Choosing and Using Wooden Planes: A Complete Guide

Choosing and Using Wooden Planes: A Complete Guide

From adjusting to gripping to taking your first shavings, learn all about this historical tool.
More video and exclusive content:
Build your own Jointer Plane:
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Tools/Materials for Sharpening (affiliate):
Norton Two-Sided Crystolon Stone:
Dan’s Whetstone Arkansas Fine Stone: (These went up in price a little).
Green polishing compound:
3-in-1 Oil:
Honing guide (for grinding):
Kreg Marking Jig (The blue thing I use to set angles):
Super 77 Spray Adhesive:

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Wood Work for Humans Tool List (affiliate):
Gyokucho Ryoba Saw:
Dewalt Panel Saw:
Suizan Dozuki Handsaw:
(Winner of the affordable dovetail-saw shootout.)
Spear and Jackson Tenon Saw:
(Needs tune-up to work well.)
Crown Tenon Saw:
(Works out of the box)
Carving Knife:
Narex True Imperial Chisels:
(My favorite affordable new chisels.)
Blue-Handled Marples Chisels:
(I use these to make the DIY specialty planes, but I also like them for general work.)

Honing Guide:
Norton Coarse/Fine Oil Stone:
Natural Arkansas Fine Oil Stone:
Green buffing compound:

*Marking and Measuring*
Stockman Knife:
(For marking and the built-in awl).
Speed Square:
Stanley Marking Knife:
(Excellent, inexpensive marking knife.)
Blue Kreg measuring jig:
Round-head Protractor:

Forstener Bits:
Spade Bits:

Orange F Clamps:
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  1. Miguel Guerreiro on April 18, 2022 at 6:05 pm

    Just bought one because of you, and came here for checking out how to use them

  2. Darryl Portelli on April 18, 2022 at 6:06 pm

    I couldnt find a no 7 or 8 jointer plane locally and new ones like lie Nielsen cost upwards of 400 dollars … So i went with a wooden jointer . Found one locally for just 15 euros . I cleaned it up with steel wool and mineral spirit and flattened the sole with a no5 and reground the iron and honed it … It worked on the first try and got the edge of a board REALLY flat … Wooden planes work amazingly well and you can get them for super cheap compared to the metal versions … Your video that shows what to look for when buying wooden planes really helps to pick a good one to start with

  3. sly dankass on April 18, 2022 at 6:07 pm

    will youmakea huge24 inch plane video just fir me? that would make my life conplete and i can behappg finally

  4. SnackPackMack on April 18, 2022 at 6:07 pm

    Was that a hit marker? Lol

  5. Hybs on April 18, 2022 at 6:09 pm

    You just answered a lot of questions I had in my mind. I’m completely new on woodworking and you absolutely clear my mind on this topic. Love the presentation too, as a teacher I really admire people who communicate information so clearly.

  6. Bรถrje Svensson on April 18, 2022 at 6:12 pm

    Im sorry but, that "scrub plane" probably aint that. I think its a smother turned into a big hollow plane, happens all the time and explains the big mouth as it grows when reprofiling the sole. A god use for damaged smoothers and ive done it my self. Continental scrubs still has flat soles.

  7. Boo Hoo on April 18, 2022 at 6:22 pm

    Definitely going to make some of these, they are beautiful and no way could I afford metal ones. Thanks for the video, really useful information

  8. Miyazuzu on April 18, 2022 at 6:22 pm

    I have wooden plane with a concave bottom and corresponding concave blade that I presume is used for rounding edges, like present-day routers are used.

  9. Villu Tobi on April 18, 2022 at 6:22 pm

    Great content and very educational.

  10. Hondo Trailside on April 18, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    If one thinks of the 150 years metal planes have been around… Well I can vouch for 60 years of that, and basically nobody was making using them at all in the west. If you took the totally of western woodworking, hand planes would not appear until the last page as a percentage of the tools in use. When I bought my first ones from Record, some of them were so bad, the were not usable. My jointer was actually goo, once I replaced the blade, and I still use it, but that was the exception.

  11. Paul Tibbals on April 18, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    I always wonder how the first plane was made. How did they flatten the sole? Make two plane bodies and take turns flattening them until at least one was perfect? It’s a woodworking koan.

  12. Omi Kai on April 18, 2022 at 6:28 pm

    Thank you so much for being so insightful. Helps a lot for a newbie.

  13. The Walnut Woodworker on April 18, 2022 at 6:29 pm

    I prefer metal planes for smoothers and wooden for my jointers

  14. Bruce Mccready on April 18, 2022 at 6:29 pm

    I have always been terrible with a plane. Bought an electric one cause it was easier than messing with hand tools. I have an old wood smoothing plane I found in a shed on my aunts farm 50 years ago. Tried using it but never could get it to work right. Thanks for the great educational video I might have another try at setting it up. Sharpening the old blade will be a challenge though. I also have a Stanley number 4 but last time I tried to use it I found that my shed roof had been leaking onto the shelf where the plane was kept for a few years. Whole thing is covered in thick rust. A lot of work involved in trying to get that one cleaned up. might not even be possible it’s so bad. Have you done any videos on restoring metal planes? Bottom sole plate is really badly rusted as well as the top adjuster part.

  15. Va Qm on April 18, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    Thanks again Rex!

  16. Mark Sampson on April 18, 2022 at 6:31 pm

    At 18:20 I watched you formulate that grip four times. That was brilliant, Rex.

  17. Rex Krueger on April 18, 2022 at 6:31 pm

    I forgot to mention: when you store wooden planes, you should knock the wedge free and store the plane with the wedge pretty loose. Just finger-tight is good. The plane might swell or shrink while it’s sitting and you don’t want it under tension while that’s happening. Otherwise, there’s nothing special about storing these. Just keep the dust off ’em.

  18. Anthony Pilato on April 18, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    At first view I had no idea how informative this video would be. Wow! This video hits the mark. I am in the midst of refurbishing 2 wooden planes for my own use. All of this video is helpful including the proper stance to get the most out of my human effort. Thanks for the help and the great way you explain the process.

  19. PsychoticEwok on April 18, 2022 at 6:33 pm

    Been watching a ton of your videos and I’ve decided I’m going to make a wooden plane

  20. Pierre B on April 18, 2022 at 6:35 pm

    Hi I’m watching all your videos so far and I’m loving the way you give your opinion on stuff ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’m was wondering if you’de like to try and make a video about Japanese planer (the ones the you’re pulling insted of pushing).
    I’m really interested about your feedback on those ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Clark42EoC on April 18, 2022 at 6:36 pm

    Great video. Have you ever seen Mr. Chickadee’s channel? He only uses these old vintage wooden planes and is pretty much a timber framing master. You remind me of him more then most other wood workers even Paul Sellers, who admittedly has taught me a great deal. Huh your final advice was like a combo from Sellers and Chickadee…wooden try plane and jack and a number 4 smoother…

  22. Tom R on April 18, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    My great-uncle was master carpenter foreman working in the coachbuilding workshop of the railway works before WW2, and I’ve got all his old tools – there are several wooden planes amongst his kit which I feel I’m going to have to dig out and investigate now…

  23. tricosteryl on April 18, 2022 at 6:38 pm

    In France we don’t strike the blade to adjust.
    We strike the nose of the plane to let the iron go deeper, and strike at the rear to release it, like do the Japanese with their kanas
    Some long planes have anvil spots on top nose in this purpose

  24. Johan Christian Bax on April 18, 2022 at 6:39 pm

    The planes used in my country are still the wooden planes and are super cheap, costing less than 300pesos (approx $6), the design taken from the chinese plane

  25. Greg Wolf on April 18, 2022 at 6:42 pm

    Hello Rex
    My name is Greg.
    I own a plane. I bought it for 15 Danish kroner. (That’s about $2.00 American.)
    It has been with me for years.

    I have been watching your videos on planers and I am intrigued. I love working with hand tools and producing a quality product.

    My plane has a No.# 0130 on it but no other names. I believe I am the owner of a Record Block plane – No.#0130

    How do I use it as a bull plane?

    I have seen videos on many of the planers you use. Is the bull plane not very important?

    Although I have worked on many wood projects, it just comes natural to me. I am not well known.
    Thank you.

    Greg Wolf.

    P.S.: (I am from USA – But I live in Danmark.)

  26. bighand69 on April 18, 2022 at 6:43 pm

    You can use a metal hammer on the wood but you need to cover it with cloth or leather. If you build your own hammer just put some leather on the end and that will enable you to strike and not dinge the wood of the plane body.

  27. Petter E on April 18, 2022 at 6:44 pm

    One tip: check that there is still something left of the iron before buying. I got myself a wooden jointer a few weeks back (for โ‰ˆ$4) and whan I got home and took it apart I realized that there was like 3mm left of the blade before the slot for the chip breaker screw started. Well, I reckon the wood in it might have been worth the money.

  28. ื”ืจืืœ ื—ื™ื™ื on April 18, 2022 at 6:45 pm

    Nice video!!! My first two plains no 4 and 5 manufactured by IRWIN Record, new cheap ones poorly manufactur, were bought because I saw your channel you have encourage me to dive in I have set them up like you have showed us, and they work great, until I bought a higher hand no 6. Luban( made by quansheng), and I wanted them to be better: better chip breaker and that they could hold a edge better. So what did I do idon want to spend a lot of money so I have " change the engine under the hood" I ordered 2 chip breakers, 2 3mm thick blades and 2 Yoks to my no. 4 and 5. All the set was manufactur by Luban and it cost my like my no.4 ( cheap). So they won’t have bedrock but the sole is perfect flat and a new and better engine…..

  29. Derek Holcomb on April 18, 2022 at 6:47 pm

    One million dollars……

  30. Mel Smith on April 18, 2022 at 6:48 pm

    Rex …. I like your take on transitional wood planes but you always going from smoothing to scrub or fore plan adaption.
    Lets go the other way I have a fore plane, replaced the sole added a smaller mouth, but what size mouth should I be looking for? I’ve check out Stanley for some insight an got no where as to sizing of mouths. Give me a link to continue my search!
    thanks mel smith (keep the video’s coming)

  31. Cindy Harrison on April 18, 2022 at 6:49 pm

    Great thanks but the only way to get a plane now with lockdown sadly is on line. ๐Ÿ˜

  32. Hondo Trailside on April 18, 2022 at 6:49 pm

    I have a crazy theory about hand planes. If you think about transitional, and all metal planes, they came in around the same time as the sewing machine. Imagine a household where the wife owns a sewing machine, and the dude has this wooden thing with a single metal tooth. Very embarrassing. So the theory is that most of those improvements in the hand plane, were just keeping up with the missus. Probably not true, but certainly true at a societal level, it was improvement for the sake of improvement. Without improvement.

  33. john cadd on April 18, 2022 at 6:50 pm

    Rex I need a tiny bit of advice about my 22 inch wooden plane. Should the chip breaker touch the blade at the screw position when the large screw is tightened? Should I clamp them to make sure they touch ?

  34. Douglas Perry on April 18, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    Great video Rex,! Dude nice planes! wow beautiful pieces! ๐Ÿ—œit. ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿผ

  35. bighand69 on April 18, 2022 at 6:53 pm

    Just to make a suggestion woodworking is all about feeling so you may find it a little bit fidgety dealing with wooden planes but they will help you develop a real understanding and feeling of wood. I sharpen my planes routinely and no matter what plane I use either a no 4 or wooden plane I still have to set them up and play with them a little bit when finishing as I am trying to get the best quality finish.

  36. Colin Martin on April 18, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    I finally, FINALLY found a good wood jointer after like two years of looking. Every flea market and antique store wanted like $150-200 for beat to crap examples. I finally found one in a really fancy antique store, where one stall had a few for $150-200 in rough shape, but another stall had a gorgeous one with barely any use, a nearly dead-square/flat sole, no checking, an original iron and breaker, and wedge. The handle wasn’t even loose. $35. The iron had some pitting and an ugly hand-done scrub grind, but after fixing that and taking 1/64th off the sole with my power jointer to flatten it, it’s so freaking nice to use. I wish I’d have found one sooner.

  37. Cameron McFadden on April 18, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    Hey Rex! I think I figured out something about using those big Stanley number 8s. I recently stopped using my 8 after I got a 6, for jointing for violin making. Then today, I took a table outside and turned on its side, to straighten out one edge, end grain of 3 jointed boards, about a meter long, about 2 cm wide. Had trouble with my block plain, so I grabbed the number 8 and it worked wonderfully. I think the secret is to have the plane and the work surface low, below your waist, so that your upper body leans over the plane, with both of you arms downward. In this posture, the number 8 was easy to control, I did not loose control of the balance of the tool, which is what happens when I worked with the tool above level of my waist.

  38. pfresse on April 18, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    Wonderful piece of education man! There were so many questions I had answered, thank you.

  39. Lars Frandsen on April 18, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    This is truly an amazing historical lesson. I remember my now 96-year-old cabinet maker father standing EXACTLY like you demonstrated. As a kid, I always wondered why he did that. Now I know!

  40. james morton on April 18, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    Thanks for the clear and enjoyable videos. Planes are really cool to use.
    My bench slab will make a man out of me to get flat.

  41. Tai Qidong on April 18, 2022 at 6:55 pm

    In France and Belgium the planes are without the ‘German’ horn in front. Kinda like the ‘English’ coffin planes but with straight sides.

  42. Jagdpanda on April 18, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    I am from Germany, used Stanley planes go for up to 150โ‚ฌ here…..but sometimes you can find a whole set of wooden planes for as cheap as 30โ‚ฌ, because people really oft think, it’s too old for use and sell it as "decoration". Thank you for your videos on this subject, it helped a beginner like me a lot to get into woodworking, without spending a fortune on tools.

  43. KingBowserLP on April 18, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    Great Video! My first (and so far only) plane is one of those continental europe ones, with the elephant trunk foregrip. But instead of going with the german one for 130, i went for an eastern europe manufacture for 65 (exactly half!).
    It’s excellent. This plane, with the help of the first video you made about wooden planes, just slices through wood like it’s butter. Hardwood, super soft construction lumber, it does it all cleanly.

  44. Rock Dog on April 18, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    I’m finally staring to dig into the ‘Rat Hole’ I’ve created out in my garage when I moved here. Just happened to notice…I have a Bailey Transition plane that I don’t remember having! It’s 18" long. The iron looks to be square (by eye)…but it has a kinda big mouth (3 to 4/32")…with an odd metal plate screwed down at the leading edge of the mouth. It definitely needs restoring, but I think it might work as my first Try/Jointer.

  45. Jack Thompson on April 18, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    I get all my planes at Amish auction

  46. Salvas Aren on April 18, 2022 at 6:59 pm

    Thx Rex, this video saved me good money. <(^_^)>

  47. Yves Mertz on April 18, 2022 at 6:59 pm

    I’m start, your videos are amazing. I know yet how to use my planes buy on fleat market (In France, the cheapest way to find plane). Yesterday I find a toothed iron , so now, I kow now its use. I pratice building your lightweight workbench.

  48. MATTHEW brady on April 18, 2022 at 7:00 pm

    Rex- I found a tri plane that never had a chip breaker (itโ€™s just a solid blade and wedge) do you think this will work out ok?

  49. Dave Martin on April 18, 2022 at 7:02 pm

    Trouble I face at this time, acquiring tools at the few flee markets I attend, the pandemic has slowed venders to a crawl, having any tools I can aford.

  50. Ricky Heck on April 18, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    Thank you for this info!!!