How to Plane Narrow Board Edges Square | Paul Sellers

How to Plane Narrow Board Edges Square | Paul Sellers

Paul demonstrates his no-frills, practical solution to the perennial problem of achieving a perfect square edge on a narrow board, using a plane and a bit of sensitivity.


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  1. 2M0VEY on April 23, 2023 at 9:42 am

    use an edge trimming plane.

  2. Sebastien Bougie on April 23, 2023 at 9:45 am

    I’m 16 I’v been woodworking for 2 years. iv always had trouble getting the edges of boards straight but this helped so much. I can make my boards very square with much less effort. thanks for the video Paul ur great at teaching woodworking

  3. Satria Eka Bimantara on April 23, 2023 at 9:47 am

    haturnuhun guru

  4. the sum on April 23, 2023 at 9:48 am

    Were you balancing the plane? I didnt get what you were doing with your left hand there. Were you just using it to maintain a level square from experience?

  5. Anthony Grosso on April 23, 2023 at 9:50 am

    Absolutely a brilliant offering! I tried this and it worked wonders the first time!

  6. Hilal Rashid on April 23, 2023 at 9:51 am

    Hello Paul,
    Can all 4 sides be squared using a shooting board? Thanks.

  7. jim on April 23, 2023 at 9:53 am

    You could probably make a really long shooting board to do the same thing (just an idea)

  8. Mustafa Naser on April 23, 2023 at 9:54 am

    Thank you .. your explanation is very good .. I tried it and found that it works. 👍

  9. Thomas Mace on April 23, 2023 at 9:55 am

    This is where that nice wooden jointer plane with sides at 90 degrees (or your pricey precision metal joiner plane) comes in handy. Just shoot the board elevated on a piece of plywood scrap with the plane on its side and the edge will be precisely square. Any precision joinery demands a shooting plane. You may get close planing by hand but you’ll never be perfect.

  10. Alex Güir on April 23, 2023 at 9:55 am


  11. patrick pruchnik on April 23, 2023 at 9:57 am

    Incrementally favoring the high side of the board looks like a good idea. However, I am perplexed as to why Paul appears to have favored the low side on the final set of passes.

  12. oldsteamguy on April 23, 2023 at 9:57 am

    is the idea to rely on the camber of the blade to help?

  13. Luis P on April 23, 2023 at 9:57 am

    I could watch Paul planning all day long

  14. jason on April 23, 2023 at 10:00 am

    ‘See how Paul did’ we know you did great👍🏻😊 I love these plant videos. I think it’s the sound of the plane working properly too.

  15. David Griffith on April 23, 2023 at 10:01 am

    At 3:01, “I like it tilted when I’m on my own”, referring to the board being clamped in the vise with the far end higher than the near. Why is this Paul?

  16. David Baldwin on April 23, 2023 at 10:01 am

    Thanks again Paul, great advise, with a little practice it works wonderfully.

  17. FireFoxTony on April 23, 2023 at 10:02 am

    What’s the problem with skewing the plane?

  18. Trust Nuffin on April 23, 2023 at 10:02 am

    This reminds me of the first time I attempted to plane down the edge of a door….Held it between my legs on it’s side….planed from the middle to the end…..turned the door around and did the same……what a mess……about 6mm off square one way and the same the other with a twist in it.

  19. Bill Wheaton on April 23, 2023 at 10:03 am

    Thank you Paul. I have to say, that I tried the lateral adjustment trick, and found out quickly, that doesn’t work very well. I discovered what you showed here a couple of years ago, and it works great. You explained it all very well. But the one thing for others to pay real attention to is the partial far end stroke, then the middle one, then the near end one, and then the full one. That really helps, and I’m glad you showed that.

  20. Steve Watts on April 23, 2023 at 10:04 am

    Square edges are so overrated! 😉

  21. Mark Macauley on April 23, 2023 at 10:05 am

    Thank you so much for your videos Paul. You are a great teacher and a blessing to many.

  22. Dan The Chippie on April 23, 2023 at 10:05 am

    Hi Paul, quick question about combination square. What size do you use the most? Thanks

  23. Boozoo Chavis on April 23, 2023 at 10:08 am

    As usual, another common sense example of doing things properly! I have to say, I have been doing a LOT of woodworking lately and my skills have improved 1000 fold using your methods and all of your guidance – thank you, thank you! I swear you have more common sense than almost anybody I have met in the last 50 plus years – keep up the good work.

  24. Jarl Seamus on April 23, 2023 at 10:08 am

    That single skill is one of my all time weaknesses. I think I’m going to have to just buy a bunch of cheap 1 x stock and just plane it into oblivion till I get this right.

  25. nick w on April 23, 2023 at 10:08 am

    have you thought of clamping a fence onto the board (with a spacer a bit below the board edge to compensate for the iron not being the full plane body width) so you can butt the side of the plane up against the fence and continue planing until the bed of the plane is taking the full width shaving off

  26. John Campbell on April 23, 2023 at 10:08 am

    Paul, what if the high spot is in the middle? It’s Australian hardwood and I’m having a lot of trouble getting it square.

  27. Andrew Cowan on April 23, 2023 at 10:12 am

    Wow, excellent demonstration. Definitely an acquired finesse, like feathering plaster.

  28. mercoid on April 23, 2023 at 10:13 am

    Great tip!

  29. Mr Rick on April 23, 2023 at 10:15 am

    Never tire of your wonderful instruction Paul. Thank you.

  30. Pat Jackson on April 23, 2023 at 10:16 am

    I just bought a Veritas Jack Rabbet plane, and I found that setting the fence to run against the reference face gave me a square edge easily and quickly. An unexpected bonus to this particular plane!

  31. phil lix on April 23, 2023 at 10:17 am

    Paul I don’t know if you still read these comments, but I just hand sawed, and planed my first board true, straight and square! It’s taken some time, but I did it. I’ve made many projects before, but this is by far and away my proudest achievement woodworking wise, all due to your teaching. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart, phil. Ps, the fire is lit

  32. Charles Corbett on April 23, 2023 at 10:17 am

    I’ve always felt like the lateral adjustment was more to compensate for mechanical drift in the machine anyways, as yours even in this video has a steep lateral adjustment for a flat cut

  33. Ryan Frappier on April 23, 2023 at 10:19 am

    What about extremely thin edges? (Like just a couple mm thick) I’ve got some ukulele sides that need to join together, and I’ve been struggling trying to straighten out the edges. Seems like all my hand sanding doesn’t amount to much, or I end up over compensating

  34. Wolverine Bear on April 23, 2023 at 10:19 am

    I hold my square to the flat surface of the bench with the blade of the square flush against the board along with it flush with my plane, yes the plane is cantering but you can hold it against the square blade, takes a bit of practice but once you get a few strokes it works great, i just squared some 1/4" pine edges with a no5. I have no machinery limited handtools an a black an decker workmate bench, lol. Anything is possible, also ive noticed sometimes if i just go for it with a fast plane stroke it usually ends up square but the slower i go seems to more chance of being off square.

  35. david leasure on April 23, 2023 at 10:19 am

    Great tip for the non carpenters like me. Thank you

  36. Aisaka Taigia on April 23, 2023 at 10:19 am

    Was just dealing with this issue today 😂 Thank you Paul for the wonderful tip😉

  37. Ron Hochhalter on April 23, 2023 at 10:20 am

    I actually have had success from adjusting the Lateral Adjustment Lever ever so slightly, I thought that was the propose of the adjuster. I’ve found myself planing a board out of square because the Iron wasn’t properly adjusted to begin with. It’s difficult to look down the sole and judge perfect placement of the iron. Adjusting from looking into the mouth has never produced good results for me. I will definitely try this method. great video.

  38. oldsteamguy on April 23, 2023 at 10:21 am

    I was having trouble with this too…. watched the video… tried Paul’s method once and got good results. Great. Thanks Paul.

  39. 738polarbear on April 23, 2023 at 10:23 am

    Very sound advice thank you . I tried the lateral lever method and it didn’t.t work worth a darn.I think people fail to realize that practice really does make perfect , someone who has been planing for 50 years is bound to be better than an novice or even intermediate carpenter . People want results without putting their time in . Real life is not like that.

  40. SkylersRants on April 23, 2023 at 10:24 am

    Lay the board on its side on top of another board. Turn your plane on its side and plane away. Seems a lot easier than hoping that your hands are calibrated.

  41. Brian Quick on April 23, 2023 at 10:26 am

    So I’ve got boards (on edge) that are a bit higher on each end. Somehow there is a dip in the center after coming off my tablesaw… do you have any suggestions on how to fix the ends of the board to make it flat? Thanks

  42. silver on April 23, 2023 at 10:27 am

    Hi Paul what is the thinnest stock you could make a dovetail joint with?

  43. Michel Kerger on April 23, 2023 at 10:27 am

    Thank you !

  44. Ionut on April 23, 2023 at 10:28 am

    How about using a jack plane or a jointer plane and clamp a square fence on the cheek of the plane or on the bottom of the plane?

  45. cpage86 on April 23, 2023 at 10:30 am

    Can confirm, tried it, works great!

  46. Kevin George on April 23, 2023 at 10:33 am

    i thought the answer was to ponch that board between two you know are square

  47. adam toth on April 23, 2023 at 10:34 am

    You said my name incorrectly

  48. Frank Hill on April 23, 2023 at 10:35 am

    This was very helpful. Thanks for sharing.

  49. Thomas Glover on April 23, 2023 at 10:37 am

    Paul your master at your craft this knowledge was invaluable , I built a new work bench cause if this problem thinking my table was throwing me off

  50. Aric Ellis on April 23, 2023 at 10:38 am

    Thank you Paul, I will try this out.