Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hand Plane

Japanese plane in useFor Christmas I got a Hand Plane, or more specifically a Jack plane. This is a metal hand tool for working wood.The plane allows very fine shavings of wood to be removed to curve or flatten a piece of timber. Using the plane is a very satisfying feeling as you can sense the grain as you use the tool.

The immediate use for the plane was to make an arm for a King Furniture sofa. The sofa came with two metal brackets to convert the backrest into a headrest for a sofa bed. When not using the sofa as a bed these brackets are not needed and have to be kept somewhere. I attached a plank of wood to the top of the brackets to make a low arm for the sofa, wide enough to put a coffee cup on. King Furniture sell a similar wooden arm for the sofas, which is higher. By the time the cost of the plane, wood, wood stain and varnish was taken into account it would probably be cheaper to buy one, but making it was very satisfying.

Jack PlaneThe Jack Plane I have is branded "GripWell" and made in India.The body, Frog and Lever cap are made of cast iron, the cutter of steel and the handles of hardwood. Such planes have been made for hundreds of years to the same design. There are similar ones on Amazon.com, so I created a hand woodworking tool store (but the tools are probably cheaper at your local hardware store):

1 comment:

Gye Greene said...

Nifty! Didn't know you were into hand-tool woodworking.

FYI: Old Tools is a e-list that discusses the use, and restoration of, new and old woodworking handtools. Lots of knowledge, advice, tips & tricks. (Google for the FAQ, how to sign up, etc.)

American-based list -- but about five active Aussies on it.