How to Use a Smoothing Plane | Woodworking

How to Use a Smoothing Plane | Woodworking

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The smoothing planes, the jointer, the jack plane, these have a few more parts and pieces in them, and it’s useful to look at these, too, just to understand how they work. The one extra piece that these have is a chip breaker on top. That’s an extra piece of metal that sits on top of the blade. The blade’s on the bottom here. Chip breaker’s on top. The purpose of that piece is twofold. It’s to hold the blade in a more rigid way in the plane, because it’s a longer blade and it keeps the blade from chattering. The other purpose of this is to prevent tear-out. When this is running along the wood the blade’s cutting the wood, and there’s a tendency for the wood to tear out. This part of the assembly here prevents that from happening.

Once you get this set up properly and in the plane the way to use these is very similar to the block plane except these planes have a two handed operation. You can see there’s a knob on the front and handle on the back. Because these planes are bigger and they’re doing harder work we’ll start on this edge, but they generally are doing more difficult work on the face of a board.

You have to really put your whole body into using these planes. I recommend you stand with your feet spread apart. Put most of your weight on the hand holding the knob. When you’re ready to go you’re just going to rock from your back foot to your front foot, and use your body weight to push this plane forward. Now the goal is, of course, try to keep this as level as possible as you’re going across the wood with some pressure down on the front. The last part of this procedure is when you get to the end lighten up a bit on your hand holding this knob, because you don’t want to round over the end of the board.

So, let’s try it. Let’s do a demonstration. You can see if you just have a nice follow through and you lift up at the end, rock from one foot to the other, you get a nice, smooth shaving. That’s really your goal is to see ribbons of thin wood like this coming off. You can see the result on the wood. It’s just a really clean, glassy surface, way better than a saw or sandpaper could do. That’s one of the real benefits of learning how to use these planes is that you can pretty much throw out your sandpaper after you master these.

Now, on an edge that’s pretty easy. Let’s look at doing a face, because that’s the other use of the smoothing and jack planes. If you don’t have a vise and a workbench style thing like this you can just clamp your boards down onto the table. It’s pretty easy.

One of the big functions of this plane, like I was saying before, is to flatten out the boards. Often you’ll have twists in boards, and one corner might be higher than another. Let’s say these are two high corners and the board’s twisted. You can’t really do any work with this on the machines until it’s nice and flat. So, flattening it down is one really important function of these. The way to do it is just how we were doing that edge. I’m just going to rock into the motion of shaving that down, and you’ll have a much flatter board.

Just to wrap up, these types of planes, you’ve got the smoothing plane, the jack plane, and the jointer, may not be something you’ll purchase right away as a beginner. But, down the road, you’ll definitely want to get familiar with these.

That’s all for planes.


  1. Marvin Harrison on January 4, 2022 at 8:32 pm

    Excellent video . You can’t hear you . Cut out all the music noise .

  2. Ted St. John on January 4, 2022 at 8:35 pm

    This is an excellent presentation, full of good information.  Thank you for sharing your talent.  

  3. Mathias Nielsen on January 4, 2022 at 8:37 pm


  4. gio gonjilashvili on January 4, 2022 at 8:39 pm

    do you remembr when howcast gave some actual advice? preperige farm does

  5. hombre mario on January 4, 2022 at 8:39 pm

    Wow looks super fine…, I have also been a bit busy honing my woodcrafting skills. Just got Hyezmar’s Woodworking Bible (it’s online) and I’m delighted with the projects 🙂

  6. Vadym Volodko on January 4, 2022 at 8:41 pm

    I checked a lot of handbooks with woodworking plans. Instructions from woodprix are the best I think.

  7. Sarah Walker on January 4, 2022 at 8:42 pm

    Who is this instructor? I really appreciate how well she explains things

  8. edlubs11 on January 4, 2022 at 8:42 pm

    What are the differences in sizes for? Width for wide area coverage? Length for longer boards?

  9. Romelia Polly on January 4, 2022 at 8:42 pm

    My adventure with woodworking started with Woodglut.

  10. Irs on January 4, 2022 at 8:42 pm

    Thanks! Gue senang mendapat materi seperti itu.

  11. Shanna Heckler on January 4, 2022 at 8:45 pm

    Go to woodprix if you’d like to build it yourself.

  12. Bowkie A on January 4, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    Excellent demo. Admirably clear instructions.

  13. Chris Branan on January 4, 2022 at 8:47 pm

    Very helpful. Good presentation.

  14. Quinten Ooms on January 4, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    cool vid boy

  15. Gevarre on January 4, 2022 at 8:50 pm

    Yes, it may be called a smoothing plane, but the title is very misleading. It should have been called "How to Use a Hand Plane". The only advice she gives on specifically using a smoothing plane is purely incidental. For the first part she is showing a jointing operation, and the second part is showing a flattening operation. A smoothing plane is used to finish a surface after all other operations have been done and there is a lot more to smoothing than just running the plane across the board.

  16. ardvarkkkkk1 on January 4, 2022 at 8:51 pm

    Dump the music.

  17. Bro. Steve on January 4, 2022 at 8:51 pm

    Please get rid of the background music. It’s drowning out your words so I can’t understand what you’re saying.

  18. Cody Francis on January 4, 2022 at 8:53 pm

    Omg push the damn plane across the wood already

  19. Romaine Athey on January 4, 2022 at 8:54 pm

    Woodprix is nice for that.

  20. Theknotman1964 on January 4, 2022 at 8:56 pm

    NEVER EVER put your plane down like this 02:05 Please lay it on its side As my old Woodworking teacher used to say

  21. william kennedy on January 4, 2022 at 8:56 pm

    You always lay a plane down on its side not on the cutting edge, I remember this from school in the 1960s !

  22. Sean Porter on January 4, 2022 at 8:56 pm

    Great video. Short and sweet. Clearly you know the subject.

  23. Hot Media on January 4, 2022 at 8:57 pm

    Thanks for the video content! Sorry for the intrusion, I am interested in your thoughts. Have you ever tried – Antonello Astonishing Woodwork Takeover (search on google)? Ive heard some great things about it and my friend produced the most amazing woodwork masterpiece with it. 

  24. Emad Abuhagag on January 4, 2022 at 8:57 pm

    thank you

  25. Badrin Kilang on January 4, 2022 at 8:58 pm

    she is so cute n have big asset there. I like. nyam2

  26. fyeahpetrats on January 4, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    What kind of wood were you using? Can you use planes to round corners and edges?

  27. Bridleclub123 on January 4, 2022 at 9:00 pm


  28. Shantel Fullerton on January 4, 2022 at 9:08 pm

    Plans from Stodoys help solve technical problems.

  29. Target2004 on January 4, 2022 at 9:08 pm

    You are wrong Bridleclub, all four she has there are Hand Planes.
    The Largest is a Jointer Plane.
    The second largest is a Jack Plane
    Third largest is a Smoothing Plane
    And the smallest is a Block Plane

  30. .m. on January 4, 2022 at 9:09 pm

    great instructional video.

  31. Artem unknown on January 4, 2022 at 9:09 pm

    Ypu should not keep your hand planes on the table like this woman does, because the weight of the plane can damage the iron. But if you really want to, the blade should be fully retracted.

  32. حسام الماجيك on January 4, 2022 at 9:12 pm

    مرحبا ممكن الاشتراك بقناتى وانا هردها ودعمى

  33. Romelia Polly on January 4, 2022 at 9:12 pm

    I am sure you will find a good way to do this on the Woodprix website.

  34. Ritvars Daukste on January 4, 2022 at 9:13 pm

    Actually a chip braker (metal plate attached to plane iron) is not preventing a tear out, it is the sole of the plane and the troth opening. And it is not the smoother planes function, to straighten a board. It is a job for scrub plane and jointer plane.

  35. Chrissy Smith on January 4, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    If you want the best woodworking plans online then I recommend you go here: HootWood. com

  36. حسن ناطق محمد ياسين on January 4, 2022 at 9:15 pm

    very wonderful and really helpful series of videos
    I’m too grateful
    thanx alot

  37. Jeffrey Prater on January 4, 2022 at 9:17 pm

    I have watched a few of your videos. I love how detailed you are. Please keep up the good work.

  38. fro0tyl0opy87 on January 4, 2022 at 9:19 pm

    A plane without wings. Simply wow!!

  39. w0mbles on January 4, 2022 at 9:20 pm

    This was very useful. Thank you for sharing this.

  40. Sreiano jrdes on January 4, 2022 at 9:24 pm

    ممتاز جدا الله يسعدكم
    انا نجار مقيم في المانيا
    اريد ان انخرط في العمل الماني

  41. Matthew Lavergne on January 4, 2022 at 9:24 pm

    Go to woodprix if you’d like to build it yourself.

  42. Sancho Garra on January 4, 2022 at 9:25 pm

    Nice job youtube because I was looking for this.

  43. Peter Owens on January 4, 2022 at 9:28 pm

    Rather lacking in detail so hard to pick up on anything new. At least mention blade sharpness & avoiding tear out. In the jack plane assembly I missed exactly how the chip breaker is fitted, how far from blade edge etc. Overall too short & too limited

  44. xl on January 4, 2022 at 9:29 pm

    worst channel on Youtube