Antique Wooden Planes and the Furniture Maker #1: How to Handle a Moulding Plane

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Blog entry by lethentymill posted 12-22-2009 12:53 PM 4496 reads 5 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Antique Wooden Planes and the Furniture Maker series Part 2: Tuning Up An Old Wooden Smoothing Plane »

Judging by the damage that appears on old wooden planes, patience soon runs out when we handle things that are not operated by a switch! Sometimes this damage is terminal but often with a little care and lots of determination the wooden plane will work again.

This video shows the basics of how to handle moulding planes. There is a lot more to investigate and much of that is to do with sharpening, especially when the moulding plane is complex.

It’s hard to know how much interest there is in this subject; after all, many people regard these things as collectable antiques and little else. I see them as versatile, usable and fascinating relics from a time when skill was seen as implicit in the techniques associated with making furniture and other wooden products (windows, doors, etc).

If there are enough like-minded people out there, I would be delighted to share more of my own thoughts and findings. I’m just testing the water at this stage!

-- Allan Fyfe, Lethenty Mill Furniture,

12 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4674 days

#1 posted 12-22-2009 01:13 PM

This is a nice video, Allan. I will freely confess that I have neglected development of my skill with hand tools. But this is a condition that I am trying to remedy. I found this video to be informative and, from my standpoint at least, eductional.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View PCorl's profile


65 posts in 4231 days

#2 posted 12-22-2009 02:58 PM

I enjoyed watching your video Allan. I have quite a few planes that I have collected over the years but they get very little use. Part of the reason is I don’t know how to properly sharpen the complex shape of some of the blades and also never learning the correct way to set and adjust the blade. After watching you video at least I have learned a bit about blade adjustment. Keep up the good work.

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 4442 days

#3 posted 12-22-2009 03:35 PM

Great video and thanks for sharing.
Of all the hand tools I have, hand planes and backed dovetail saw (and surely mallets and hammers) would never slip out of my grip. I feel I’m getting to love hand tools more and more.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.



56 posts in 3960 days

#4 posted 12-22-2009 05:07 PM

I really enjoyed your video.In my case being a new guy I found it very informative and look forward to more. JIM

-- A day without sawdust is like a day without sunshine

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 4949 days

#5 posted 12-22-2009 05:33 PM

Great information. I am looking forward to seeing more posts of this type. This helps to preserve the understanding of traditonal approaches.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View jlsmith5963's profile


297 posts in 4200 days

#6 posted 12-22-2009 06:24 PM


Thanks for taking the time to impart a bit of your knowledge to the rest of us, nothing quite like a hands on demonstration.

For those who are interested in developing their basic hand plane skill set LieNielsen's You Tube channel has a lot of videos on hand planes and their proper use.

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

View ChesapeakeBob's profile


369 posts in 4335 days

#7 posted 12-22-2009 07:04 PM

Allan, I really enjoyed your video and I hope you continue with the series. I think this class of of old planes is often forgotten or ignored.

Many thanks!


-- Chesapeake Bob, Southern Maryland

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3967 days

#8 posted 12-22-2009 08:47 PM

I realy enjoy the vidio as a person who has desited to go the unpluged way I say let them comming as fast as possiple so all of us can learn how to keep the old trade alive and so we can teach the next genneration┬┤s as well

happy holydays from denmark


View hooky's profile


365 posts in 4171 days

#9 posted 12-23-2009 07:09 AM

thanks for showing how to adjust these planes

I have seen many but never knew how to use and adjust



-- Happiness is a way of travel , not a destination (Roy Goodman)

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


19560 posts in 4528 days

#10 posted 12-24-2009 10:04 AM

Nice video. I’m interested in this. I have a few of them I got off ebay a few years ago. I must admit, I haven’t tried them and know nothing about them. Keep up and I’ll keep watching. I’m going to put youi on ethe budy list so i don’t miis your videos. thanks. Bob

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View L-H Johnsen's profile

L-H Johnsen

54 posts in 3903 days

#11 posted 01-20-2010 10:28 PM

Interesting stuff!. Hopefully I will soon try out your tips in real life. I would love to hear you opinions on these wooden planes I am bidding on right now, they are in my blog (“Need Advice”) Thanks

-- L-H Johnsen,Sweden

View RayCurtis's profile


128 posts in 4016 days

#12 posted 01-22-2010 08:07 AM

Great Video Allen. I have put off getting any molding planes because I knew I didn’t know how to use them, and knew even less about tuning them. The more you share the more the rest of us will know. I am really looking forward to more of these great videos.

-- RayCurtis

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