How to Use a Hand Plane

How to Use a Hand Plane

We have many things in our homes and working places made of wood. They can be tables, chairs, cabinets, drawers, and many more. Any part of these wooden materials may get rough or need a little touch. You can easily use a hand plane to give a finishing look to any wooden materials.

A hand plane is a tool that also has the power to trim any small or thin piece of wood. All carpenters have this fantastic tool, and some people also like to keep it at their homes so that they don’t have to call the carpenter all the time, especially for minor repairs. But hand planes should be used carefully with accuracy because any negligence can lead to severe damage.

For this, you should know how to use the hand plane to handle it carefully without any risk of damage.

Working of hand plane:Working of hand plane

A hand plane is a small wood trimming tool; it is only 8 to 14 inches in length and about two inches in width. It works with the help of a blade that cuts a skinny slice of wood.

A handle is present at the top of the hand plane. The user holds the hand plane from this handle and then uses it. Whenever you push the hand plane forward at the piece of wood, it slices down it.

Types of hand planes:

Before moving toward the hand planes’ working procedure, you should know about the different types of hand planes. The uses of the hand planes also vary with their types.

  • Long bench planes
  • Shoulder planes
  • Block planes
  • Bench planes
  • Specialty planes
  • Rabbet planes

You can smooth the small edges by using the block planes. The bench planes are also used for small and narrow surfaces. If your surface is very long, you can use the long bench plane to make it smoother.

How to use a hand plane?Use a hand plane

There are different types of hand planes, but the way of using all of them is quite similar.

Here we will guide you on how to use a hand plane carefully so that you cannot harm yourself and do your wooden work by using the hand plane easily without cutting your hand.

Prepare the hand plane to use:

  • Before using the hand plane, you must prepare it for use so that it can give you a precise cut.
  • You must carefully take the blade from the hand plane to sharpen it.
  • Take it out carefully so that it cannot harm you.
  • Avoid touching the blade of the hand plane unnecessarily.
  • After taking it out, now you have to apply some sharpening oil on any of the sharp stones.
  • Now you have to slide the blade over the sharp stone.
  • You have to put the flat side of the hand plane blade at the downside.
  • Rub it over the sharp stone for some time.
  • Rubbing will sharpen the edges of the blade.
  • Now you have to clean the blades so that no oil remains on the blade.
  • After cleaning the hand plane blade, you have to place it in the hand plane again.
  • Place the blade in the hand plane carefully because it has sharpened nicely.
  • You have to place the blade in such a way that the sharp edge of the blade should remain 1/32 and 1/64 inches out from the base.
  • You can adjust the gap according to your choice.
  • Now the hand plane is ready to use over any wooden surface.

How to use a hand plane (quick steps):

  1. Put the work material on a table and secure it so it cannot move.
  2. To avoid splintering, you have to plane in the direction of the rise of the wood grain.
  3. Push the hand plane on the work material.

Here is a brief explanation of how to use a hand plane :

Put the work material on a table and secure it

After making the hand plane ready by sharpening its blades, now you have to use this hand plane on your work material. For this, you have to take your work material. It can be any size and any kind of wooden material. Put this material on the firm table so the working material cannot slide while using the hand plane. It can be dangerous and can cut the material in the wrong way too.

You are also advised to put enough pressure on the work material so that it cannot move when using a hand plane over it. You can put the pressure by putting any heavyweight material over it in the area, which will not come under where you are using the hand plane.

Avoid splintering; use in the direction of the rise of wood grain

Now the second step of this procedure is a little bit tricky. If you have handled a wooden material before, you will know what splintering is. So while using the hand plane over the wooden surface, if you want to avoid splintering, you have to use the hand plane in the direction in which the wood grain is rising.

Closely look upon the wooden material from the edge and observe the direction of the wood grain rise. After observing it, you have to put the hand plane in the direction of the grain rise and then be ready to put the pressure because this is the time for cutting the wood.

Push the hand plane on the work material

As you have set all the setup, the third and final step of this procedure is to put pressure on the hand plane to start cutting the wood of the work material.

Grab the hand plane from the handle and push it by applying the appropriate pressure so that the hand plane can move forward. As the hand plane moves forward because of the pressure you have applied over it, it will start cutting a small slice of the wood.

What size of slice it will cut depends upon the depth of The blade and the position of the blade also. So you have to manage it according to your choice.

As you continue moving it forward, it will continue to cut the slice. You can use it to any extent according to your needs.

Final verdict:

A hand plane is a very easy-to-use tool to cut wood and smooth down wooden surfaces, but it needs proper care also, so people who do not have any information about using it should avoid it.

If you are a person who likes to do small home repair works on your own, then you can use the hand plane easily, but you are advised not to show any negligence in this matter because the blades of the hand plane are very sharp, so don’t try to play with it.

Use the hand plane by following the given method, and again we are mentioning that you should be careful while using it so that you cannot harm yourself.

A hand plane is made for the carpenter and a simple man, so it is a convenient tool. You can handle it very easily. The blade can be dangerous, but with enough self-control, you can learn to use this amazing tool very easily.

Follow the guidelines given in this article and learn how to use the hand plane.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I adjust the depth of the blade in the hand plane?

Yes, you can adjust the depth of the blade in the hand plane by managing the gap between the bed and the iron of the hand plane.

Why are hand planes called hand planes?

The hand planes are given this name because they can be handled by grabbing in hand quickly. You can also use it by placing it on the bench top, but you will be able to give a more precise grip to the hand plane by holding it with your hand.

Which hand plane will be good for the small edges?

Using the block planes to smooth the small and narrow edges will give you precise and perfect results.

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