How to Use a Block Plane | Woodworking

How to Use a Block Plane | Woodworking

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Hand planes can be a useful to way of smoothing and squaring boards in the wood shop when you don’t have access to a planer or jointer.

And, so I thought it would be useful if we looked at a couple different types of hand planes that we have in the shop here. These are basic models that, basically, any beginning woodworker might want to have possession of.

The block plane is sort of a multipurpose plane. Its real purpose was invented for smoothing out end grain on boards. But, it actually has a lot of uses in the shop. And that’s why I always recommend that beginners start with this one.

Block plane is very simple. It has the cap, the cutting iron, the blade and the frog. The frog is the part where the blade rests on and it provides all of the adjustment features on the plane.

So, let’s look at how this works. After you put the blade in, and the cap back on, there’s a couple controls here that allow you to make adjustments to how the plane works.

The first one, and the most important one, is on the back. There’s a brass knob here that you can turn clockwise or counterclockwise. And, what it’s function is is to pull the blade in or push it out of the mouth down at the bottom here.

The other control on here, these silver levers back here, these are adjustments to make the blade be parallel in this opening. You just move them side to side, like that. And, it moves the blade in the opening.

So, if you sight through here, looking for something light behind you, it’s pretty easy to get the blade parallel in that opening.

Once you’ve done that with these planes, you’re all set to go. It’s just, the first step is always finding the optimal amount to have that blade sticking out.

And so, retract it all the way back in. And, just through trial and error. Doing a quarter turn at a time or half turn at a time until you get that blade sticking out until where it’s going to be doing some cutting.

And you’ll see at first. You’ll get little shavings. And then, you’ll start to get larger ones. And that’s when you know you’ve found a good spot. So.

Now, one of the things about these planes is that if you have them way out like that, they’re very hard to use. So, I’m going to back that off a little bit.

This shouldn’t be hard to use. It should be easy. And, this is a one handed operation with this plane. You should be able to just run it over the wood, quickly and easily one handed, balancing the front of the plane with your finger.

Some people do use these two handed, which is fine. But, I just think they’re easier one handed. Even a rough board like this you can smooth out. If you look at this edge here, you can actually just chamfer the side of it with the block plane pretty quickly. Putting a soft edge.

Now, that could take you five, ten minutes to set up on a router table or on a table saw. But, you can do it in a couple minutes with a block plane.

One of the other important things you can do with a block plane, and the thing it was designed to do, is flattening and smoothing out end grain.

So, here we have a rough piece of end grain. And, I’ll show you how we can use the block plane to smooth it out.

Now, one thing to bear in mind is, we’re going to be running the plane across the top of this. And, because of the grain of the wood is sticking up, like this pencil, its going to tear out on the end. So, you always want to have a board sitting behind what you’re doing so that you don’t get tear out.

Set up. Clamp both pieces in the vice. And now, I can skim across this one. And this block board behind, its only purpose is really just to keep the end grain from tearing out on the opposite side.

Keep going. This trial and error of finding the right height is an important one. Now, one of the techniques I wanted to show when I’m doing this is, instead of going straight across the grain like this, and you’re hitting rough spots when you do that. You can angle the plane slightly like this.

Keep going in the same direction but angle the plane. And, it creates a slicing motion instead of a straight on cut, like that. So, it ends up being a little bit smoother and easier to do.

Anyway, after a little bit of work, you want to back off the plane a little bit just to get it smooth again. There we go. You can just smooth it out.

Now, what you’ll get at the end of this is a nice, smooth, glossy surface. Just like we did on the edge grain. Pretty quick way to take care of the end grain on a piece of wood.


  1. Mohammed Shamim on January 5, 2022 at 10:01 pm

    i loved your video thank you

  2. Jackson Ty on January 5, 2022 at 10:02 pm

    This was the missing piece of the puzzle I was looking for. By the way, google Hyezmar if you want to get his plans by the end of the month.

  3. Chad D'Mello on January 5, 2022 at 10:02 pm

    Say that I did a rip cut or cross cut on wood and it so happens that I got a part on the wood that is slightly bigger – could I use this to shave off the wood on that part so as to trim it down? Or is there something else that is more preferred?

  4. Keelan Dimick on January 5, 2022 at 10:02 pm

    this is absolutely the worst music behind a verbal tutorial. Extremely annoying. Sorry to be blunt. The choice of instrument is an oboe which has the closest frequency range of that of a humans, which is why it is so distracting.

  5. Boozoo Chavis on January 5, 2022 at 10:02 pm

    Good video, thanks for posting! It seems as new woodworkers we almost all buy a block plane – they are smaller and cheaper than the bigger bench planes. I have found that as I purchased other planes (like a good old #4 Bailey style) I rarely use my old block plane much these days. I would really like to find a smoother about the size of that block plane though. Keep up the good work.

  6. Lisa Beaudoin on January 5, 2022 at 10:04 pm

    Thank you, I liked the video and was helpful, the only comment would be to remove the music, you do not need it and makes it harder to concentrate on what you’re saying.

  7. Guy H. on January 5, 2022 at 10:05 pm

    Thank you for the great info. Plus I can trust you, you’re a real woodworker. You have real scratches on your hand! Ha ha ha. Didn’t know the purpose & use of this plane. Thanks!

  8. Chris on January 5, 2022 at 10:06 pm

    Thanks, ma’am!

  9. Shannan Schisler on January 5, 2022 at 10:12 pm

    I did it about three weeks ago. I learned a lot about it on the Stodoys website. Check.

  10. David Fowler on January 5, 2022 at 10:12 pm

    very helpful. thanks

  11. 5lowethechamp on January 5, 2022 at 10:12 pm

    Wondering if u have ur own channel ? Nice job

  12. Figueredo Ruley on January 5, 2022 at 10:14 pm

    The best designs and plans are available on the Woodglut website.

  13. samuel shepard on January 5, 2022 at 10:15 pm

    Why aren’t all instructional videos this easy?

  14. Abadi Alttalib on January 5, 2022 at 10:15 pm

    Thank you for this video شكرا لكم على الفيديو

  15. jO2 Flicks on January 5, 2022 at 10:15 pm

    Just what i was looking for. Thank you!

  16. Derek Hayes on January 5, 2022 at 10:16 pm

    Thank you. This was good.

  17. Vince Peterson on January 5, 2022 at 10:17 pm

    You have a great way about you!

  18. ozzyg82 on January 5, 2022 at 10:18 pm

    Nice and clear, thanks!

  19. Mac Culp on January 5, 2022 at 10:18 pm

    She was awesome. Who tf chose the music for this video?

  20. Felix Reali on January 5, 2022 at 10:19 pm

    what’s with the music??? 🙁 the volume for it should be way down (or you could just take the music out completely). it’s so distracting…

  21. Robin Marwick on January 5, 2022 at 10:20 pm

    Interesting video but why the irriyating background music?

  22. Robin Marwick on January 5, 2022 at 10:20 pm

    Great video thank you I’ve picked up a number of really useful tips……..the background music did detract from your rather excellent dialogue so 9 3/4 out of 10

  23. Romelia Polly on January 5, 2022 at 10:20 pm

    I’ve heard good feedback about the Woodprix plans.

  24. Shannon Amend on January 5, 2022 at 10:23 pm

    I am sure you’ll learn how to make it if you’ll read woodprix HANDBOOKS from cover to cover 🙂

  25. fred karno on January 5, 2022 at 10:24 pm

    Very clear and to the point. Many thanks

  26. Cadena Ek on January 5, 2022 at 10:26 pm

    On WoodPrix you can find excellent plans for woodworking.

  27. Omar Lemus on January 5, 2022 at 10:28 pm

    Excellent information, big thanks!

  28. M B on January 5, 2022 at 10:28 pm

    Havnt used one since D&T at school over 2 decades ago. Been meaning to get one for the odd DIY job, have some sticking doors that need attention atm. Feel a bit more confident now, thanks for the excellent instructions in this video.

  29. Linda Morgey on January 5, 2022 at 10:29 pm

    I found some amazing plans for Woodglut. Just check them out.

  30. Marlen Vassallo on January 5, 2022 at 10:29 pm

    I did it quickly and efficiently with instructions from Stodoys page.

  31. Nitin Rajeev on January 5, 2022 at 10:30 pm

    neat and simple video 🙂

  32. Josh McGuff on January 5, 2022 at 10:30 pm

    very useful information!

  33. Conner Monier on January 5, 2022 at 10:32 pm

    Nice video. However you can make it yourself. Just google wood prix and learn how to do it easily.

  34. Garzon Laperle on January 5, 2022 at 10:33 pm

    So I did it too 😀 just using Woodprix woodworking plans 🙂

  35. Cromium2231 on January 5, 2022 at 10:34 pm

    Thank you so much. The plane i bought came with crappy instructions. this really helped.

  36. Emad Abuhagag on January 5, 2022 at 10:35 pm


  37. Jayden Brumous on January 5, 2022 at 10:36 pm

    I started my adventure with wood thanks to plans from the stodoys.

  38. Ray Unseitig on January 5, 2022 at 10:37 pm

    nice, but my block plane just jams up as there is not way for shavings to pass thru the small slot. (throat?)

  39. Adele Condron-King on January 5, 2022 at 10:38 pm

    That was brilliant thank you….!

  40. Rojith Stanly on January 5, 2022 at 10:38 pm

    awesome video

  41. leboharold on January 5, 2022 at 10:41 pm

    Is this a good tool for making wood trim

  42. Staarker99 on January 5, 2022 at 10:45 pm

    A man’s invention explained to her by a man. Or a white man’s invention explained to her by a white man. Isn’t white man amazing.

  43. Seamus Warren on January 5, 2022 at 10:46 pm

    Is the first plane used to widen door frames? I was cutting and sanding up to a centimetre off a door frame so I can fit a door.

  44. Shantay Madison on January 5, 2022 at 10:50 pm

    If you want to build it you can find nice instructions on the Woodprix website.

  45. John Lock on January 5, 2022 at 10:50 pm

    I did the same with Woodprix 🙂

  46. my cats on January 5, 2022 at 10:52 pm

    Thank you. I was able to watch with sound off & closed captions on (bc I have insomnia & don’t want to wake people up) and it was still very helpful. I’ll watch it again with sound on later.

  47. Shannon Gibson on January 5, 2022 at 10:54 pm

    do it yourself , go to woodprix page and learn how.

  48. Charley Streather on January 5, 2022 at 10:54 pm

    Very clear and informative, much obliged and many thanks.

  49. Lee Boehmer on January 5, 2022 at 10:55 pm

    As block planes do not come with adjustment instructions, this is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you.

  50. zhang fang on January 5, 2022 at 10:56 pm

    Thank you Dr Alaho Olu on YouTube for curing my HSV 1&2 after using his herbal products..