A hand wood planer is a useful tool that can be used to smooth and flatten rough or irregularly-shaped surfaces. It’s easy to use and isn’t as loud as a power planer.
A hand planer has a rotating blade that you move back and forth to remove pieces of the wood. Some are attached to a workbench (called a benchtop) while others are smaller and can be held in your hand.
Hand planers are a great way to smooth wood without using a power tool. They are also great for slicing off tiny shavings of wood, making a chamfered edge or straightening warped boards.
Hand planes are made of a variety of materials, including wood, ductile iron or bronze. They are heavy, durable and will not rust.
Blades for hand wood planers come in a wide range of sizes and styles. The best are made from hard grade O1 steel, which can be honed to a sharp cutting edge that can be maintained for years.
The angle of a planer’s blade determines how thick the shavings are that it cuts through the wood. Adjusting the blade angle is as easy as turning the depth adjustment wheel on the plane.
Planers are used to make a rough surface flat and smooth, to reduce its thickness or to correct a variety of other problems. They’re essential for carpenters and cabinet makers, but they can also be a useful tool for DIYers who need to make their floors level or trim the edges of doors.
Hand planers are a great option for smaller projects and offer higher levels of precision than electric planers. They’re lightweight and easy to handle, requiring little maintenance.
A hand plane’s sole is a flat piece of wood that rests on the workpiece. It’s usually made of iron or wood and protects the wood from chipping.
Before taking a shaving, retract the blade completely into the sole and then advance it slowly to take a very thin shaving. It’s important that the shaving is the same thickness throughout its entire length, as this helps ensure that your boards will be evenly trimmed.
The frog of a hand wood planer is an adjustable iron wedge that holds the plane iron at the proper angle and allows it to be varied in depth relative to the sole. Typically, the frog is screwed down to the inside of the sole through two parallel slots.
When selecting a new frog, ensure that it fits tightly to the body of the plane. To achieve this, work the milled ‘pads’ of the frog on a flat surface using 180/240 grit abrasive paper.
Adjusting the frog of a plane is an important step to maintaining accuracy in cutting and to preventing buckling of the plane body. Many bench planes made by Lie-Nielsen and WoodRiver/Woodcraft include a screw mechanism that lets the frog be adjusted without removing the blade.
If you’ve ever shaved down a stubborn wood door or smoothed the surface of a wavy board, you know that nothing does it better than a hand plane. These simple tools have been around for centuries, and their performance hasn’t changed much.
Unlike power tools — routers, jointers, and belt sanders — hand planers require muscle power to shave down or smooth wood surfaces. They’re a craftsman’s best friend, and if you’ve never used one, you should give them a try.
To keep tear-out to a minimum, position the work material along the grain of the wood. That way, when the plane reaches the cross-grain section of the wood, it will tear out only the sacrificial block.
A good planer should also have a depth wheel that allows you to adjust the blade to fit your particular project. For coarser work, you’ll want the blade to protrude more. For finer work, it should protrude less.