NOOB

Where does one go(locally) to find someone who will teach me how to use hand planes. I don't see any courses in my community colleges. I see various private courses around the country that I might go to in a few months but I wonder how to find a person sooner than that. I have Hack's book. My wife is an antiques buff so I have half a dozen planes in various stages of rusting/rot that she picked up at garage sales. With a lot of work I have gotten them 'better' but I can't imagine actually using them. I have spent hours sharpening each of them but I find it is time to see an expert rather than just reading more books. My local Woodcraft store has classes but again it will be many months before they get around to this subject. Any suggestions?
Greg Barrington, Illinois(40m NW of Chicago)
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before
How well do youknow the guys at the store? Most are woodworkers and willing to help to a point. they have a job and customers to care for, but if you pop in at a slow time and make a purchase, you may get a little help. Ask them if they know of any customers that would be willing to tutor you and maybe they will either refer you or take you into the back room for a quick lesson.
Ask about a local club too.
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On Fri, 06 Aug 2004 17:58:38 GMT, "Greg Ostrom"

I'm pretty much in the same boat you are. The shop I'm at now doesn't rely very heavily at all on handplanes, so I've sort of had to teach myself. I've found that simply making shavings has been the best education, although I've never taken a course so I guess I can't really compare. What I tried to do was give myself the best chance of success right from the get go.
Here's what I did... Rather than trying to restore an old plane to workable condition, I purchased a very good plane and fettled it such that I knew it would work (based upon what I'd read). I bought the Lee Valley low angle block plane. The first thing I did was to try and make a few shavings straight out of the box. It did make shavings, but I primarily did it for the sake of comparison. Then I went to work...
First I disassembled the entire plane and cleaned it thoroughly of rust protection gunk. Then I put it back together and made a couple more shavings. No real change. Took it all back apart and started the fettling process. I used ScarySharp (the use of abrasive paper in lieu of sharpenijng stones) and lapped the sold of the plane flat up to 600 grit (I think - I've since gone to 1200). Then I put a slight chamfer on the leading edge of the mouth and the back edge of the sole to avoid catching. Then I moved on to the blade. Lapped the back up to 1500 grit (it took FOREVER - consider an alternative method right out of the gate). Then I flipped it and put it in the Lee Valley sharpening jig and put the primary bevel on it at 600 grit and then put a microbevel on at 1500. Reassembled yet again taking great pains to get the cutting edge square to the mouth.
Now I was ready to plane - or so I thought. I've since learned that waxing the sole can really, really help, but I skipped that step initially. With a piece of poplar in the vise (oh yeah - you will need a vise) I went to work. First pass was waaaaay to heavy. Lightened up the cut and took another pass - nothing came off. Now I picked up on just how sensitive the depth of cut mechanism is. The way to do it is to start with the blade just a RCH below the surface of the sole, and then just move it up a smidgen at a time until you are cutting beautiful little curly cues. Take care to watch how the plane reacts to the wood - and vise versa. Tear out? Try plaing the other way. Maybe try closing the mouth. Just play around. Oh - and the shavings (aka excelsior?) make an outstanding firestarter. Remember "The Bad Seed"....
Half the battle for me was in the fettling. Once that's been accomplished you are well on your way.
JP ******************* 98% normite and dropping.
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Jay Pique wrote: snip

I'm glad that you're enjoying the seduction of handtools. %-) Next time around, reassemble the plane, back the blade up so it doesn't take a cut and then flatten the sole. Unless it's flattened while stressed, it won't be the same shape as when it's being used. The leading edge of the throat is the important part of the throat. It needs to be flat and sharp to work properly. If you've chamfered it the way I envision it, you're allowing the wood too much room between it and the blade. I's possible, though, that I've just misunderstood you. I'm glad that it works for you. Now collect a handful of old Stanleys and make them work right. Dave in Fairfax
--
Dave Leader
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wrote:

Good point - I think I've since lapped it while assembled, but I'm going to check to make sure it's flat.

Yes, but due to my misuse of handplane vocabulary. I put a slight chamfer on the very front edge (toe?) of the little sliding thingy that you can move back and forth to adjust the mouth opening..

I've been to a couple of auctions, but no luck on planes yet. I'm really hoping to score an old set of Starrett squares, calipers, micrometers, etc...
JP
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hand
http://www.lf.org/bhai2000/bhai_classes.html
Basic 101 and Hand Tools 102 maybe?
[ Kind'a wished I knew about this when I lived in Vernon Hills. ]
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If nothing else, how about a video? http://www.lie-nielsen.com/library.html?cat=6&id=VD-110 . I saw the last one listed by Mario Rodriguez. It was pretty good and it was much easier to understand watching as opposed to reading.
Preston

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How about a nice trip to north central Wisconsin for classes from an expert? http://www.prairieriverwoodworking.com /
I did it and can recommend them.
Bob

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Greg Ostrom wrote:

I taught myself on a pine 2x4 lying around the house. The first project I used a plane for was to make an electric guitar. You should stop worrying about how to use a plane and just use it. Learning by doing is the best way.
-Jonathan
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Thanks for all the great advice, and the rapidity. Planed a 2x4, started work on my beginners project and have to decide amongst the choices for education.
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Greg Ostrom wrote:

A plane is not that hard to use. The hard part is getting it tuned up and sharp.
Get some wood. Pine is fine--stay with something cheap and readily available and just use one kind at first. Cut a block maybe 5"x7" and clamp it in your vise. If you don't have a good vise or some other type of stable workholder then you're going to find working with a plane horribly frustrating. Now try to make all the edges and faces of that block square to each other and flat. You may end up whittling it down to a toothpick before you're done--as long as you keep paying attention to what you're doing and when a cut doesn't give the result you want figuring out why you'll get where you want to be. You'll be amazed at the pile of shavings you've made and surprised at how fast it comes once you start getting the "hang" of it. Once you can square a little block you're ready for bigger and better things.

--
--John
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