Tuning a Block or Hand Plane

The tune of a plane block is often an overlooked practice. By this I mean many woodworkers, with me at one time, bought a block plane, take it home and start using it right from the box.

While some brands have come a long way in selling a product that is really ready for use, it still has the potential to get more from it.

To many wooden workers, the process of getting a brand new plane, or even an older one, and spending some time tuning seems to be a waste of time. I used what I felt in that way. That is, until finally I got around to try it out. At this point I realized how important the tool was getting.

A properly tuned plane is slowly through the wood with amazing ease. Even planning the end of a board will be successful. The shavings coming from the plane are great to see!

The first step in tuning any airplane is checking the "single" or bottom of the plane, for the plains. This can be done through a steel straightedge. Place it in diagonally throughout the single and find any light between the straightedge and the plane. Remember any hollows. Now put it in the other diagonal corner and check that. Again, notice any hollow area. Using the same procedure check the front to back the plains on both sides of the sole.

The thing here is to determine if the single is dead flat. If not, and usually it is not, you need to extend it. It helps to take a magic marker and draw "x" from the corner to the corner, and a rectangle around the outer edges of the sole.

Using a piece of 3/8 "glass plate, it saturates some spirit spirits, and accumulates some wet / dry paper roles in it. Mineral spirits hold the paper tight in The bottom of the mirror is how bad I will start at 400 grit paper.

Hold the airplane firmly against the paper, rub it several times, and check the marks you've drawn below. If parts of the mark are missing, it shows where the high places are. Continue the sanding until you remove all the marks. The sound is harder than it actually is.

Once you have a single flat, move to the finer sandwich and start the polishing process. By making your way through different paper grits, going better and finer, the bottom will be polished. I usually take a mine in a mirror finish. The good news is once it's done, restoring it in the same situation later lasts only a few minutes.

Next time to do the same procedure below the blade's edges. Bring it back to a mirror finish that passes through different paper grits. As always, it should only be done once, and have a little touch at one time.

On the edge of the anointed edge, the blade bevel needs to be broken. A good gel to hold the proper angle will help. It also wants to be a glossy edge, with no burrs left behind. Moving between front and back leads to the edge of the wire gradually away.

Now you want to check the opening on the sole, where the blade protrudes, and checks for the smooth. You may want to run a file, just to clean it up a bit. Often they are somewhat rough. The same goes for the blade blade.

Waxing under sole will help to protect the metal, as well as allow it to run smoothly across the wood. Once done, reconstruct the plane and adjust the edged blade of the body, and set the depth for a fine cut.

You are amazed at the difference where the blades cut through the wood, and the resulting surface of the area is planned. It appears to be burned, because it will be bright in the light.

An occasional touch up will take very little time, and keep the shavings flying out of the plane.

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