This post is part of a blog series revealing the table of contents of upcoming Issue Twelve. As is our custom, we’ll be discussing one article per weekday in order to give you a taste of what is come.
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Joshua A. Klein – “The Simple Art of Wooden Planemaking”
Bench planes are the workhorses of the shop. From thicknessing rough boards to smoothing final surfaces, they serve a vital role in every stage of building furniture. And before the advent of mass manufacture to produce these tools, they were typically made of wood by the artisan who would use them at the bench. But to most woodworkers today, this is an intimidating prospect. What about all the confusing angles, precise measurements, and delicate adjustments?
In Issue Twelve, author Joshua A. Klein seeks to dispel these apprehensions. Approaching the task as our ancestors did, from a pre-industrial mindset, he removes the veil of mystery and shows how accessible the craft of planemaking is to the modern craftsman.
Citing period references as well as modern advances, Klein gives a detailed tutorial on building a wooden fore plane, beginning with sourcing the stock. He discusses the merits of both modern and vintage plane irons, then introduces some specialty hand tools that can make the process easier. However, he only utilizes ordinary bench tools for this project to demonstrate how simple it can be. Details of terminology, laying out the mortise, finding proper angles, and fitting the wedge are all clearly outlined.
You will be equipped to build your own fore plane with this article as a guide. One of Klein’s goals is to inspire a revival of traditional planemaking among modern woodworkers – it’s an enjoyable, challenging, and rewarding project for any hand-tool aficionado.
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