A hand plane is a tool that you can never keep away from your woodworking table if you need precision. With the rising domination of modern power tools, hand planes are coming less into the work. However, you still need a proper hand plane to make fine adjustments on the wood’s surface. A hand plane is an excellent tool for learning if you don’t have a power sander or plane or a beginner at woodworking.
There are different types of hand planes that you can select for different purposes. You might get confused when you go to the store and try to choose the right one. If you’re planning to get your new hand plane and confused about the type, stick to the article to get enlightened. I’ll get you through the different types of wood planes and help you choose the right one.
How does a wood plane work?
The primary perspective of a wood plane is to level the rough surface of the wood and give it a smooth finish. It also helps you reduce the wood to the height you need for your project. Despite the critical mechanism in a wood plane, the working process of it is pretty straightforward
You have to start by adjusting the blade portion of the plane before chipping the woods with it. When you push the plane across the wood, the metal chipper cuts off the rough top and levels the surface. With the required amount of pushes, you can get a perfect level on the wood and a smooth finish.
Different types of wood planes
It will be a daunting job to choose the right one if you don’t know about different types of wood planes. Here are the most popular types of wood planes for different types of works that you can go for:
The most popular type of plane for most of the regular works is the block plane. Block planes come with a measurement of roughly 150mm in length. It has a perfect design to use one-handed and make fine cuts with smooth finishes. Trimming wood grain from the surface or the edge with a block plane will be a piece of cake. The small form factor of this plane type makes it a proper selection for fine-tuning your workpieces.
A smoothing plane has the shortest form factor among different types of planes. The name suggests the work of this wood plane. You will use it only to smoothen a wood surface after treating it completely. This plane will have the perfect weight, shape, and grip to it for a perfect smoothness on the wood. You will get different sizes up to 175mm for this plane, which you can categorize with numbers from One to Four.
Fore planes are the shortest in the bench plane type with around 460mm length in size. The long solo of the plane makes it look so long and big that it is perfect for what it does. The fore plane is a perfect piece of equipment for flattening wood boards, and the long sole helps on that. The extra length to the sole doesn’t follow the troughs and peaks you would find on an uneven board.
This plane is truly the jack of all trades because of the versatile working range it offers. It’s a perfect choice if you’re looking for a 2 in 1 plane that can do both smoothing and flattening. You can make use of it instead of both a Smoothing plane and the Fore plane because of the medium size. With a rough length of 350mm, the jack plane will both avoid the peaks and smooth the surface with the heavy body.
The primary functionality of the jointer plane is to straighten the edges of the boards for joining. They can give you a very straight, fine, and smooth finish to the edge for a seamless joint. No 7 of the Jointer plane will measure at around 510mm, where the no 8 has around 600mm length. If you do a lot of jointing for bigger workpieces, you must go for one of these planes to get the job done.
The shoulder planes take in the blades that extend to the entire width of the plane’s body. You can make cuts with the full width of the plane on the surface if you use it. Cutting rebates like the tenon shoulders, trimming, and cutting against the corner of the workpiece is possible with this plane. You can easily make deep grooves with the shoulder plane as the blade goes with the edge side by side.
This plane also does almost a similar job to the shoulder plane but comes with a different design. The blades of the rabbet plane also extend to the full width, similarly to the shoulder plane. The rabbet plane will leave a fence to keep the plane parallel to the edge of the wood. You can adjust and fix the depth of the blade and secure it in place to keep the depth consistent.
Bull Nose Planes
By design, the bullnose plane is also similar to a shoulder plane as the blade extends to the full width. However, instead of a small diameter, it will have a wider body, and the blade is on the front of the plane. Sometimes, it works more like a chisel for the new grains to the edges of the rebate. The wider form factor helps the plane to prevent itself from binding against the rebate.
The primary work of a router plane is to clean the dadoes, grooves, or shallow mortices from the chips. Its blades have two different cutting positions; one will expose it to the edges, and the other will plane the corners.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most frequently asked questions about different types of wood planes and their works. Get through them to understand the practical problems people face across the globe while working on their wood projects:
What is the difference between a block plane and a bench plane?
An identical difference between a block plane and a bench plane is in the direction of the bevel. The bevel will always face up with a block plane while the bevel of the bench plane will face down.
Does a planer make wood smooth?
Yes, a planer will chip off all the uneven bumps from the surfaces of the wood and give it an even surface. With a few passes, the board will have a flat and smooth surface on both sides.
Should I plane pallet wood?
Pallet wood has a decent rigidity and can take quite an abuse to the body. You can easily plane a pallet wood for making it even and smoothen it on both sides.
Woodworking with perfection cannot happen if you don’t have the right type of wood plane to refine your work. Different types of wood planes will work for different types of applications and give you a low level of wood grain. It makes your wood more defined and helps you do the job more precisely as you continue working on it.
However, to make the best use of a wood plane, you must get the best plane in the market with maximum dependability. You also have to use it correctly and keep proper maintenance for the tool, especially the metal portion. Maintenance works like sharpening, mouth adjustment, Iron adjustment, Chip beaker adjustments are necessary.