STL 173: The Draw of the Wooden Handplane
Mike and Ben welcome associate editor, Barry NM Dima into the mix, and discuss wooden handplanes, apartment woodworking, surface prep, cutting board finishes, and all-time favorite tools
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Some other woodworkers I’ve followed are from Japan and Korea like Ishitani Furniture and they do their final prep work before putting on the finish differently. Some will get a sharp hand plane and go over the surface of the wood and not sand. Other will go through their steps of sanding from the low grits to the high grits. Is it a good idea to plane and not sand before applying your finish? I enjoy getting that mirror finish with my plane, and feel that sanding kinda ruins it, but feel that it’s what I’m supposed to do.
How do wooden smoothing planes–whether Krenov Style or Japanese Kanna–compare to metal body planes? I’ve heard the physical feedback is quite different and have been tempted by these ridiculously thin shavings from the Japanese planes seen on YouTube. I know Ron Hock sells plane kits a la Krenov but I wonder if the performance is determined less by the body and more by the blade. Do you see any benefits in use of a wooden plane over metal ones?
- Wood Planes Made Easy by David Finck #196–Jan/Feb 2008 Issue
- Handwork: Make a coopering plane by Clark Kellogg #263-Sep/Oct 2017 Issue
- James Krenov on Handplanes by James Krenov #196–Jan/Feb 2008 Issue
- Get to Know Japanese Handplanes by Andrew Hunter #260–Mar/Apr 2017 Issue
- Japanese Planes Demystified by Carl Swensson #145–Nov/Dec 2000 Issue
Segment: All Time Favorite Tool
Barry: 4-in. combination square
Ben: Adhesive backed sandpaper and 3m Ultra Flexible Sandpaper
Mike: Sandpaper and the router plane he will one day own
The garage in our new town home is tandem single car garage (12′ wide x 38′ long). My wife’s compact SUV parks in one half and I get the other half. I’ve downsized and now everything fits well but the issue is the sound.
The town home complex has a rule “no construction noise between 8pm and 7am”. At our last home, my shop time was few times a week after the kids were asleep. So, my plan while here was to focus on improving my hand tool game over the next few years and just mill/dimension lumber on the occasional weekend.
Here’s the issue, I have come to realize that even hand tools create a significant amount of noise, mainly chopping and chisel work. This hinders my plan as my neighbors aren’t happy with constant banging while I chop mortises at 9pm or whatever time it may be.
Any suggestions or solutions? The town homes were built in 2010 and have fire rated walls between them. Garages cover entire main floor with kitchen and living room above. Is it worth trying to insulated the space? Would sound panels make a difference?
I’m planning to make a handful of cutting boards based on the ideas in Scott Lewis’ FWW article in issue #233. He uses mineral oil on his cutting boards, but I’d like to hear what you feel is the ideal finish in this circumstance. Obviously oil makes refinishing or upkeep easy, but I feel like I want some indestructible film finish that makes them mostly maintenance free. But maybe that’s just not a reasonable expectation.
- A Unique Cutting Board by Scott Lewis #233–May/June 2013 Issue
- The Coolest Woodworking Cutting Board Ever? by Scott Lewis
Barry – Dorian Bracht on YouTube
Mike – Sharpen what needs to be sharpened, and then one more tool
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