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Woodworking Hand Tools - Wood Planes - DIY tip 42

I was making a pest of myself (as ususal) in my workshop, just making sure the staff are getting the products out to customers when I thought I would take a look at some of the old hand tools I have stored.


It really is a different world nowadays for tradesmen, everything is electric or gas powered, so much easier and efficient, looking at the old planes for example you would really build up your biceps using these old things, they are nice to look at but I wouldn't want to go back to using them.  The new electric planes are so easy to set and use but a word of warning, they are also very quick at reducing a door edge or a piece of timber, once it is reduced it isn't so easy to put it back on.    



When reducing a door edge place the door on the floor (on its edge) with the edge to be reduced nearest you, try and place the plane at an angle to the door edge so that you begin by reducing the door across half the thickness along the length of the door edge, then repeat on the opposite edge and finish off by planing with the plane flat against the door edge, not everyone agrees with this process but I can only offer my own experiences. 


You really need to be aware of where your fingers are in relation to the cutting blade, I know this sounds obvious but please believe me when I say that you always keep your hand behind the cutting stroke, it is so easy to forget and let your hand get ahead to steady the piece you are working on with some very serious consequences.



The rebate planes I have shown in this blog are better where they are now, on display in my showroom, they were never the most accurate and it is so much easier using an electric plane or a small spindle moulder when you need something rebated, a rebate is generally what you see on the "meeting stiles" of a pair of doors, it allows one door edge to overlap the other so that they close together to form the pair. 


I also have some very interesting hand tools from my now deceased father inlaw, he was a cooper at Neil Dryburghs in Edinburgh, making traditional barrels for the Scotch whisky industry, a very demanding and skilled job, and not the best one for the safety of your liver, however he was very talented and made miniature barrels for each of his daughters and also very small half barrels for bedroom dressing table seats which we still have to this day, 40 years or so later.     


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