Real Woodworking Campaign at Harrogate

I am always going to address issues surrounding false impressions and information in woodworking because it’s an importan aspect of real woodworking.

I have said this before and I’ll say it once more because it troubles me so. The purpose of a hand plane is not to produce light fluffy shavings that waft to the workshop floor like curly ribbons and bows, but to level different surfaces, plane stock straight and square, fit doors in recesses and always to in some measure reduce the material wood. Most shavings are not thin bit substantial. Who wants to shave superthins b the dozen when one thicker does the same. I will be at the North of England Woodworking Show in Harrogate, Yorkshire next weekend and I will be dispelling the myths and mysteries of the guru magicians once again.


I will be demoing a wide range of planes made by current makers, to show their strong points and, as an independent assessor, I have absolute freedom to be open and honest. Stop by the Classic Hand Tools booth if you want a signed copy of my new book or to ask questions. We love to talk about Working Wood.


  1. It seems to me paul that a plane needs to do both, plane thick and thin shavings, if you were taking a dig at David Charlesworth for his planing techniques and plane tuning advice I think you are wrong. A plane that can take a thin shaving can also be set to take a thick shaving, the reverse is not always true.

    Mark White

    1. No digs, just plane speaking. I don’t know this man, I’ve never read his writings, never seen his working or anything he has made and I have never seen any demonstration and that means that I would never criticise him for something I know nothing about. I do have strong feelings about the ridiculous quest for planes that create super thin-shavings and nothing more. Most of them have to have very closed mouths that do disallow thick or even practical shavings, but thats on non-adjustable wooden planes not metal-cast planes. These are my thoughts but they are based on experience I know to be true and when someone proves me wrong I can accept it. There is only very minimal value to gossamer shavings in the practicality of a furniture makers life. Sharpening a plane that sharp may be of value too, but in actually, edge fracture defeats the object because after 20 strokes that degree of sharpness is gone and to keep that edge you would be sharpening every minute. Not practical and unnecessary.

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