Make Smoothing Wood Just Plane Simple

Install and adjust the blade

A properly burred and installed scraping blade should remove a paper-thin shaving.  Open the lever cap knob and insert the blade with the burr facing forward (avoid dinging the burr against the plane body) and resting on the benchtop, photo below. Then adjust the frog angle until it’s about 80° to the sole. Tighten the lever cap knob.

Place two pieces of typing paper about 2″ apart on a flat wooden surface such as your workbench. Then rest the sole of the plane on the papers with the opening in the sole (called the “throat”) between them.

For a shallower cut, use just one piece of paper beneath half the plane sole. For the shallowest cut, place the sole directly on the benchtop and press down on the blade while tightening the lever cap knob.

Now test the setting on a piece of scrap, but don’t be surprised if nothing happens. To peel off an even curl of wood, the frog must be adjusted to an angle where the burr snags the wood.

The blade changes depth as you change the frog angle, so loosen the lever cap knob just enough to free the blade. Then back away the two frog adjustment wheels by about 18 “. After you secure the frog, retighten the lever cap knob. Repeat this process until the blade bites into the wood and shaves thin curls from your scrap (below).

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