I would like to make two new requests. You guys have been so helpful, I am 60 years old and feel like a kid learning all over again. I picked up one of my new planes tonight and tried to use it. I soon found out I did not even know how to set it up. Can someone point me in the right direction on how to set up a plane, adjusting the blade, etc.Also, my goal in the near future is to make me a new computer desk. Before I ruin a bunch of expensive wood could anyone suggest some small projects made with inexpensive wood that would give me some experience with mortice and tenons, planes and gluing multiple boards together.
HI to another Dan,
I don't have all of the answers to all manners of woodworking, but I should have some since I have been hackin on wood for over 55 years with hand tools, power tools for 50 years, wood was my major in college and taught the subject along with other Industrial Tech waaaay back when the rocks were soft (1970 - 1985) and I will try to answer some of your questions. I tell you what we can do in lieu of typing for hours on end ..........If you will send me your phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your schedule...... I will call you and try to determine where you are at as per your level of present knowledge and then we can go from there. If you have not had classes on how to run machinery I would suggest that you take a vocational class for that in order to learn hands on safety, the basic parts of the machine, what the limits of the machine are, etc. Above all safety comes first ...........repeat SAFETY comes FIRST.
There are a lot of small projects that I can suggest and basic tools to start with. The plane is a neat tool, but if they are not adjusted correctly they can be frustrating.
I am sure that others will also chime in to help you, but I will be the first to offer and then we can both perhaps learn from others......
Thanks & God Bless ~ Dan Wyatt or the ole man Dan since I am 62.........ho ho
The first question is "What kind of plane do you have?" The second is "What do you want to do with it?"
With regard to a simple project, do you just want a simple project to build or one to use your plane on?
If it is one to build, I would suggest a simple storage box with a lid. This will bring in the use of various tools both hand and power.
When using a block plane or even a jack plane to smooth an edge, just run the blade out enough to take small slivers and hold you plane from 30º to 45º on the edge of the board. This process will gradually get longer and wider as you plane across the board's edge and the thin shavings will curl up like a rose getting ready to open. As a matter of fact I have made some pretty neat roses out of these curls and glued them to a thin dowel and even cut some curles into leaves to glue onto the stem.
Never lay your plane on the blade when you lay it down but, instead lay it on it's side or on two small pieces of wood that will keep the blade from touching the table or what ever you put it on.
I hope this tid bit of information helps and do listen to what the other fellows are saying for there is some sound advise from each one.
I can not help with the plane part. I just don't have enough exerience with them at this point to qualify in that area. As for smaller projects with different joinery I can suggest things like a Book Stand, Candle Box, Keepsake Box and the like. There are free plans all over the internet you can find and use. If they are not exactly what you are looking for, you can change them to suit your needs. One additional thought, working with #2 Pine a softwood is different the working with a hardwood such as Walnut.
Build small boxes. Start out with a simple box with butt joints and nails and dont forget the glue. When I first got serious about woodworking, my mentor and close friend gave me invaluable advice: build boxes and build alot of them. If you can master building beautiful boxes, then you can build almost anything. I have a closet in my home that is filled with old wooden boxes. I still build them today when I am bored or have a small, figured piece of wood that needs a home. Build boxes.
As far as planes go. I own over 100 hand planes and am a hand tool expert (at least I think so). What kind of plane is it. A bench plane or block? Maybe a pic posted would help. I plan on posting quite a bit of info on plane set up and use in my Roubo Bench Blog. Let me know if you have any other questions. I enjoy helping out fellow woodworkers.
Invest $30 in a granite surface plate. They are flat within .001. Some wetordry sandpaper will adhere to it when wet with no glue or tape. Start with a low grit. 120 or 150 and work on up. Woodcraft sells the surface plates. One other note. I know that quaity hand tools are expensive (boy, are they expensive!) but it pays off to buy high quality hand tool from jump. You dont need much to get going. Lee Valley/Veritas sells very fine planes for good prices.