Many of you have pointed out my shoddy array of straight-ish, straight edges.
I’m often asked if there’s a reason why I favour these home made things over something more posh.
This is one of those questions where I really wish I had a good answer. I don’t, but I’ll still cobble one together anyway.
First off, they don’t have to be fancy –
It’s easy enough to make one accurately straight off a hand plane. I can certainly see a point to the highly priced things that you can buy, those that even come with a certificate of straightness. But that’s not at all needed for what I do… maybe more for engineering uses?
The second reason is that I like wood.
Metal is always going to scratch my work and I hate the feel of it.
This third point definitely has the most clout to it.
You never know if you’re going to need a different length of stick.
If you’re buying a straight edge, then you’re picking from fixed sizes – often 2ft.
If you imagine needing to check the diagonal of a crooked table top, much like in our coffee table video, that 2ft leaves you short. It’s nice here to just grab a bit of gash that’s plenty long enough and plane it straight.
And I suppose that sums it up. If it’s that easy to make one, why bother with owt posh?
If you’d like to learn more about what’s essential and what’s not when working by hand, then have a read of this post, where we guide you through our recommendations for a getting started tool kit.
Or get in some practice while you have a go a building your own wooden hand plane. Follow step-by-step in our free build video (includes PDF plans).