Hand Planes & Hand Planing
Hand planes are one of the most fundamental tools for woodworking by hand.
There’s a lot of choice, and whilst it can seem complicated, it’s not.
We’ve created this page as a resource for all of our best content about understanding hand planes, and learning a good planing technique. We hope it’ll take out some of the mystery for you.
This is a video post, where I go through your options when buying bench planes.
Should you choose wooden or metal, what lengths do you need, and which hand planes are the easiest to use or restore?
If you’re looking at buying a dedicated smoothing plane, then have a read through why I’d recommend going nice and small.
Any length of plane can be used for smoothing, but a smaller plane will excel.
This is a video series, taking you through the process of setting up the cap iron / chip breaker on your hand planes.
We start out by explaining how & why this set up can eliminate tear out when hand planing.
Joinery planes can feel like cheating. Once set up you can repeat your joints over and over with no need to mark out.
This post goes through the set and use of a fillister plane, for cutting rebates by hand.
Hand planes can be a big investment, and it’s not often you find a new tool that’s this good, at this price range.
If you’re getting started with hand planing, then give some thought to the ECE Jack plane.
There’s one plane that could cover all of your hand planing needs.
Whether you like to keep minimal, or want to know where to start, this video shares my reasoning.
Taking a board from rough to smooth requires you to choose where you want to remove material.
This post goes through my initial thoughts, when looking over a board for flattening.
When Helen started in woodworking she learnt to use wooden planes.
Here she explains what she learnt, & how to easily set & adjust them.
We don’t always need to aim for perfection. This post shows my technique for hand planing
very large boards, that don’t need to look great, but do need perfect references within a piece.
In a previous set of posts we went through the benefits of the cap iron and learnt how to use it
for controlling tear out. This post explains why it should only be used as and when needed.
Wooden hand planes can be bought quite cheaply, but can tend to be in bad nick.
Here we discuss wide mouths & whether it’s worth the effort of closing them up.