How to Use a Hand Plane

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Using a hand plane lets you slice through wood like paper for renovating. Chop through wood fast and easily with help from a professional remodeler in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Home Remodeling Tools
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Chris Palmer. Today, we're going to talk about how to use a hand plane. Hand planes are really a joy to use. It's just a pleasant experience from the sound of the blade slicing through wood to the feel of it. Don't be intimidated by the man adjustments, just experiment, experiment with blade depth, with blade angle, which is adjusted by this knob here. A little bit of paste wax through the sole will help it slide through the work as well, just a little buff with some paste wax. Here's my work, really tightly clamped into this vice. It's not going to move. Sometimes, you can use a bench hook on your work table or a bench dog to secure your work. I like to keep my pointer finger out like that. My work is at a comfortable height, secure in a vice, and the trick is to really use all your body weight behind the stroke of the plane. But stay relaxed, so you step into the work and let your whole body carry right through that motion, stay relaxed, keep your work secure, and you should have a really good time using your hand plane. I'm going with the grain here, this is a piece of fir with a nice straight grain. Experiment with a little bit of skew angle across the work piece. That actually reduces the surface tension of the wood fiber, and will give you a nice cut. If you're going for a really thin shaving, you can go down to paper thin. It's all just nice, nice shavings, very pleasant, and it's leaving a nice finish on there. Thanks for watching. I'm Chris Palmer. That's how you use a hand plane.

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