Tuning my tools #1: Planeing chipboard

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Blog entry by Ben Simms posted 09-28-2012 01:56 PM 4355 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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The other day my dad and I were laying some Swift-lok flooring in my house and we came to a joint that had significantly raised on one side, it looked like the crappy chip board sub floor had expanded on the edge prior to being laid down and nailed into place. after sinking the nails we sanded a bit and decided that we would need to do something else as I do not own a belt sander (I know, I should own a belt sander) and the joint was still badly raised. i went down to my garage shop and scanned around looking for something that might help. What I saw was my Craftsman #4 plane that my father-in-law gave me as a Christmas present. I imagined the blade dinging in and tearing chips off the floor only to be jammed into the plane, then spending a few minutes to clear the chips and try again, in my head the process was not going to go well, but I had no other options. My dad seemed to share my skepticism by raising an eyebrow when i showed him the plane. There was nothing to do now but try it. so I did. And it worked perfectly! shaving up a thin uniform continuous spiral, to reveal a perfect cross-section of the compressed chip board. Awesome! I planed it flat in no time and the new flooring laid on top with no gaps at all.
Here’s to keeping your blades sharp:-)

-- I played with Legos as a kid and I never had the part I thought I needed, so I learned to improvise. Now I'm an engineer with a woodworking hobby.

4 comments so far

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 4836 days

#1 posted 09-28-2012 02:07 PM

Dude…you must be a sharpening guru! Nice work and story.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17268 posts in 3667 days

#2 posted 09-28-2012 02:24 PM

Sweeeet! It’s amazing how useful a well-tuned handplane is when given the chance. Thanks for the story!~

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View George_SA's profile


440 posts in 3262 days

#3 posted 09-28-2012 05:17 PM

A sharp blade makes woodworking pleasurable, a dull blade makes it frustrating.

-- Sometimes life gets in the way of one's woodworking :)

View Ben Simms's profile

Ben Simms

191 posts in 3340 days

#4 posted 09-28-2012 07:20 PM

thanks guys! I’m a power tool kind of person but nothing beats watching that perfect curl of paper thin wood as it comes off your hand plane… except maybe the sound it makes (which i don’t know how to type out).

-- I played with Legos as a kid and I never had the part I thought I needed, so I learned to improvise. Now I'm an engineer with a woodworking hobby.

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