When I blogged and even filmed about the Spear & Jackson hands saws it wasn’t because they sponsored me, gave me a kickback or gave me free tools or equipment. They gave me zilch because I don’t and won’t take anything. Not taking any sponsorship from any manufacturer means I have the total freedom to…

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…You Will Say Some say this way is correct. It’s the only way… …Then you will say but I have been taught that this is a better way… …and then this way, now this, and this, and this, and this, and this……. But when the wood takes me in a different mood I can adopt…

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I’ve worked with many cast metal hand planes through the years, probably all of them. It’s my interest. Woodworking fascinates me but after the initial introduction, perhaps a few years, maybe five, you start to realise that there are many aspects to the craft that expand the whole to capacities you will never fathom. Bruce…

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I think it’s true that when you first start to handle a plane you might feel more a bit like a juggling klutz than someone fully controlled and conversant with its idiosyncrasies to smooth and refine wood with. Jerks, jams, stammers and stutters usually trip up our intent on straightening, smoothing and squaring wood. So…

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It’s hard to say how many planes I’ve taken from rubbish-looking to fully operational models. Hundreds, I know. Unlike the modern day clones of Bed Rocks, where they are all equally well engineered and perhaps, dare I say much less characterful than their Bailey-pattern counterparts, each basic and feisty Bailey-pattern bench plane as in the…

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On woodworkingmasterclasses we’ve often developed thinner pieces, strips, for things like chess board veneers blocking, coasters and such. Sometimes thicker pieces like table legs have been planed parallel too, or indeed intentionally tapered within extremely tight margins. Our members can be forgiven for taking the methods we use to guarantee exactness for granted, thinking it’s a…

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I was 15. My plane arrived with Mr Cheapie, boxed in a Stanley orangey-yellow box with a dark green and white lable. At the bench Cheapie watched me unwrap the wax ed aper from the plane and checked I was happy with it. I paid him my week’s wage, £3.50 for that and a screwdriver…

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It’s quite a lovely plane really. Compact and lightweight, feisty in the hand and then dead gutsy. That’s how I feel about all of the #3s really. I love plucking them from my tools from time to time and seeing them flip, turn and twist to task so willingly and immediately in my hands as…

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Here is a video we put together on misplacing your bench plane. It’s been a struggle but we’re gaining ground. I have learned from the maxim that, whereas practice makes perfect, it also makes permanent, paralleling the maxim that old habits die hard. There is a reality to the fact that we often develop patterns…

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I use a variety of hand planes, bench planes actually, in the day to day of making, writing and filming because on the one hand I want to use what people can get hold of and afford at a reasonable price and I tend feel a little nauseous when snobbism displaces proven technologies that worked…

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  • Michael Muschal on MisnomersPaul, I discovered you very recently while surfing the web to started in woodworking. Some decades ago I had tried building a few projects with power tools, but was more afraid of…
  • Paul Keane on Working AloneI must say your website is excellent with lots of information on how to work with and improve my wood working skills. Due to the lockdown I have build a workbench, I have been look…
  • Dan on Branching outSteve, was that the one on display inside a ranger station in California? If so, I have seen that as well. Definitely worth a look to anybody interested. Keep well, everybody.
  • Gary on Working AloneYou are not alone when you go home to your partner at the end of each day. The same person you saw when you awoke this-morning. They're even with you in many ways when you're apart…
  • Paul Sellers on Edge Sharpening Under £10Is it "cheap" plates or 'less expensive' or 'low cost' plates? There is a difference here. Mylow cost plates in all gritt=s are holding up well after almost four months to date. My…
  • Paul Sellers on Edge Sharpening Under £10I might suggest something different here. I think that with the larger diamonds to top angular points fracture more readily and in a sense, create a sort of plateaued top which is…
  • Richard C on Edge Sharpening Under £10with the cheap plates, I find that yes, they wear very quickly initially, but then 'settle'. another thing I've found is that it's possible to scratch the grit off completely if yo…