Power Planer? We don't need no stinkin' power planer! *PIC*

For those that are hesitant to jump in for lack of a power planer, here is a photo(s) showing how easy it is to skin a blank with a very basic hand plane. Sharpened and set right, one of these can make pretty fast work of skinning and shaping a blank. The crust peels right off in long curls.

Aside from body fatigue, what are the drawbacks of using a hand plane vs. a power plane? Are there advantages?

… no electricity needed, minimal danger to eyes, ears, fingers or lungs. A healthier, slower pace for those who put a value on savoring an experience with all their senses. Low-tech, low expense, fewer parts to maintain. I love the sight and feel of those long, peeling curls. You can even hear a soft afternoon breeze…

Upside - Less risk of “over shaping.” For someone just doing a board or two, no expense of a power planer. Work late at night and don’t disturb the neighbors. Easy to plane the deck where nose rocker is steepest (see post somewhere around here.) Downside - Easier to get lumps and bumps compared to a long power plane. Wears out your elbows. Basically just hoping to eliminate one obstacle for someone thinking about making a board for the first time and doesn’t want to invest a bunch of money in tools.

that lil solingen jobbie razor plane from clark foam has been my delight for awhile now on the foam curl production step I particularly love the rail turning step…vermacelli,spagetti,linguine,fettachini,ribbon ,and on up…the floor covered with noodles so easy to kick into a ball…dust free…mask free yea dale hear the audio… and smell the fresh smells…and when the blade starts doing the chatter and granulate…flip the blade and…do it again…cold curls…in a higher life form perhaps I would be a better sharpening guy…or perhaps just more patient…that there little blue box with the waxd paper wrapped blades is a hearts delight…just the thought of opening a new box o’ blades brings a warm and soft feeling to my shaping heart…the middle of the night…during church service going on next door.noise pollution is limited to the inaudible schloopshe of blade on foam…yep john shurely another pleasure shareable with the esoteric few…to think to mold or dye cast would deny one this simple pleasure…and a big plastic bag full? you almost hate to throw it away…cold curls so cool like a morning in january behind the golf course on the beach break back lit by the dawn early light …ambrose …good night

Hey that’s illegal.!!Those guys are working in a backyard with no business license.

well don’t tell anyone, he’s right down the street from me. No wonder I don’t hear Pohaku at work. Shouldn’t steel be banned from his craft for authenticity? Sharpen a rock? well maybe not. Obsidian produces the sharpest edge known to man, but it’s too brittle to work for any length of time.

John, I tried using a Japanese block plane once and ended up with gouges. Maybe my blades werent sharp and/or not set at the correct depth. I have a Clark Hitachi, but those long curls do look cool. I may have to try that one day. I do think your pics will encourage someone wanting to try their hand at shaping but is intimidated by the cost and control of using an electric plane. Yours is a very viable option.

In order to get a plane to work properly you have to tune it up.This includes lapping the sole plus other things.I have an older Record Low Angle Block that I spent a half day on.Once you get them to that point they will work for years with just a little honing.Sharpening is a big deal in the woodworking trade,There is a great book published by Taunton Press that is a compilation of all the best articles in Fine Woodworking Magazine.I don’t know how to post a link but you can search it out.

Ah, I like adzes. Even cute little cooper’s adzes like that one. In fact, I scored another shipwright’s lipped adze last year( has the edge running upwards along the sides and lets you cut cross-grain - just the thing for putting in concaves ) - see http://www.antiquetools.co.uk/4149.html for an example of a nice unused Collins head, though about half that would be a good price. And then there’s broadaxes… doc…

Doc.I found the best thing for final honing is a felt wheel with polishing rouge.My wetstones have been in the drawer untouched for 5 years.Another great tool is a giant chisel called a “Slick”.I have one 3 feet long honed like a razor.I can peel micro curls with it.

Ah yes, ain’t slicks neat though. This great big heavy thing that’ll cut paper-thin with wonderful control. Made the handle for mine from a chunk of firewood that was kicking around the job one day - nice burl at the butt end that worked out well. Friend of mine had a setup for sharpening, adzes especially, which was a wide slow wet grindstone with the edges shaped to accept the adze followed by a powered dressed leather belt. But now that you mention it, I have a ‘grinding’ setup that’d accept a felt wheel and polishing wheel very nicely. Now, I’ve been using a white polishing compound ( comes in stick form) as a compound on my razor strop - get it from my sharpening guy. Seems to work nicely with steel razors, though that’s about all the information I have on it. Does that sound familiar? Thanks doc…

Nice thread you guys. Reminded me of a day long ago: A friend and I were helping another friend plank a boat on a hot summer day. He had to take off to do something. His mistake was to leave us with a case of cold beer and a freshly sharpened jointer plane. As proof anything can become a contest, we soon were trying to out do each other by seeing who could take off the longest continuous strip of wood. By the time our friend returned we had reduced an 18’ plank to a somewhat narrow strip. Our friend didn’t see the humour until after he joined in the contest and beer. He claims he won with a full 18’ strip. Thanks Patrick

Yep the white stick is what I use.The red one one is finer.Using hand planes is a full body motion with your weight behind it.Best if the item you are planing is clamped down or weighted.That is unless we are talking about small block planes.How sharp should it be?If it shaves the hair off your arm its about there.Most shapers are pretty lax in this department until they try one of my tools.Thats not a put down.Most folks have just never had the chance to use a tuned plane. R. Brucker

Good tools make a huge difference, the first block plane I bought was a high angle plane(if there is such a thing)with a pretty dull blade, it was an incredible pain to use. I took it back and got a new low angle block plane and the difference was amazing.I really appreciate the accuracy of the cuts and the control I have over the tool. Also it forces you to slow down and really try to perfect the shape. This is probably a major drawback for shaper who sell their boards or have limited time. I use a power planer but there is definitely something to be said for doing it without power.

A trick I recently ran across-rub a light coat of paraffin wax across the base. Combined with a sharp blade it gives the plane a nice glide. I suppose it might contaminate foam but works well on cedar. Patrick