Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Using a Dedicated Moulding Plane

Moulding planes are fun to use. Limiting the amount of time spent with each plane, however, is desirable. This intentional reduction lessens the amount of time spent sharpening.

Starting a dedicated plane on a square corner will drastically increase the number of necessary passes to completion. Increased passes results in increased wear and increased sharpening. 

The edges of the iron that cuts the lower portion of the profile will take dozens of passes prior to the portion that cuts the top takes one.

(Eight passes into this profile and we still have a many, many more)

Know that the entire cutting edge shall be addressed even when only one portion of the iron needs to be. This will keep your plane’s iron matching throughout the width of your plane’s sole.

To reduce the amount of time spent with this plane simply add a chamfer.

The chamfer will remove a significant amount of the waste material.

Know that a chamfer that is too narrow is far better than one that is too wide.
(the above is ideal)

(Left is better than right)

I encounter a lot of woodworkers that recommend starting a profiled plane at the end and slowly working backwards with abbreviates passes towards the beginning.
(Note the profile is slopped towards us and is much closer to complete than beneath the plane.)

I have never used this method but I can certainly see the value: Holding a plane at a consistent angle over the course of several feet is an acquired skill. Working from the end to the beginning allows the longer passes to fall into the predefined path of the previous, shorter passes. This process encourages a more uniform profile.

Finally, I have SOLD OUT of the 7/16" Ovolo sets that come with an appropriately sized hard Arkansas slip stone. I will have more available in early September. Please send an email to if you definitely want to be included. (Payment will be due before delivery, nothing now.)

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