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There is no woodworking tool that's more satisfying, quick and precise to use as a handplane. Planes can process timber in its rough state, bring boards up to a glimmering smoothness, cut rabbets, dados, grooves and other joints, and trim wood with a precision that has yet to be matched by power tools.
Yet many woodworkers – both beginners and professionals – are intimidated by choosing the right tool, sharpening its cutter and putting it to use. And that's why Christopher Schwarz, the editor of Woodworking Magazine, wrote this book.
"Handplane Essentials" contains everything you need to choose the right tool for your budget and project, take it out of the box, sharpen it and use it successfully. The chapters in this book have been compiled from more than 10 years of the author's writing on the subject of handplanes in magazines, trade journals and blogs.
This is a sizable book – 312 pages – and is printed on high-quality paper. The hundreds of photos in the book have been sepia-toned, just like the photos in Woodworking Magazine. The book is hardbound, covered in black cloth with a copper embossing and a heavy full-color dust jacket. And – best of all – the book is produced and printed entirely in the United States. Here's what you'll find inside:
Learn what the different handplanes are used for. Decode their crazy numbering system so you can focus instead on what each tool does. And figure out what specific planes you need in your shop.
Learning to hone your cutters to a keen edge is the secret to getting your planes to work. "Handplane Essentials" shows you how to get this done no matter what sort of sharpening system you use now.
Learn how to flatten individual boards, panels and even enormous tabletops with just a few bench planes. Learn to use specialty planes to cut grooves, rabbets and other joints.
History & Philosophy
If you understand historical practice, you'll be a better handplane user – even if you choose to reject the traditional methods. Learn to pick a well-made old tool based on how it is made.
Find out who makes the best high-quality tool, whether it's a $50 plane from India or a $5,000 plane custom-made by a machinist in Scotland. The author has tried them all.