July 11, 2012

You Need the Right Tools: Part 3

The hand plane is a tool that doesn't see much use these days. Especially with the introduction of an electric one.  My grandfather gave one to me as a gift a long time ago.  I had only used it a few times, but could still remembered how much I enjoyed cutting shavings of wood.  So my plane sat in a box for years until recently when I needed to shave of a small portion of wood from a door in order to make it open and close better.  It was just as awesome as I remember.

The hand plane originated thousands of years ago and was widely used in most cultures.  The oldest ones found date back to Pompeii and Ancient Rome.  The ones in Rome were very close to the present day hand planes in their function.  In 1860, Leonard Bailey began producing hand plans made of cast iron.   Up until 1918, it had primarily been used as just a basic hand tool for wood work.  But during WWI, air pressured planers were first introduced.  It could do the work of 15 men and speed up production for the war effort.  This changed the way this tool would be used forever.

Today we still use non-electric planes to reduce thickness of and/or give a smooth surface to a rough piece of wood.  Planes are used by making long strokes away from the body along the piece of wood.  While electric planes may work faster, you can't beat being able to take your time and carve out a perfect piece of wood.

The opening at the bottom where the shavings come up and the blade drops into.

The steel blade that cuts the wood.

The lever is what holds the blade tightly to the  body.

Determines how far the blade extends through mouth opening.

What you place your hand on.  It is at the front of the plane.

A piece on the blade that breaks up the wood chips.

Rear handle.

The part of the Iron wedge that holds the blade at the correct angle. 

Used to adjust the Iron or Blade by skewing it so that the depth of cut is uniform across the Mouth.


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