Tools #1: Stanley no 4 1/2 smoothing plane

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Just thought I would share my thoughts, after being given a Stanley plane secondhand from my grandfather in the late 1980s, I struggled with using it. trying all of the tips that my woodworking teacher gave me in high school it continued to act more as a scraper than peeling off wondrous strips of shavings. unfortunately my frustration meant that it was placed in the back of the tool cupboard.
Roughly two years ago my son was showing me the joys of youtube, as a joke i asked if it could show me how to use a hand plane, ironically he quickly showed me a tutorial on how to tune a hand plane. after watching the video i thought to myself “why not have a crack” the plane was taken out, dusted off, I “found” a piece of float glass and started to tune the plane, all of this happening at 4am in the morning. by five am I placed a piece of rough sawn, tasmanian oak in the vice, placed the newly tuned plane on the wood and proceeded to take a nice curling shaving for an uninterrupted four feet. by five am I had woken the wife, wood shaving in hand with a beaming smile and a “look at this, see how it is tissue thin in the middle and feathered at the edges”
Unfortunately my wife is not an early riser and in general does not share my enthusiasm at that time of day, i believe it was at this point that she thought to herself that there really needs to be more distance between my workshop and the bedroom!
The plane continues to perform well, is often used whilst recycling timber, was looking lonely so was joined by another 6 planes, although it is still my general purpose plane. The wife has even taken action to ensure that i now have a workshop that is far away from the bedroom, all thanks to a new found admiration for a hand plane!

-- cheers, Dutchy

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if you type “tune a hand plane” into you tube you get about 6000 results, i still cant find the original clip that i saw. what i did find invaluable was getting the bottom of the plane flat. i dont buy brand new planes due to budget, but have found the piece of glass invaluable for getting good secondhand planes back into action. all of my kids now enjoy turning up in the workshop and using a plane that is set up and sharp. Now i just need to convince them that it is perfectly fine to sharpen the blades when they are finished.

-- cheers, Dutchy

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