Initializing My New Stanley No. 4 Hand Plane

Initializing My New Stanley No. 4 Hand Plane

Initializing Your Hand Plane

How to get your new hand plane ready for work. Specifically, how to sharpen & set your blade.

In this episode I discuss initializing my new Stanley No. 4 plane using the sandpaper/flattop/stropping sharpening method and Paul Sellers’ thin shaving method for setting the blade.

Some of the primary lessons I learned in the process are the following:
1. The flat top and sandpaper sharpening method works well once per sheet. In other words, replace the sand paper each time. Overall, using this process is delicate, it works, but will take some time. If you have any substantial amount of correction needed in one of your new tools, I do not recommend this.
2. My temporary table is not heavy enough for planing. A woodworking tool bench has been elevated in project priority.
3. This particular model of Stanley Plane has a lot of backlash which can make adjusting depth difficult*

*Note: Since filming this episode I’ve been able to use the plane more. I will discuss the nuance more thoroughly in a future episode.

Hope you enjoy this episode! If you’d like to see more, please subscribe. If you have any questions, please comment.

Northwest Craftsman


Products Used or Mentioned in this Episode*
No. 4 Stanley Handplane:
Stanley Sweetheart Chisels:
Calibrated Granite Block:
(Not directly used but would work)
Sandpaper: Local hardware store
Leather Strop:
Irwin Quick Grips:
Ultra Sharp Diamond Sharpening Kit:
Ultra Sharp II Diamond Sharpening Kit:
Non-Slip Mat:

Email: See contact section

Intro photo location
– Deschutes National Forest
Paul Sellers Channel
Sharpening Chisels

Audio Credit
Room for Two by Dan Lebowitz (Licensed by YouTube Audio Library)

More Audio from Soundstripe**:

*The links above are Amazon affiliate links, which go to support the channel at no cost to you. We greatly appreciate your support.
**Link above is an affiliate link which provides you a discount of 20% on your first purchase and Northwest Craftsman a rebate on our subscription.


  1. Matthew Emery on February 11, 2022 at 10:29 pm

    Thanks for the tips and demonstration. Also thanks for sharing your testing of windex/sandpaper/granite block method. I’ve used this method before but only dry and just brushed off the dust. The window cleaner I’m sure makes a big difference, maybe it’s worth trying some waterproof sandpaper?

  2. Living On Wheels on February 11, 2022 at 10:40 pm

    All comes down to lots of practice and learning.

    and even more patience haha.

  3. pinkeye00 on February 11, 2022 at 10:48 pm

    I would clean that grease off #1. Secondly, that chip breaker needs to be mated flat with the blade. You really need to prep that.

  4. Golden Mind on February 11, 2022 at 10:51 pm

    I can’t trust a carpenter with a fold down picnic table for a workbench🤦🏽‍♂️

  5. M.R.T Workshop on February 11, 2022 at 11:08 pm

    Good video just a bit of advice when taking the iron off the chip breaker use a flat head screw driver and not the lever cap it will chip the edges of the cap looking forward to watching you learn

  6. Ecko on February 11, 2022 at 11:09 pm

    the hollow spot is no problem aslong as the edge is near polished and sharp 🙂 the hollow part usually comes from a rotating stone used to grind the blade in shape/angle 🙂

  7. TheFordGuy78 on February 11, 2022 at 11:12 pm

    6:00 looks like like you need a sturdier workbench

  8. TheFordGuy78 on February 11, 2022 at 11:20 pm

    16:40 I spoke too soon… informative video. Nice editing

  9. Cookingwithwil 1 Willow on February 11, 2022 at 11:22 pm

    You should make sure the surface of your plane is also Square
    Draw a grid on the soul with a sharpie then take it across your sandpaper and make sure that you’re removing all the Sharpie at the same time that you don’t have high or low spots

  10. pinkeye00 on February 11, 2022 at 11:22 pm

    Also, you want to cut at an angle. 🙂

  11. Matthew Emery on February 11, 2022 at 11:22 pm

    Dude. Having a good workbench is bomb. Can’t wait to see the new build.

  12. James Howlet on February 11, 2022 at 11:25 pm

    Very cool video man, very very cool.
    Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge and experiences.
    I am just starting to learn carpentry and woodworking on my own and I don’t even have a proper space to do it hahaha, s I have to improvise and work on some turned over plant pots xD
    But someday I will fabricate my workbench like all the pro dudes we see here on Youtube.
    My point being is that after watching your video I feel even more inspired because I just received today my brand new Stanley No. 4 SW!!! =D

    She is damn seeeexy!!!
    Thanks again man and keep it up!!!