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Posted by is9582 on February 13, 2014 with No Commentsas

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Making Wooden Hand Planes using Hock Irons

Posted by is9582 on February 7, 2014 with No Commentsas , , , , , , , , , ,

I thought I’d whet the appetite for an upcoming series of articles on this subject, that I wrote for Highland Woodworking. The first article should be out very soon.

Here are some photos of a couple of recent planes I made, that were both based around Hock iron/chip breaker sets. The Hock iron sets I used are made from O-1 tool-steel, are nice and thick, which helps to reduce if not completely eliminate any flexing or vibrations. This lack of iron vibrations result in less struggle to take finishing cuts with the planes.

I made the two planes closest to the front, in the last couple of months.
The plane in the background (out of focus on purpose) is one I made a few years ago.
Here is a closeup of the Cherry plane that is the focus of my
Highland Woodworking Blog article.
A closeup of a Walnut bodied plane I made using a 4 1/2″ long Hock 1 3/4″ iron set.
The same Walnut plane along with a plane specific mallet I made
out of some scrap Bubinga and a re-purposed old Maple
chisel  handle I carved years ago.

These photos were taken using our Canon T5i, which is a nice bump in quality from the older entry-level DSLR cameras. This camera also records video up to 1080p with a continuous-adjusting autofocus. This and the swing-around LCD display really help when recording yourself, while working to present in-focus and in-frame material.

Please check out my related articles in the Highland Woodworking Blog, as well as a range of hand-tool articles I’ve written for them since 2010.
As always, thanks for visiting my blog and I hope you enjoyed the information. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.
Lee Laird

Videos showing sharpening and setup of an “experienced” Stanley hand plane

Posted by is9582 on February 6, 2014 with No Commentsas , ,

While the linked videos show me using one of my older Stanley No. 3 Smoothing planes, the same steps and techniques are valid for any hand plane built on this design, such as Lie-Nielsen, Wood river…

I know many of you likely have one or more of the “experienced” or “vintage” Stanley hand planes, which many can be brought back to life with a simple sharpening using either the method I show, to apply a slight camber to the iron. While I find a cambered iron extremely valuable, as this helps rid the resulting plane “tracks” (that are left from a straight iron removing a thin layer of wood that abruptly stops), as well as excelling at bringing an out-of-square edge back to square, there are certain planes that need a straight iron and some that rather keep them all straight. If you prefer a straight iron, or have a plane that demands it, simply keeping the hand pressure centered (as in the video where I made a pass on the stone, testing to see if the iron’s previously honing angle matches the current angle in the honing guide) for the entirety of the sharpening/honing process to result in a non-cambered or straight iron.

Below each of the videos I’ve included the link information, just in case something about the embedded videos is less than optimal, hopefully this info can allow accessing the videos in a different manner.

The first of these videos removes the iron from the plane body and talks briefly about the stones and honing guides.


The second video dives into the actual sharpening process.


The third video is the re-assembly and associated discussion.


The forth and last video, in this mini series, discusses putting the plane into service with the technique and thought process for setting the depth of cut for a reasonable (or even a super-thin) shaving.

I hope this has information is useful and helps all to feel more comfortable using these useful tools. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.
Lee Laird