A good video for beginning handplaning

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Review by Tennwood posted 01-08-2012 02:27 AM 3556 views 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
A good video for beginning handplaning No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I am just getting into hand planing and got this video for Christmas along with both Schwarz’s and Garrett Hack’s handplane books. I found the video well made and edited for an instructional video. Schwartz is articulate and obviously very knowledgeable about handplanes. The following quote from book seller site well summarizes the production of this video – “This DVD doesn’t simply spout off a new idiosyncratic way to work with bench planes. Instead Schwarz explains how all the systems work so you can immediately see their strengths and weaknesses and exploit them so you’ll do better work.”

Schwarz goes over the three primary planes, Jack, Jointer, and Smoothing; how each works and their basic functions. For someone like me who is pretty much a novice, this was extremely instructional and a useful reference I can go back to. I especially like how he stepped through each plane from roughing the wood, flattening it and finally smoothing it, along with jointing a board. He also discusses in detail how to camber an iron, something that was truly a mystery to me until now. I also found it filled in some of the gaps on planing techniques he left out of his book.

I did feel the video was not quite complete though, hence the 4 stars. My primary complaint was the video lacked about 30 minutes to being complete. Some of the topics he kind of brushed over without sufficient explanation. One example – I felt he should have gone into more detail when he was explaining how sharpen a Fore Plane, He discussed how to grind a camber on the Fore Plane, and to sharpen the secondary bevel, but kind of skimmed over how he ground the primary bevel to the correct angle (it almost looks like he free handed it). Also, it would have helped if he had used more visual examples (drawings and closeups of the planes) when discussing some of the topics. Instead he often just talked about that particular topic and left me wondering what it should look like. The one drawing and few closeups he did use where helpful.

My other complaint is that he did not discuss block planes, which I am lead to understand is one of the primary tools in most handplane arsenals.

Overall, this was a great gift and has been helpful in getting me much more familiar with handplanes. With this video, the two books, and a one day course I took at Woodcraft, I think I am on my way to making an investment in handplanes. There are several reviews on LJ on Schwarz’s and Hack’s books (only one on this video I can find), so I may skip any additional review on these other than to say that both books are very good, but not totally there, BUT by having both, they complement each other and fill in the gaps the other leaves out. When I break one out to read in the evening, my wife asks “Are you going to read about planes again, how much can there be to planing?” Need I say more….

-- Jim, SE Tennessee, "Don't spare the kindling Dear, we have plenty"

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#1 posted 01-08-2012 02:36 AM

Thanks for the informative write up. I think I like videos over books in this case because you can watch and learn. it is helpful to me to actually see it being done. Thanks for posting.

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