Planes

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Planes are essential in many (hand tool) woodworking projects. Because proper sharpening is a ton of work that is easily ruined in a few seconds, using the shared planes in the wood workshop requires an introduction by a tutor!

In addition, you may want to have a look at this video class (about 20 minutes in) to learn how to tune and sharpen them or this video explaining different styles of hand planes.

Bench Planes

Bench planes are made for flattening surfaces and are typically used at a workbench because you want your workpiece to held steady.

The typical order of use (from rough to fine work) is scrub plane - jack plane - jointer plane - smoothing plane.

Scrub Plane

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Scrub Plane

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Synonyms: DE: Schrupphobel
Type: hand tool
Material: wood
Location: wood workshop
Access: upon introduction
Tutors: (?) Lukas

Scrub planes are made for aggressive material removal, e.g. when you need to get rid of cupping or twisting in a board, and have a rounded blade to avoid tearing the wood next to the thick shaving.


Jack Plane

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Jack Plane

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Synonyms: fore plane, "No. 5", "No. 6"; DE: Schlichthobel
Type: hand tool
Material: wood
Location: wood workshop
Access: upon introduction
Tutors: (?) Lukas

The "jack of all trades" among planes is of intermediate size and aggressiveness. You may want to use a scrub plane in advance (depending on your stock) and follow it up with a jointer plane and possibly also a smoothing plane.

Many jack planes have a double iron ("chipbreaker"/Spanbrecher -> Doppelhobel) on top of the blade which breaks the shaving - these are better suited for working across the grain as there is a reduced risk of tearout.

If you don't have a jointer or jointer plane at hand, it's possible to joint edges by hand with a small plane like this (with a little practice)!


Jointer Plane

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Jointer Plane

Jointer plane.jpg
Synonyms: "No. 7", "No. 8"; DE: Raubank,
Rauhbank, "Fugbank" (even longer)
Type: hand tool
Material: wood
Location: wood workshop
Access: upon introduction
Tutors: (?) Lukas
Similar (More or Less): jointer

This huge type of plane is useful for creating large even surfaces and to joint boards before assembly or gluing, i.e. to create ideally perfectly flat and perpendicular edges.


Smoothing Plane

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Smoothing Plane

Wooden smoothing plane.JPG
Synonyms: "No. 3", "No. 4"; DE: Putzhobel
Type: hand tool
Material: wood
Location: Lukas' CoMaking bench
Access: upon request
Tutors: (?) Lukas

Lukas has an old Ulmia smoothing plane with a screw instead of a wedge and a metal sole. This kind of plane is designed to take of very fine shavings towards the finalization of your piece.

"Reform" models are named after an adjustable section of the sole. [1]

To retract the blade, loosen the set screw a tiny bit, hold the plane in one hand and hit the metal button at the thick end with a hammer.

The metal sole could benefit from lubrication with paste wax (not tried yet).


Rabbet Plane

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Rabbet Plane

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Synonyms: rebate plane, DE: Falzhobel
Type: hand tool
Material: wood
Location: wood workshop
Access: upon introduction
Tutors: (?) Lukas
Similar (More or Less): router

A rabbet plane is used to cut rabbets, i.e. a "step" at the edge, into wood.

Further reading: Wikipedia


Router Planes

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Router Plane

Router plane.JPG
Synonyms: hand routers; DE: Grundhobel
Type: hand tool
Material: wood
Location: wood workshop
Access: upon introduction
Tutors: (?) Lukas
Similar (More or Less): router

Used for smoothing grooves and recesses - for large or repetitive jobs, you'd rather use a power router nowadays.

Our router planes have not been commissioned yet and desperately need some sharpening!


Surform Plane

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Surform Plane

Surform plane.JPG
Synonyms: DE: Surform-Hobel
Type: hand tool
Material: wood
Location: wood workshop
Access: upon reading
Similar (More or Less): rasps, Hobelfräserfeile

Short for "surface forming" plane, a surform plane closely resembles a rasp. Use it for fairly quick and aggressive material removal, but don't expect a silky finish! The "blade" needs to be exchanged when it becomes dull.

Other than single-blade planes, this one is somewhat decent for shaping plywood.

Our surform plane is currently broken and needs a new handle (=> how to make one).


Further Reading