plane is a trowel-shaped carpenter's tool with an adjustable blade for
smoothing and leveling wood, or the surface of clay, sand, or plaster in
a mold. There are a wide variety of hand planes , which may be made of
steel or from wood and almost all planes are meant to smoothen the
surface. The hand plane is one of the most basic of wood working hand
There was a time when a hand plane was considered to be an
indispensable tool, used to shape, straighten or smoothen just about
every piece of wood in a house. Today, inspite of the emergence of power
tools like routers, belt sanders, jointers, and power planers, the hand
planes are still in use because no tool is better for shaving the edge
of a sticking door or straightening a piece that is twisted or warped or
or chamfering the corner of a board. Planes are used for trimming,
beveling, fitting and shaping wood, and smoothing rough spots left by
sawing and drilling.
Parts of a plane
Types of planes
- Steel used in the cutter, cap iron, sole and body of the
plane: The cap iron should be of hard steel so adjustment screws
will not strip. Hard steel cutters hold an edge longer.
- Precision manufacturing: The sole of the plane should be
perfectly flat and the mouth opening narrow and precisely ground for
the plane to shave wood flat without splitting the grain.
There are a large range of planes available and each plane is used for
different purposes. Some examples of hand planes are as follows:
Classification of planes on the basis of materials of which they are
plane: It is used for smoothing short pieces of wood and its
length ranges from 8 to 10 inches.
plane: This plane has a steel body, from 12" to 15" in
length, and used for rough shaping of boards and smoothen long
block plane: This type of plane is still available in the old
design and is used to remove a large amount of wood. They are light
in weight and can be used comfortably for longer periods.
They are very long planes (from 18" up to 30" or more )
and used to flatten and join the faces of boards.
maker plane: Made out of brass in lengths from about 1" to
2", they are meant for shaping and sizing musical instruments.
plane: They are held across the wide part with both hands and
drawn towards you as you work. It is used for cutting or cleaning a
groove and not for use across the grain.
block plane: Used for light work like producing 'chamfers', this
planes is smaller than a wood block plane and normally held and used
in one hand.
Planes: These type of planes may look like small toys but they
are highly suitable for getting into small areas and come in several
profiles for different tasks.
Planes: This comes with replacable blades and used to remove the
sharp corner from the edge of material.
plane: It can make a surface plain right into corners.
plane: This type of plane is designed for producing shoulders or
rebates. For example: a base to a jewelry box which is rebated into
plane: This plane is used for creating a shoulder or a rebate on
the piece of wood's edge and it is adjustable for different widths,
unlike a rebate plane.
- Wooden plane: It is entirely made of wood except for the
blade. With the help of a wooden wedge, the iron is held into the
plane and is adjusted by striking the plane with a hammer.
- Transitional plane: It has a wooden body with a metal
casting used to hold and adjust the blade.
- Metal plane: It is constructed of metal, except, for the
- Infill plane: It has a metal body filled with very hard
wood on which the blade rests and the handles are formed.
Construction is purely of English or Scottish style.
- Shoulder plane: Trims tenons and other joints.
- Molding plane: Cuts moldings along the edge of a board.
- Plow plane: Cuts grooves and trenches.
- Chisel plane: Removes wood up to a perpendicular surface
like that from the bottom inside of a box.
- Fore Plane: A fore plane is used for fine, flat finishing
- Bench plane: They are adjustable; the best have lateral
as well as fore and after cutter adjustment and a movable frog to
vary the mouth opening.
- Surface Forming Plane: A surface-forming plane, also
called a file, cuts rapidly and smoothly on wood, aluminum, copper,
etc. It is made of die-cast aluminum, has high-quality steel cutting
blades and is available in circular and regular patterns.
- Circular Plane: Circular planes are made with a flexible
steel bottom that can be adjusted to plane on concave or convex