Planing the Right Way
Tom Silva’s tips for the best results when shaving wood
Whenever I try to shave wood with a plane, I can’t get it right. What should I be doing?
—Scott Bramow, Oak Creek, WI
It helps to start with a solid, well-made tool, like the bench plane at left, which features a heavy cast-iron body, a robust high-carbon steel blade, and a comfortable wood tote (handle). The blade must be razor sharp and carefully adjusted so that its edge is parallel to the sole (base) and projects just enough to slice off paper-thin shavings. Then, when you’re using the plane, skew it a few degrees as you push it. That makes the slicing even easier.