Why Aren’t All Planes Skewed?
When planing with a normal plane, I always seem to end up skewing it a little to ease the cut. Also, my Lie-Nielsen skew block plane does everything from raising panels to trimming rabbets to paring end grain on small boards. So why don’t they make all planes skewed?
Pedro Irazoqui, Lafayette, IN
The slicing action of a skewed plane, whether the plane is designed that way or is a regular plane used at an angle, lowers the cutting angle slightly and slices the wood fibers, making for a sweeter feel and a superior cut.
However, when you can skew a plane so easily in use, why build one with a skewed blade, bed, and mouth? (Sharpening is more complicated, too.) The only planes designed with a skew are those that must work in a straight-ahead manner.
The Stanley and Lie-Nielsen No. 140 are designed for situations where you can’t skew the plane.
Drawings: Kelly J. Dunton