Flat and Square by Hand
Student task hones handplane skills
Synopsis: The first task assigned to any student in Phil Lowe’s furniture-making classes is to use hand tools to plane a board flat, straight, and square. This is more than just an exercise–this assignment trains the eye to recognize properly milled stock, and it builds basic skills in layout and handplaning.
From Fine Woodworking #191
You often don’t learn the value of stock that is flat, straight, and square until you’ve made furniture from material that isn’t.
You find out soon enough. A cupped drawer side fights back when you try dovetailing it to the front. A twisted apron can set a table’s legs askew.
That’s why the first task my students must complete is to mill by hand a piece of hardwood stock flat, straight, and square. This assignment trains the eye to recognize properly milled stock, and it builds basic skills in layout…