Planing board edge leaves a bevel

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Forum topic by EricLew posted 01-28-2018 12:47 AM 1226 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View EricLew's profile


274 posts in 2658 days

01-28-2018 12:47 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question plane

Hi guys

I am a power tool guy who stumbled across Paul Sellers on YouTube a few months ago. (he is amazing). I got sucked into hand planing, and have watched countless videos. In the last few months I have gotten a vintage Stanley #4, a WoodRiver 4 1/2 and a Lie-Neilsen 62. I understand now how you guys say planes are addictive. I have them all tuned up and get incredibly thin, full width shavings from all of them. I have just been practicing on 4/4 maple scraps, and never believed the surface could be as flat and smooth as glass, but it is.

My problem is, the edge of the board gets a huge bevel, maybe as big as 25 degrees. I can then fix it by just focusing on the high side, and get it square. I am assuming this is newbie technique problem, and I need to pay more attention to keeping the plane level, I guess its hard because the edge is so much narrower than the sole of the plane.

Is there something else I am doing wrong? any advice? or is its just a practice and experience thing?

Thank you,

-- I love the smell of coffee in the morning, and sawdust in the afternoon

14 replies so far

View Loren's profile


11325 posts in 4939 days

#1 posted 01-28-2018 01:26 AM

I think it takes a lot of practice to learn
to shoot straight and square edges by
hand. I’ve used a long straight edge and
a pocket square to check when I’ve done it.

Shorter edges are easier. I once jointed
a 2” thick 8’ table top by hand and it took
awhile to get it right.

View Johnny7's profile


716 posts in 2382 days

#2 posted 01-28-2018 07:15 AM

a few thoughts—

Try this technique:
Wrap your hand around the rear handle (tote) in the conventional grip.
With your other hand, use the grip shown below—your knuckles bear against the face of the board creating a makeshift fence.

Also, for a self-described “newbie” the use of smoothing planes (your #4 and #4½) offer little registration area when jointing an edge. See if your 62 doesn’t offer better results.

View TheFridge's profile


10863 posts in 2778 days

#3 posted 01-28-2018 07:19 AM

I use an edge plane when I’m feeling saucy and then plane down til the shaving is continuous.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Don W's profile

Don W

20247 posts in 3859 days

#4 posted 01-28-2018 12:16 PM

Try putting several boards together to give a wider work surface and it reduces the amount of time to finish

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View LittleShaver's profile


778 posts in 1911 days

#5 posted 01-28-2018 12:55 PM

I tend to skew the plane a bit to keep things square. I can see the problem better with the plane acting as more of a winding stick.
Practice, practice, practice.

-- Sawdust Maker

View OSU55's profile


2907 posts in 3281 days

#6 posted 01-28-2018 01:14 PM

I cheat and use a jointer fence a lot of times. If jointing boards for a panel glue up, bookend the 2 edges and joint them at the same time. The amount of angle wont matter then, the will mate perfectly for the board thickness- still have to get them straight along the length.

View EricLew's profile


274 posts in 2658 days

#7 posted 01-28-2018 03:02 PM

Thanks guys, lots of good advice

-- I love the smell of coffee in the morning, and sawdust in the afternoon

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 3253 days

#8 posted 01-29-2018 04:48 PM

Checking often with a square like Loren said and wrapping your fingers the way Johnny said are the basics. For me wrapping my fingers that way helped a little, but in the end it was just practice with a square until I got the muscle memory.

View Sylvain's profile


1444 posts in 3791 days

#9 posted 01-31-2018 10:11 AM

Have a look at this Mike Siemsen ’s video
He starts by showing how to make one edge straight and square.
He shows why using the plane on its edge will cut only on its other side (because the blade is narrower than the plane).
Paul Sellers’ Post “edge-planing-square-to-tilt-or-not-to-tilt”

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn (and that is nice)

View OpensideFlanker's profile


14 posts in 1600 days

#10 posted 01-31-2018 09:27 PM

If you’re joining edges, don’t worry too much about a bit of bevel, just book-match the two edges and plane them together. When you lay them out, the bevels are complimentary and the pieces glue up flat.

It is really hard to avoid a bevel on a single piece every time. Using a lower profile plane helps (harder to keep from tilting with my Ulmia 24” Jointer, which is a couple of inches thick) and the hand guide technique noted above helps. When you get the inevitable bevel, take it out with a smoother with a curved iron. It is a LOT easier than doing it by tilting a plane with a straight iron. For instance, if the left side of the edge is higher, set the curved-iron plane far to the left, so you are planing with the right side of the iron. A couple of shavings will level the bevel with much lower likelihood of overdoing it in the opposite direction (as can happen with the tilting-plane method).

View EricLew's profile


274 posts in 2658 days

#11 posted 02-01-2018 02:02 AM

great tips guys. thank you very much

-- I love the smell of coffee in the morning, and sawdust in the afternoon

View Ripper70's profile


1379 posts in 2200 days

#12 posted 02-01-2018 02:19 AM

This video is great from start to finish, but here it cuts to the chase regarding lateral adjustment of the blade and proper holding technique.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View pintodeluxe's profile


6498 posts in 4105 days

#13 posted 02-01-2018 02:33 AM

When a hand plane produces an edge that isn’t square for me, it seems pretty logical. A jointer has a fence that is set to exactly 90 degrees, while a plane usually has no such reference.

Also consider the length of the plane sole compared to a power jointer. A fairly long hand plane is 12-16” long, but a medium sized jointer can be 76” long. That’s a whole lot longer reference surface to achieve a flat edge.

Opensideflanker’s comment above about jointing them in such a way that any angle created is accounted for… that’s what I do too. Usually with hand tools I’m not so much building something that is perfect, but rather building it so it looks good and the joints fit tight. Spring joints for example are not straight, but they close up well with glue.

Good luck with it. It can be a fun process.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Just_Iain's profile


331 posts in 1708 days

#14 posted 02-05-2018 03:22 PM

What about shooting it? Stack two pieces of straight material (plywood or MDF for example) that are longer than the board you want to plane with an offset of about 4”. Clamp the board down with a very small overhang on the top piece of straight material and then use your jointer plane on its side like you would a ‘shooting plane’.,41182,48945&ap=1

-- For those about to die, remember your bicycle helmet!

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