood and try to straighten the stuff more than necessary. When you use a plane that is of a middling length, say that of a 14 jack plane, you can push the tool either to be good at straightening or preparing the wood for finishing. NOW I can relax a little, albeit only for a short while. Under the Stanley Bailey numbering system for metal-bodied planes the #6 fore planes are 18 inches (460mm) long, longer than the #5 jack planes and shorter than the #7 and #8 jointer planes. Thats bad. The printed English word of the 17th century seems convoluted. If you use a straight cutting edge, you can correct it with hand pressure. That is why jointer planes are long. Once you have the plane learn to use it on a couple of pieces of 2 x 12 pine from the home center. What about the chipbreaker? So how do you pick which length is suitable for your work? The short answer is that a try plane is (in general terms) what we moderns would call a jointer plane. Personally I would go for a #7. I set the breaker 116 back from the cutting edge and adjust it forward or back until the plane doesnt clog. Check for flat often with winding sticks and a straight edge. The short answer: they both do similar jobs. Would a Fore Plane be more versatile than a jointer plane? And it went something like this: Whats interesting to me is how woodworkers who love hand tools also love the heavy machinery the big planers, jointers and table saws.

So lets now forget the plane numbering system and focus on their three jobs, which is far more helpful. I like an edge that sweeps .008 back at the edges of the iron. There have been several bevel vs. bevel down discussions here on Knots if you want to do a search. He discusses how it is used with its iron set both rank and fine.

603 Bed Rock. If its really wavy and rough with a lot of hills, start with a jack. If Id just heard the following description of a plane: "has a blade with an obvious curve and is used to quickly remove material" without hearing the name "fore plane", Id have thought you were describing a scrub plane. Jack plane: The typical setup is to configure this tool so it does a great job of removing material, a passable job of straightening the wood and a terrible job of preparing it for finishing. All bench planes do three things: They remove material, they straighten the wood and they prepare it for finishing. Bevel up planes are great for taking thin shavings, not so great for the thicker shavings flattening a top requires. So next Ill plane out the middle using with-the-grain strokes to create a valley (bottom). The British preferred a longer plane for this operation.

It sounds a lot like a scrub plane. Moxon spills more ink on the fore plane and its use than he does on any other single plane. I prefer the second approach (otherwise this would be a short article). It isnt very good at straightening boards unless the boards are very short. The name fore plane dates back to at least the 17th century in Britain, and was named fore plane because it would be used on a workpiece before other planes. This is the reference (or datum) surface. Finish up by taking thin shavings with the grain. Some would consider it pricey, but it is a life time tool. UNLIMITED Membership is like taking a master class in woodworking for less than $10 a month. It sounds as if the consensus is to use a jointer plane. Every time I read Moxon I learn something interesting and useful. Our obsession with smoothing planes might be thoroughly modern. Smooth planes can be 2-38 down to 1-14. 7 jointer for almost everything? Then plane the other direction until you work down to the line. The longer the plane, the straighter the result. Your thumb goes on the planes body right in front of the mouth. 10-feet plus rough lumber are tough to flatten, I couldn't imagine how people do it with a hand plane! I would get rid of five of my smoothing planes before I got rid of my jointer and planer (dont worry Id still have at least five smoothers left). Most modern jointer planes have the iron pitched at 45 called common pitch in American handplane parlance. If not, get your smoothing plane. The Veritas Fore Plane that I'm looking at is 18-inches whereas a #7 Jointer plane is 22-inches. HmmmI continue to be somewhat confused about the uses of these various planes. (Someday I will write a chipbreaker epistle. The board should be quite flat now. The Setup to Straighten Wood However, Ive used high-angle planes with wide-open mouths with great results. Planes see the wood as a series of waves. How about panel planes? Your fingers trail behind, against the work. Conclusion I've only just gotten the rough lumber dimensioned on two sides this weekend. Choose your plane based on the condition of the boards edge. With one edge and one face complete, use a panel gauge to scribe your finished width on the board. Saw to the line. [6]:19 Often fore planes are used perpendicular and diagonally to the grain, and are set to remove larger shavings. The American scrub was popular with carpenters in particular. Jacks can be 1-34 to 2-38. I was thinking that the Fore Plane was the way to go based on an article I read in FWW #204. if I had to do with only one bench plane, it would be a good jointer. And hes right.

These English tools are about 15 long but they are used for fine work. The planes length creates a straight edge or face. In the Stanley numbering system, this would be the No. Mass helps keep the plane in the cut and provides momentum to slice the end grain. A .008 to .01 mouth is ideal. That is 30 times thicker than a smoothing-plane shaving (and 30 times faster at removing wood). And for woods that simply wont behave, I have a Veritas Bevel-up Smoothing Plane that has a 62 pitch. Try them all. If you look at old (really old) jointer planes, they would use high pitches 55 or more to control tearing in tricky material, such as mahogany. That is why smoothing planes are so short. The iron can also be sharpened with a slight camber to aid this. The metal scrub is an American adaptation of a traditional European tool for flattening rough-sawn work. Plane one long edge dead square. Moxon discusses the Fore, Strike, Jointer and Smooth planes. With these three smoothing planes, I can solve any problem. To avoid spelching on the outfeed side, plane into that corner a few inches with stopped strokes. I was a bit intimidated by the size and weight when I first picked it up but after tuning her up I found that the heft worked to my advantage. Finish with a long pass along the entire edge. This week Im deep into reading Joseph Moxons Mechnick Exercises the first English-language treatise on the craft of joinery. The first plane to touch the wood is called the fore or jack plane. Subscribe . [6]:101. Or the increase in the use of pre-surfaced stock? Now if youll excuse me Im off to the shop to fiddle with my square, saw and pricker. If you have a shooting board, use a jointer plane (or a dedicated shooting plane) to trim the ends. It needs to be flat for joinery. The Veritas Jack Rabbet plane for raising panels. And they dont seem to have much affection for the power hand tools, like the router and biscuit joiner.. A .002-thick shaving creates half the work than if your plane is set for a .001-thick shaving. Just do a search on plane use. I dont know. Click for full details. Does the extra 4-inches lenth make that much difference? But heres what I do: I close up the mouth as tight as I can and still keep the plane from clogging. Rabbeting a shelf; Strength vs. appearance, Editor's Letter: A new tool with every project. A vintage Stanley #7, a Lie-Nielsen #7 or even better a #8, or a Clark & Williams jointer would all work for you. faces you. Wider planes usually make flatter surfaces, but it can take longer to achieve that goal. Angles lower than this cause other problems that are outside the scope of this article. "Stanely Bailey Planes Miscellaneous Data", "Flat & Square - Construction techniques", International Federation of Building and Wood Workers,, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0, This page was last edited on 10 July 2022, at 17:57. My question is what plane should I choose to buy? With the scrub, I occasionally overshoot my mark and remove too much because of the short sole. This is where you plane out the middle of the edge using stopped strokes (about 3 in from either end). Good vintage Stanley #8s are hard to find, but the #7 Stanleys are all over the place and generally work fine. Finish with the jointer and smoother like before. So lets talk about what I call the rule of length.. If you have a very irregular edge (in softer woods) you can start with a jack to remove most of the roughness. And if you have a lot of upper body strength, you could set up a long jointer plane to remove material.

Plane a quick chamfer on the far edge with a jack to reduce spelching (a.k.a. Its a little bigger than I prefer, but the 50 frog is a real plus. Place the board so the interior face of the board (inside of the case, etc.) That works well. So the cutter can rapidly touch the wood in both the peaks and the valleys. How do the fore and jack fit into this sequence? Use a smoothing plane to work down to that line. THIS is exactly what I shoot for, as I am not an expert with the planes, as so many of you are. A tool that is easier to push but doesnt do as much to help straighten a board. Angles that are higher than this will make the tool a bear to push (with no appreciable side-benefit). I keep my chipbreaker fairly close to the edge (about 364), but I will readily back it off if the plane clogs even the least bit. The downside: You probably will have to take more passes with the tool to achieve those results. If you have a hump, remove it with localized strokes. That mouth size is ideal for clearing a shaving that is .002 thick or thinner. by Christopher Schwarz