Is my hand plane technique wrong?

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Forum topic by econsigny posted 12-16-2011 07:46 AM 1609 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View econsigny's profile


9 posts in 2814 days

12-16-2011 07:46 AM

I am handplaning a large piece of walnut with a stanley #5. It’s a rough cut piece of wood. As I plane it I’m getting decent shavings, but little lines where the edges of the iron pass are formed every time I make a pass. When I sharpened the iron I did not put much of a camber on the blade.

These ridges/lines are visible but you cannot really feel them if you run your hand over them.

I plan on sanding it after planing it. Will these lines sand out? Do I need to sharpen my blade differently? Currently I use a granite slab with sandpaper and a sharpening guide, and I’m not able to make the jump to waterstones quite yet.


5 replies so far

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2805 days

#1 posted 12-16-2011 08:01 AM

The better question to ask first is how are you sharpening your plane iron?

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View Ole's profile


67 posts in 3527 days

#2 posted 12-16-2011 08:08 AM

You’ll get plane tracks anytime you sharpen the iron straight across. If you’re going to be sanding after planing you’ll save yourself a lot of work by taking some time now to increase the camber. I have something like a 12” radius on my #5 and that seems to work quite well. It won’t do super heavy work, that’s for a scrub plane. I find that I can also take very thin, controlled, albeit narrow shavings if I back the iron off accordingly.

Take some time to experiment with it. Good luck!

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3565 days

#3 posted 12-16-2011 08:30 AM

your smoother will proppebly take care of them with one or two passes
just remember to round your corners on the smoother iron


View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4098 days

#4 posted 12-16-2011 08:39 AM

You’re doing it right. Dub off the corners of your iron gently
if you want. Grind a real camber if you want but it’s not
really needed. You can go in and scrape off the ridges
later. An no. 5 is best at establishing a flat surface.

I’d finish with a no. 4 with a cambered iron. The shorter
sole helps even out the ridges left by the longer plane.

Most things you read recommend adjusting the iron by
eye, but I use my fingers to feel it.

View wingate_52's profile


226 posts in 3020 days

#5 posted 12-16-2011 08:57 AM

I grind flat and dub off the corners to prevent lines and ridges.

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