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Hand Planing Secret to Success

What is the best way to mill a board using only hand tools?  Try sweating on it.

There is no secret to using a plane, or said another way, the mysteries of hand planes will quickly dissolve once you have spent a little time using them.

The worst thing you can do is over think this simple process.  9 times out of 10 putting plane iron to the wood will tell you how the board is shaped and what needs to be done to flatten it.  Certainly there are nuances and body mechanics that can be worked out to make things go more efficiently.  Using a well tuned plane is important as well.  But I submit that with so many of us buying new hand planes from great manufacturers like Veritas, Lie Nielsen, and Scott Meek Woodworks there really isn’t much to do to get that plane working perfectly.  I highly doubt that young apprentices were given step by step instructions about how to plane a board.  They were handed a plane and a rough sawn board and told to flatten it.  I’m sure the apprentice flailed about a bit and took a long time to flatten that first board but he eventually got faster and more efficient.  What was his secret to learning to flatten a board?

He sweat on it!

The only way I know how to cheat in woodworking is to not try.  Fortunately this method also fits well into my woodworking weight loss plane…err I mean plan.

Planing a board is sweaty work

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