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Discussion Starter #1
Actually I think that I know the answer to my curiosity about hand planes. Recently there was a thread about milling a 15" x 30" piece of walnut with a slight bow in it.

I don't recall if the board had any twist in it or not, but I'm assuming, should say wondering, if a person that is skilled in the use of a hand plane could flatten both faces of such a board in a manner that would be equal to what would be accomplished with a 15" jointer and a planer?

There probably are 15" jointers in commercial shops but not practical price wish for the average hobbyist shop like my own.

Just wondering about the potential of the hand plane. I suppose that the fact that beautiful woodworking was done long before power tools were invented should answer my question.

Jerry

Jerry
 

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Check out the Wood River (version 3) longer models, which are a great value and very well made. Not quite as elegant as the Veritas, but more affordable. Flattening, sharpening and very fine adjustment as well as technique are involved, but yes you can plane a board that size and get it very flat. Lots of videos on that topic. You will work up a sweat, but the sound of a plane making paper thin curls is very satisfying.

There are also people here who would suggest cutting the piece into smaller pieces, flattening and planing those, then gluing up panels for final use. Less likely to warp than a solid piece. Wood with a twist wants to keep twisting even after assembly. Personally, I would rather have a glued up section, which properly done, will make for a great final result.
 

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wondering, if a person that is skilled in the use of a hand plane could flatten both faces of such a board in a manner that would be equal to what would be accomplished with a 15" jointer and a planer?


Jerry

Jerry
Absolutely! :wink:
 

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Just wondering about the potential of the hand plane. I suppose that the fact that beautiful woodworking was done long before power tools were invented should answer my question.

Jerry that is how they did it in the old days. Come on you remember. :laugh2:

I have a Wood River and really like it. I am not an expert on it's use but when I do use it, it makes me smile.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
For what was spent on my jointer and planer, I could have purchased a very nice set of hand planes. The work that would be required to mill the parts for any projects may have been just what I needed to keep my weight down and provide some well needed exercise.

Of course the time required to finish any project would be greatly extended.

All kidding aside, one has to admire the work done before power tools were avallable, this can be said of many endeavors besides woodworking.

Jerry
 

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Jerry if you want to feel really humble about your (and our) woodworking skills google Roentgen furniture.
 
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Jerry if you want to feel really humble about your (and our) woodworking skills google Roentgen furniture.
Yowser ! ! ! ...now I have to throw all my tools out and take up basketweaving...

Thanks (I think) for sharing...
 

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Yeah, I know deep down that I will never be skilled enough to try to re-create one of those pieces. Maybe if I could stay healthy for another 100 years.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, I know deep down that I will never be skilled enough to try to re-create one of those pieces. Maybe if I could stay healthy for another 100 years.

I'm beginning to think that what Chuck is saying is due to the following. Some skills, in this case, using a hand planes is not unlike playing a musical instrument. People that understand music and can readt it and play musical instruments seem to have been born with some innate understanding and/or skill that others do not possess.

For example, I can barely spell music, let alone understand how to read it. Even worse my interest in doing so is not existant, but at the same time, I like music and enjoy listening to most of it, certainly not all of it.

Certain skills in woodworking are, in my opinion, a bit like music in that not all woodworkers are born with the skills to do what others are born with. I am of the opinion that using a hand plane is an example of of what I'm trying to explain. Because of my lack of skill or even enterest in learning about them, I will have to \resort to my power tools and just sing along with everybody else as best I can and continue to admire those that are blessed with the talents to use the old and wonderful hand tools of days gone by.

That's my opinion on the matter, does anybody feel the same as I do on the subject?

Jerry
 

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That's true to a large extent Jerry. There are some jobs that require a practiced hand to do like mudding drywall and some tools require that too. The wood lathe is one for me. I've never been able to get good at it because I've never had the time to learn it.

Planes are like that too but sharpening the blade is one of the main aspects and I've taken the time to learn that because it also applies to my chisels and knives. There still is a bit to know about the setup but I can play with them and get that part good enough to make one work. While I would try to use power tools where major shaping is involved I still grab one of my planes where only a little adjustment of a fit is needed because it's faster that setting up a power tool and I'm not as likely to screw up by taking too much wood off.

In fact I'm more likely to reach for a hand tool when only a small adjustment to any issue is needed for the above reasons and other members have said the same over the years.
 
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@Jerry Bowen I think you are correct, some people have innate abilities that are easily developed and even perfected. Kids who can almost automatically play a piano is an example.

The ability to visualize what is happening as it happens is one of those abilities. When I use a hand plane, I can almost see, hear and feel how it is going through the material. I can also read something, visualize it and then make it. Part of why I write things out is an adjunct to working out how to do something new to me. Often, my "add on" comments about a post come from visualizing what someone posted, and "seeing" how they could improve or embellish it. It is an automatic process for me. But it doesn't apply to everything, for example, mechanics and I do not get along, nor could I ever manage to play a musical instrument. Woodworking happily is a sweet spot for me.
 

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@DaninVan You are one step ahead of me on keeping the car clean. But I am fussy about lubes, brakes and other basic maintenance, but I have someone else do the deed.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
About sharpening a knive, I can't do it, but my dad had the touch. Back in the 50's when he was still alive and worked in a plywood mill, he was well known for his ability to put an edge on a pocket knife. I was told, after he died in that mill of a heart attack and I went to work there, that he was often paid five dollars to sharpen a pocket knife for a fellow worker. At that time, five dollars was worth more than two hours of work.

The point being that we do not always get certain genes passed on from our parents.

Fortunately, I have skills in other areas and am not a complete dunce as might be implied if all of my worth depended on my woodworking skills. Just defending myself for what's it's worth, not that it needs to be defended.

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #16
About sharpening a knive, I can't do it, but my dad had the touch. Back in the 50's when he was still alive and worked in a plywood mill, he was well known for his ability to put an edge on a pocket knife. I was told, after he died in that mill of a heart attack and I went to work there, that he was often paid five dollars to sharpen a pocket knife for a fellow worker. At that time, five dollars was worth more than two hours of work.


The point being that we do not always get certain genes passed on from our parents.

Fortunately, I have skills in other areas and am not a complete dunce as might be implied if all of my worth depended on my woodworking skills. Just defending myself for what's it's worth, not that it needs to be defended.

Jerry


After posting this about my dad sharpening pocket knives, I got to thinking that what I recall about him being paid five dollars sounded like it would have been out of line. That statement was from my memory, but I am beginning to doubt my own memory, I can see him being paid one dollar and perhaps that is more in line in reality. Memories can get confused after more than sixty years, and this probably is an example of it.

Jerry
 

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That's true to a large extent Jerry. There are some jobs that require a practiced hand to do like mudding drywall and some tools require that too. The wood lathe is one for me. I've never been able to get good at it because I've never had the time to learn it.

Planes are like that too but sharpening the blade is one of the main aspects and I've taken the time to learn that because it also applies to my chisels and knives. There still is a bit to know about the setup but I can play with them and get that part good enough to make one work. While I would try to use power tools where major shaping is involved I still grab one of my planes where only a little adjustment of a fit is needed because it's faster that setting up a power tool and I'm not as likely to screw up by taking too much wood off.

In fact I'm more likely to reach for a hand tool when only a small adjustment to any issue is needed for the above reasons and other members have said the same over the years.

When I got my Wood River #5 plane a few months ago I learned to do a pretty good [not perfect] job of sharpening the iron free hand. With a plane iron I can feel the bevel but not the chisel. I still have to use an aid to sharpen a chisel. I just can't feel the bevel on a chisel.
 

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Sharpening is more art than science. I have the WorkSharp 3000, which is a wonderful machine that makes keeping the bevel angle right, but to keep them sharp, give me a diamond sharpening device with the holes. A few swipes with that on the bevel, and a couple on the back and then a few laps on a strop and whatever I'm sharpening is perfect! Planing or chiseling with that kind of ultra sharp blade is easy and a pleasure (except on cheap plywood).
 
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