Why You Need a Compass Plane
Create smooth curves that are fair to the eye and hand
Synopsis: Long used by shipwrights, carriage builders, and furniture makers, compass planes are still unchallenged when it comes to smoothing long, sweeping curves. They have more mass and momentum than a spokeshave and are faster than sanding. Paul Schurch explains where to buy one and which one to buy, how to tune it up when you bring it home, and how to use it for best results.
Compass planes, also called circular planes, have a rich history but are strangely overlooked by modern woodworkers. In the past, they were used by shipwrights, carriage builders, and furniture makers. Today, for sweeping curves, the plane is still unchallenged. It beats a spokeshave on wide stock because it has more mass and momentum, with a long, adjustable sole that creates smoother curves, free of flat spots and kinks. And it’s faster than the contoured and flexible sanding blocks that I’ve used in the…