It’s no secret that I love hand planes and own way too many of them–about 250 at last count. Many of them perform highly specialized tasks and don’t see use very often. But there’s one type of plane that’s a stand-out exception: the block plane. In fact, when I’m asked by beginning woodworkers what plane they should start out with, that’s the one that always tops the list.
Every two years at Woodcraft Magazine, we create a unique home workshop issue for readers wanting to start a shop or improve the one they already have. We first decide on a theme and then follow through by selecting a bare-bones space that serves as our blank slate. We then prep the walls, ceiling, and floor for shop duty and outfit the space with original shop projects and interesting products that match nicely with the theme, which, in this issue, is the “up-and-comer’s” home shop. As you can imagine, it’s an all-hands effort by our talented staff and woodworking contributors from across the country.
I’m betting that the fellow who first said “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” was a woodworker. After more than three decades of woodworking, I’ve come to rely on dozens of different objects that were never intended for furnituremaking–including a few bits and pieces of salvaged items from the local dump–that I wouldn’t want to work without.
Ever been sucker-punched by your tablesaw? You may know what I’m talking about: You’re happily sawing along when–BAM!–in a flash, the board you were ripping flies back and slams you in the gut. Worse yet, maybe you were carelessly feeding with your bare hand instead of using a pushstick, and the escaping board suddenly directs your fingers into the blade. Ouch! Or perhaps the wooden projectile just crashed through a shop wall. We’ve all heard the stories.