Issue 589

Issue 589

Hand Planes and Canoe Paddles

I confess that, for the most part, hand tools are something I have grown to appreciate as I have gotten grayer. When I was learning woodworking in my dad’s shop, they were mostly just useful things that could occasionally be helpful fixing a problem here or there. But using them as a primary tool was not in my lexicon. In recent years I have surfaced long slabs wider than my planer with my 07-hand plane — and enjoyed it. (I needed the workout.) I also hand jointed a 5-foot long butt joint on a dining table — which was not as fun, but worked pretty great.

As my friend Ian Kirby says, “You can still build any piece of furniture just using hand tools.” And to show you what he means, we are presenting a video of him demonstrating hand plane use in the Weekly today. And regarding what to make … we have Dan Cary’s video of making a canoe paddle using hand tools as well.

So enjoy … and be sure to check out my awesome garage sale find in the intro video.

Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal

Featured Videos

How to Use a Hand Plane

Learn how to adjust and use a hand plane. Hand planes have been used by woodworkers for hundreds of years, but it can be challenging to smooth wood using a bench plane if you don’t know how to adjust and properly work it across the wood surface. Master Woodworker Ian Kirby demonstrates the proper way to adjust a plane, how to stand when using a hand plane, and how to push a plane across a board to get great results. After watching Ian’s lesson, you’ll be able to easily plane boards perfectly smooth.

This video is part of a collection of Premium Videos in Ian Kirby’s “Way to Woodwork” series. In this series, Ian and LiLi Jackson introduce the Critical Path of making a woodworking project and show how to implement them in creating a pair of projects. You can learn more about this series here and subscribe to Woodworker’s Journal to get access to the whole collection.

How to Make a Canoe Paddle

Making a canoe paddle is a great woodworking project and it’s a great way to work on your hand tool skills. Dan Cary from Woodworker’s Journal spent two days at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, MN, learning how to make a traditional Northwoods canoe paddle.


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