Monday was the first day at college of the Redwoods Summer Course in Tools and Techniques! I meant to post this last night but I stayed late on the first day…maybe a sign of things to come.
This week we are to make two Krenov-style handplanes starting with the irons and then working on the plane bodies. Monday was all about sharpening and the first thing to do was tune your block plane.
Yep, you need at least a block plane to make another plane- solves the chicken and egg question of planes anyway…the block plane comes first. I yoinked mine out of the box and we took it apart to start squaring it up and prepping it for use. Since this one plane will be used to make all of your others, it’s really important to make sure that it was aligned and flat. One thing that they stressed to us was that although you are after perfect alignment and dead flat; both are merely a reference. If you have a slight skew when grinding out your blade or if your sole is a bit dished, it’s almost as important to know how to compensate for those imperfections as it is to be able to correct them.
I also completely retuned my sharpening stones after discovering several were crowning. I for sure thought that they’d be dished and was totally surprised to find out the opposite. Really fine woodworking starts at a snails pace. I spend all day in the shop yesterday and, after intros and the shop tour, mostly did sharpening on one block plane and two other blades. Blade tuning plus the stone retuning put me at around 7:30pm having arrived at 8:30am. A long day but well worth it.