Block Plane – an ESSENTIAL DIY Tool

Block Plane – an ESSENTIAL DIY Tool

In today’s video I will be showing you a brilliant little tool that all DIY’ers / aspiring carpenters should have in their tool box – a block plane.

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A couple of carpenters that work with me rely heavily on their block planes – which they use for a variety of jobs from trimming timber end grains to putting shamfers on MDF pelmets. I decided it was time I bought one and on their advice, I bough a vintage stanley no. 220 block plane on eBay – because the old block planes have much better blades than the new ones, which are typically made in China.

So I picked up my block plane for £20 on eBay, and here’s the video showing you how I use it.

Today’s Tool Kit
– Vintage Stanley No. 220 Block Plane (£20 from Ebay)
– New Stanely Block Plane (Amazon)
– Irwin Record Block Plane (Amazon) or (Amazon)
– Faithful honing guide (Amazon) or
– Axminster honing guide (Amazon)
– Trend Double Sided Diamond Whetstone £29.99/ $40.59
– Lapping Fluid 500ml (Amazon)
– Leather Strop (hand made) but available here (Amazon)
– Vintage Stanley No. 220 Block Plane
– New Stanely Block Plane (Amazon) or (Amazon)
– Big Horn Block Plane (Amazon)
– Atlin honing guide (Amazon) or (Amazon)
– Double Sided Diamond Whetstone (Amazon)
– Lapping Fluid 500ml (Amazon)
– Leather Strop (hand made) but available here (Amazon)

* The Amazon links above are affiliate links. It doesn’t cost you anything to click on them but I do earn a small commission if you do.

And here’s the legal bit I have to state: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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  1. Dyno Saur on May 13, 2022 at 7:23 pm

    Can you use this on the edges of MDF?

  2. Worrun on May 13, 2022 at 7:24 pm

    We have the exact same belt sander, same electric plane and same hand plane!

  3. Haroon Rashid on May 13, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    Just bought one of eBay to use for the purpose of helping with external skirting installations

  4. Ray Unseitig on May 13, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    I have one: can’t make it work: the shavings won’t pass thru the throat. Jams up. or no space at all for shavings to pass.

  5. Jer Goes on May 13, 2022 at 7:30 pm

    I very rarely use my block planes, but I have a sort of fetish for my No4’s 🙂

  6. Nevets on May 13, 2022 at 7:30 pm

    I completely agree that the block plane is an essential piece of kit. I have gone through a few and currently have a Lie Nielson low angle. It really is great but very heavy. Not sure if I have found the perfect one yet but I’m close.

    Both Veritas and Lie Nielson have top quality blades, the only problem is you have to pay way over a hundred pounds for them. I use it everyday so not a problem. If it is only a hobby then getting a vintage plane is really good advice.

  7. Hard Worker on May 13, 2022 at 7:31 pm

    I have the same block plane but the blade is pitted so could you recommend what make blade to buy

  8. Mark Webb on May 13, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    Great video Charlie. You have encouraged me to get my old one out and sharpen it up, it must be 40 years old. One big advantage with the hand planer is that it doesn’t create the dust which an electric planer does.

  9. Kerry Foster on May 13, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    I have to agree. I bought a block plane at a carboot sale dirt cheap. Once really sharpened and set up it’s used daily on all sorts of jobs. Making handles, Taking VERY fine shavings on all sorts of surfaces. End grain finishing. Shamphering sides and ends of timber. A truly useful and essential tool. Light and easy to use. Cost? £4.00 what can I say……

  10. Kerry Foster on May 13, 2022 at 7:34 pm

    I recently picked up a cheap block plane at a car boot sale for £4. After sharpening to razor sharp it’s brilliant! To adjust the blade I tap the back or front it takes of tiny shavings and end grain. Use it all the time now.

  11. Chris Allen on May 13, 2022 at 7:36 pm

    I generally prefer my hand tools to be be old as they seem better/sturdier quality. I’m not associated with these people in anyway other than being a customer but they normally have block planes of various types in stock as well as all sorts of other lovely stuff. I hope this helps

  12. Alan Mullock on May 13, 2022 at 7:36 pm

    Block plane touches virtually all my "flat" wooden projects👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

  13. Nicky Scott on May 13, 2022 at 7:38 pm

    Hi Charlie, off the subject, I came across the following and thought for the price, what a great idea and I’m sure would be of benefit for DIY and pros:👍

  14. Dan Feldman on May 13, 2022 at 7:38 pm

    Watched a few of your videos now (bored at work and looking for solutions to shower sealant) – what’s great about them, is you don’t promise to make something easy and then ask me to spend a fortune on some obscure tool I’ll only ever use once. You’re making these videos from my point of view – which makes it all so much easier! Thanks – keep them coming.

  15. William Matley on May 13, 2022 at 7:38 pm

    Have you tried the wilkos plane £14? what do you think?

  16. Mr Sammotube on May 13, 2022 at 7:40 pm

    Thank you – I have been adjusting the bottom of doors where they slightly rub the carpet. I found the plane did the job with enough control but had not idea if there was a better way. Good to know that they are actually worth using!

  17. Fozol Ahmed on May 13, 2022 at 7:43 pm

    I have a Rolson planer I bought a few years ago when installing my doors.

  18. MA1973 on May 13, 2022 at 7:44 pm

    I had one of these for years in it’s original box. Never got to grips with it and eventually it went to the local tip….. I’l be over here sobbing quietly 🙁

  19. DIY Engineer on May 13, 2022 at 7:45 pm

    Great video. I didn’t quite catch the bit where you said what your day job was – I thought you said you run a ‘coke’ company in your day job, but I’m sure that’s not it!

  20. Christopher Claudio Skierka on May 13, 2022 at 7:46 pm

    Hi Charlie, do you ever perform work for others?

  21. Deanne Maria on May 13, 2022 at 7:47 pm

    Just started using a planer; however, I agree with you that the new ones just do not cut the mustard. I must invest in one similar to yours.

    All of my "old school" scissors are original Wilkinson Sword (I used to make soft furnishings for a living) and I totally get where you are coming from with regards to the planer blade.

    Thanks for the demonstration.

  22. Paul Ross on May 13, 2022 at 7:49 pm

    Another good video. I was looking at the block planes in screwfix myself recently but didn’t get one in the end. Too refined for my wood butchery skills.

  23. Brian O Neill on May 13, 2022 at 7:49 pm

    100 % agree. Thanks for video

  24. Trevor Darby on May 13, 2022 at 7:49 pm

    All we had when iwent into the trade hand plane and block plane the block plane has many uses mainly for end grain rounding over edges scribing have it in my pouch most days

  25. Rob Smith on May 13, 2022 at 7:50 pm

    Won mine on ebay last night, can’t wait 🙂

  26. Charlie DIYte on May 13, 2022 at 7:51 pm

    🛠Charlie DIYte Amazon Tool Store – all my tried, tested and much loved DIY tools. You can help support me by Buying me a Coffee ☕ or by becoming a Member to unlock a host of benefits – thanks so much 🙏.

  27. Ian Mathieson on May 13, 2022 at 7:52 pm

    Charlie, many thanks for such a useful video. My hand planes are well over 40 years old and the blades hold their edge extremely well – I had no idea modern planes of modest cost used low grade Chinese steel. Thanks for the warning.

    I don’t own a small block plane but thanks to your video I now see I’ve struggled for years unnecessarily. Its now on my shopping list.

    Re the MDF whose edge you were planing in your video, was it standard MDF or a superior grade such as router grade or industrial grade? I’ve been disappointed with standard grade from the local ‘sheds’, finding it lacks flatness and has a soft centre which easily delaminates if I put even a small screw or nail into its edge.

    Would appreciate your comments with thanks.

  28. MrClingclong on May 13, 2022 at 7:54 pm

    Lie Nielson and Clifton planes are the only makes I bother with. Even Stanley planes from forty years ago just don’t cut the mustard.

  29. Peter Compton on May 13, 2022 at 7:57 pm

    I’m a cabinet maker and use the block plane regularly. If and when you do show us how to sharpen, Can I suggest you stay away from the ‘Fancy’ lapping fluids at exorbitant prices and either use kerosene or even cheap baby oil.

  30. Roger Balfour on May 13, 2022 at 7:57 pm

    Looking for a decent box to put mine in. I work outside a lot, and mine continually rusts / gets knocked about

  31. Paul Mcgeoch on May 13, 2022 at 8:03 pm

    What are you “plane” at Charlie ?😂😂

  32. bursa1994 on May 13, 2022 at 8:04 pm

    Excellent. I’ve had one of these covered in dust in the shed for years. Still in the box. Now about to make its debut🎉

  33. david osullivan on May 13, 2022 at 8:14 pm

    Hand tools beautifully smooth no noise no leads no dust no mask . Get yourself and old no.4 Stanley mate throw a Ron hock blade into it and wow .# love hand tool

  34. D Lamb on May 13, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    Do seriously suggest that you are not sponsored?
    Don’t know how many times you referred to Screwfix! Then the camera lingered for aggessssss on a Trend product?

  35. Russell Ellery on May 13, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    Charlie watch all your videos and they are great, they have inspired me to take on a lot of house projects now. Could you please please do a video on how to sharpen plane blades and chisels. I really struggle to get my blades Sharp. I see you have done a video on kitchen knives that was fantastic. Keep up the good work.

  36. Mike S on May 13, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    Axminster tools stick a really great range of block planes, I using it more and more. They also do a sharpening pack for planes and chisels that has transformed my tool sharpness. Great vid thanks for introducing this tool back into the main stream, I use it on most jobs that contain wood and or MDF. Doors that stick need just a little tickle here and there and the plane just takes off that fine slither. Thank you

  37. Hard Worker on May 13, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    I’m having problems sharpening my block plane so once I produce a burr on the back of the blade should I remove it on a strop or on the oil stone or diamond stone.

  38. Christopher Downing on May 13, 2022 at 8:21 pm

    Completely correct – if you buy an old Stanley / Recod British plane it will last a lifetime. If you opt for an asian copy it will rust to hell and won’t keep its edge – the steel quality just isn’t their IMHO. I know there are World Class tools out in asia – but they don’t turn up in Screwfix, Homebase , and B&Q.