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    Using a plane

    Summary: Learn how to use a hand plane, how to plane a piece of wood and using a plane safely.

    A plane is used in carpentry for shearing thin layers of wood from the surface of the timber you are working on. This is usually to gain a very delicate shape in the timber, achieved more subtly than with a saw or other cutting tool. Planes are incredibly easy tools to work with, which have an adjustable blade to suit the thickness you want to remove from the timber surface.

    How to use a hand plane

    • It is important that the blade of the plane is sharp otherwise you will find shaving the wood much harder. A sharpening stone or 220 grit sand paper can do the job.
    • You also need to check the angle of the blade before you start. The blade should opened to the angle that corresponds with the depth you want to shave the wood at. If you have the blade opened too wide, it could get jammed in the wood, and conversely, if it’s not opened wide enough, it will take very little, requiring more effort.
    • In order to adjust the blade, you can loosen the nut that holds the lateral lever behind the blade.
    • Once satisfied the blade is at the correct angle and completely even, position the plane onto the timber facing the direction you want to shave. Make sure the blade is pressed firmly down onto the timber as you run it along the length of timber. This is done by pressing down on the knob at the front of the plane as you slide it forward.
    • Once you reach the end of the length of timber, keep the plane flat on the surface, but apply the pressure to the rear of the plane as you slide it back to its original position. Then simply repeat the process until you have shaved enough timber to complete the job.

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