DID YOU KNOW…

Currently the Planemaker Gallery features the work of over 100 contemporary plane makers from around the world. From larger commercial operations to individuals who just want to make planes for their own use.


Hand Planing Small Items


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

If you need to hand plane very small pieces of wood you'll soon discover that it isn't that easy to do it in the conventional manner. One solution, however, is to adopt the coopers method of inverting the plane and holding it rigid, while you push the wood over the blade instead.

Coopers jointing planes are between 2 foot and 6 foot long, but most of them fall into the four to five foot mark. They're usually set on a stand or fixed to a low bench. While the average workshop may not have the luxury of having a coopers jointer, you can still use the same method by holding the plane in the jaws of your bench vice or your workmate. A note of caution though - be careful about cranking the vice up too tight as the casting may break from too much pressure. If you use a wooden plane then the pressure that's exerted will be more evenly distributed but a basic rule of thumb is still to not overtighten.

With the hand plane upside-down in a vice its a matter of just guiding the pieces over the plane blade. The only problem with this is that, being such small pieces, it's a lot easier to slice the tips of your fingers off. With this in mind it's a good idea to use a push stick or a platten to help out with the job unless the part is easy enough to hold comfortably. You can use these on the bench plane in the same way as you would normally use them on an electric planer/joiner.

LEFT and BOTTOM: Using a smoothing plane "face-up" in a vice to carefully shave a newly-made plane wedge. First the underside of the wedge is planed, then the side. While the wedge could've been sanded, planing is just as effective and a little bit quicker. Because the top of the wedge is "scalloped" and allowed for easy grip without slippage a push stick or platten was not necessary.

The push stick is just your average "vee" or "birds mouth" design but to make a platten takes a little bit more effort. All that's required though is to glue or screw a handle to a flat piece of timber or particle board, and then nail or glue some "guide strips", which are thinner than the finished piece to be planed, to the opposite face of the board.

1914 AD 6 Page Bailey Stanley Bed Rock Planes Iron Adjustable Block Universal
1914 AD 6 Page Bailey Stanley Bed Rock Planes Iron Adjustable Block Universal $29.99
Time Remaining: 1h 6m
Buy It Now for only: $29.99
1915 PAPER AD 12 PG Revonoc Stanley Bailey Bed Rock Siegley Ogontz Plane Tools
1915 PAPER AD 12 PG Revonoc Stanley Bailey Bed Rock Siegley Ogontz Plane Tools $69.99
Time Remaining: 1h 20m
Buy It Now for only: $69.99
Stanley Bedrock No 606 Fore Plane Used Complete
Stanley Bedrock No 606 Fore Plane Used Complete $75.00 (16 Bids)
Time Remaining: 5h 24m
Stanley Bedrock No 605 Jack Plane Used Complete
Stanley Bedrock No 605 Jack Plane Used Complete $47.00 (15 Bids)
Time Remaining: 5h 32m
stanley bedrock 603 plane
stanley bedrock 603 plane $38.00 (6 Bids)
Time Remaining: 6h 37m
Stanley Bedrock 2 Lever Cap 604 or 605 Round Sided Planes will Fit Sq Sides
Stanley Bedrock 2 Lever Cap  604 or 605 Round Sided Planes will Fit Sq Sides $44.99
Time Remaining: 8h
Antique Vintage Stanley Bedrock No 605 Type 5 1911 Smooth Woodworking Plane
Antique Vintage Stanley Bedrock No 605 Type 5 1911 Smooth Woodworking Plane $199.00
Time Remaining: 8h 51m
Buy It Now for only: $199.00
STANLEY No 603C BEDROCK Plane BED ROCK on Lever Cap Round Top
STANLEY No 603C BEDROCK Plane BED ROCK on Lever Cap Round Top $71.25
Time Remaining: 11h 33m
Buy It Now for only: $71.25
Stanley Bedrock No 606 Plane Corrugated Bottom Sweetheart Patent Date
Stanley Bedrock No 606 Plane Corrugated Bottom Sweetheart Patent Date $200.00
Time Remaining: 12h 50m
Buy It Now for only: $200.00
VTG 2 STANLEY BAILEY PLANE IRON FITS No4 5 604 605 9 24 26 35 BEDROCK NOS USA
VTG 2 STANLEY BAILEY PLANE IRON FITS No4 5 604 605 9 24 26 35 BEDROCK NOS USA $59.99
Time Remaining: 14h 24m
Buy It Now for only: $59.99