Monday, February 11, 2013


At the moment there is not much for blogging. Just planing pieces of wood. So to make this blog worthwhile I decided to shoot a new video of me thicknessing one of the short rails. After flattening one side, squaring the edge, sawing and flattening the other edge, it was time to plane them to the desired thickness of 4cm. When one of the two short rails was finished in a reasonable time, I grabbed the camera and installed myself for shooting the video of thicknessing the second one.

The board is 80 * 7 cm large and 4.6 cm thick. I want it 4 cm, so 0.6 cm needs to be removed. That is quite a bit of work.

What you don't see in the video is how I mark the desired depth with a marking gauge, but from then on everything is captured. Of course this doesn't make a very exhilarating show, but for someone who never thicknessed a board with handplanes before, it might be interesting to see what is involved. And for everyone else it is a nice opportunity to criticize my planing technique.

First I chamfer the far edge, to prevent blowing chunks of wood out of that edge. Then I use a German scrub with a very narrow, heavily cambered blade. The edge has an almost round curve to it. I traverse the board, because wood planes much easier across the grain. The chips (not shavings) are very thick. Next up is the foreplane also with a camber, but much more mellow. I use this to remove the ripples and ridges from the scrubplane and to get even closer to my layout lines. Finally the jointer to finish the work, checking with the winding sticks to see if the surface turns out reasonably flat.

Overall, it's about 12 minutes of hard work. It leaves me out of breath a bit. With an electrical thicknesser, you would be ready within a minute or so, but it's not a race. It's all good fun and it makes you humble when you think about the woodworkers of the past who did this kind of work for a living. They were probably a lot better at it though.

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