For more information on planes, see our beginner site Common Woodworking.
Hello Mr Sellers,
I began woodworking as a passion two years ago after watching some famous american woodworking shows. This is the reason I first bought (cheap) power tools: a router, a planer and a table saw, to realise my first wooden objects (Picture frames, games, furniture, Christmas tree decoration, boxes…) . I quickly realised how annoying the noise and the dust were, and the dangerousity of the machines.
Then I discovered your work and your philosophy about woodworking and life, thanks to your videos and your blog.
Now, I’m still considering myself as a beginner, maybe even an apprentice and I’m trying to find the balance between the use of power tools and hand tools.
Thanks to your numerous articles, I recently purchased some Stanley planes: a #4, #5½ , a #71 router, and a #50 combination plane.
I write this mail, because I’m disappointed with the results with my #50. When I try to make a rabbet, the first cut is good, then the blade goes to the exterior of the workpiece despite the guide. So the rabbet is not square but there are a succession of layers more and more to the outside. I can send a picture.
Is it possible for you to explain, in an article or maybe a video, the “magic tricks” to work a combination plane well and get good results please?
I thank you for all your work, the message you send, the philosophy you have. It’s priceless, really inspirational and encouraging for a beginner.
Florian, from south of France
Don’t get discouraged, Florian, such issues are easily corrected.
The first place you must check will depend on the cutter you are using and its alignment inside the blade recess and the skate and then how these align with the sole. If the blade overhangs too much the fence alignment pivots around the side of the blade, even a small amount matters, and instead of the fence guiding and aligning the plane the blade does it but it doesn’t do it well. Another area to look at is the cutting edge of the blade and especially whichever side is forming the inside corner of the rebate. If the corner is even slightly rounded each cut pushes the blade from the corner. This causes a stepping away with each level you take. Third possibility; if the blade is fractionally less than the corner of the sole corner of the plane the blade will cut but the sole then causes the plane to move over with every stroke. The result is the same as the last issue.
Check on these first.
Another issue is to relax when you use the plane. Do not rigidly bulldog the plane to the work. It takes a much more loose hand to work these plane types.
Let me know,