Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Choosing and Using Handplanes

For a number of years now I've taught classes on handplanes at two northern Virginia Woodcraft stores.  My classes--Handplane Basics and Restoring Old Handplanes--are both fun to teach and educational, not only for my students but also for me.  I've learned a lot about handplanes since I started.  My beginning was a class at the Marc Adams School with Chris Schwarz and Tom Lie-Nielsen.  Following that, I studied a number of books on handplanes and became a user in my own shop.  But as much as anything, I've learned a lot from the questions posed by my students and my sometimes fumbling attempts to answer those I'd not anticipated.

As a result of this experience I've come to believe I have a good feel for what beginning handplane users want and need to know.  And while there are many good resources available, none of them seem quite right to meet the needs of my students.  So, I've decided to write a book of my own.

For now, the working title is Choosing and Using Handplanes.  The book will explain the types of planes and their uses in the woodshop, techniques for planing, setting and adjusting planes, sharpening and honing blades, buying and restoring old handplanes, and jigs and fixtures to use with handplanes, including holding devices and shooting boards.  It will also have a list of resources.  It  will make extensive use of photos, drawings and explanatory sidebars.

My plan is to publish it as an eBook through Amazon's Kindle.  I'm hoping to have it finished sometime this summer.  Already I have a first draft written, figures drafted and photos planned.  Most of the sidebars are completed.  What remains is to fill in the gaps and edit the text.   I will also need to build the jigs and fixtures I want to illustrate.  There's plenty of work to do yet, but I'm very excited about the project and find myself making progress on it every day.  Look here for information about my progress.


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