Some Handplane Basics

A Stanley #5 Metal Handplane is shown in the Photo below.

The Photo below shows the main parts of the Stanley #5 Metal Handplane pictured in the Photo above, from left to right as follows:

  1. Lever Cap
  2. Chip Breaker
  3. Cutting Blade
  4. Frog
  5. Frame (body of the handplane)

The five parts listed above are disassembled going from left to right. To reassemble the five parts listed above, the parts are reassembled from right to left.

The Photo below shows the Frog turned on its side, in order to get a better view of the Adjustment Screw (that’s the brass colored screw & knob in the Photo). The Adjustment Screw when turned clockwise, moves the blade down to take a thicker shaving. The Adjustment Screw when turned counterclockwise, moves the blade up to take a thinner shaving.

Unlock the Lever Cap before adjusting the blade, using the Adjustment Screw. Lock the Lever Cap after adjusting the blade.

The Photo below shows the Mouth Adjustment Screw. It’s the bottom most screw in the center of the Photo with a slotted flat head. You rotate the screw clockwise to decrease the mouth opening, less wood tear out as you lessen the mouth opening. Rotating the screw counterclockwise increases the mouth opening, more chance of tear out but less chance of the mouth clogging up with wood shavings.

Before adjusting the mouth opening, using the mouth adjustment screw, first loosen the two slotted flat head screws shown adjacent to one another on the Frog, in the Photo below. After adjustment of mouth has been accomplished, tighten these two screws. These two screws fasten the Frog to the Frame of the Handplane.

Some useful data for Stanley Handplanes is shown in tabular format below:
Handplane # —– Sole Length (Inches) —– Blade Width (Inches)
1 ———————-5-3/4 —————————-1-1/4
2 ———————-7 ———————————1-5/8


3 ———————- 8 ——————————–1-3/4
4 ——————— 9 ——————————–2


4-1/2 ——————10 ——————————2-3/8
5 ———————-14 ——————————-2


5-1/2 —————–15 ——————————-2-3/8
6 ——————— 18 ——————————-2-3/8


7 ——————— 22 ——————————-2-3/8
8 ——————— 24 ——————————-2-5/8

The Sketch below shows the cutting angle associated with a Bevel Down handplane blade. For a Bevel Down handplane blade, the Frog angle (in this case 45 degrees, which is typical) equals the cutting angle of the handplane blade.

The Sketch below shows the cutting angle associated with a Bevel Up handplane blade. For a Bevel Up handplane blade, the Frog angle (in this case 12 degrees, which is typical) plus the Blade bevel angle (assume for this case 25 degrees, which is typical for handplane and chisel blades) equals the cutting angle of the handplane blade. Therefore in this case the cutting angle is 37 degrees ( 37 = 12 + 25 ).

In closing, hope you find the above information useful.

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Until Next Time, Take Care
AL

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