bench planes – how flat does the sole need to be?

Given the function of bench planes it is unsurprising that the sole of your plane should be flat, but views differ on exactly how flat it needs to make them work optimally. To understand why flatness is important we can consider the mechanics of the plane: if you imagine the sole of a plane that is significantly convex – in other words … Read more bench planes – how flat does the sole need to be?

bench planes – the cap iron

You might recall that the cap iron is the part that is held on top of the cutting iron with a shallow bolt.   Thus joined the parts are secured on to the frog by pressure from the the lever cap.1)in old books planes with this arrangement are often referred to as double irons for reasons that are obvious when you … Read more bench planes – the cap iron

Setting up and sharpening bench planes (intro)

Here is what I discovered about setting up and sharpening bench planes. If you read some of the many bench plane discussions on woodworking forums you will at some point stumble upon a debate about the best way to sharpen and flatten them1)yes, that’s right, plane soles are often not flat. Sadly these debates are often marred by ill humour with each … Read more Setting up and sharpening bench planes (intro)

How to refurbish a bench plane

This post describes how to refurbish a bench plane.  To show what can be done with even the most unpromising looking specimen, here is the worst example I purchased:   …it was made at some point between WWII and the mid-1950s and, as you can see from the photo of it dismantled, it has been painted … Read more How to refurbish a bench plane

Starting out with bench planes

The plan was to acquire hand tools as I needed them and since I had to remove about 5 mm from the top of my bench vice which, per the instructions from the vice manufacturer, I had left slightly proud of  the top so it could be planed flush after installation, the starting point was a hand plane. As it happens I already own a … Read more Starting out with bench planes