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    Secure Your Work for Easier Handplaning





    Eventually, every budding woodworker will begin to wonder about handplanes. For some reason, these age-old tools hold a place of reverence in most woodworker’s tool collections. Watching a thin shaving lift from a board is therapeutic, but more importantly, it leaves workpieces with a glass-smooth finish that’s second-to-none. But try and run a poorly-tuned plane along a board and you’ll be left frustrated and angry. The problem becomes even more acute if your workpieces aren’t effectively secured to your benchtop. Here are three simple techniques that will keep your furniture components stationary as you bring the blade to the wood. 

    The Plane Stop

    The humble plane stop is nothing more than a T-square that gives your workpiece a surface to “stop” against as you thrust the handplane along the wood. The plane applies pressure in a direction outward from the user. This force is transferred to the workpiece and in turn, the plane stop. Plane stops are easy to make, consisting of a T-assembly that’s just screwed together.



    One end gets secured into your bench vise, and the opposite end can be attached to your bench using a small clamp, or even better, a bench dog which the stop simply butts up against. With your stop secured, you just set the workpiece against it and start planing.

    The Bench Hook

    A bench hook uses the same principal as a plane stop, but is generally used for smaller workpieces (think box parts). To make one, start with a piece of MDF or smooth plywood—mine measures about 11-in. x 13-in. —and attach a cleat along one of the bottom edges. This cleat will rest against the edge of your workbench and keep the bench hook from moving as you use it to plane. Now just attach a thin stop (mine is about 1/4-in. thick) to the opposite top edge of the hook. In use, the bench hook operates just like a traditional plane stop: the workpiece is set against the hook’s upper stop, and the user simply planes the wood, towards the stop.

    What About Long Parts?

    For long parts like furniture legs or table aprons, you can use your bench vise in tandem with some bench dog holes drilled into your workbench’s front apron. One end of the workpiece gets secured in the bench vise, and the dogs provide support from underneath, all along the piece being planed. It’s a slightly more advanced technique but one well worth considering as your furniture-making skills expand.




     


    Ed_Pirnik

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    dbbooster
    sean mao writes: One of my recent Intarsia projects is from a painting of horses. www.192.168.1.1
    ryanstill
    Ryan Stiller writes: It's true, a lot of these wood cutting tips are quite useful and the way you explained how to get it all done made it look simple and neat, just like on USDiamondToold.com. When you want to have more space in your house, you definitely use a storage solution. However, when it comes to the more advanced reonvation project, you may be better off asking professionals for help.
    Agathe30
    Agathe Bienvenu writes: Thank you for the article. I support your cause. my french website mutuelle Comparateur de mutuel santé
    Pam Anderson
    Pam Anderson writes: All these tips and tricks come in handy when you decide to get the job done on your own. For the ones that work at AMusinGlass and create some of the greatest products made of fused glass. Anyway, interesting way of explaining the whole process and the pictures are definitely useful.
    Wood-Chuck
    Bruce Beatty writes:

    It's unfortunate that a large company like Taunton Press can't control the spam on their own website. Warning Don't post any of your own projects as you will keep getting notified of comments that are just spam.

    Nice workbench Ed. You should do a video series on it <LOL>

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