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Tip #185
Keeping Edges Square During Hand Planing

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Hand planes have a tendency to “rock” left or right when shaving the edges of boards. The thinner the board, the more likely this is to happen…and any board under 3/4 ” thick is particularly susceptible.

So, how do you avoid this problem?

Simple…just make a wooden fence that attaches to the side of your hand plane and rides against the side (or wide surface) of your stock when planning.

In the case of iron body planes, drill a hole or two through the side of the plane body and attach your fence with bolts and wing nuts. If you’d prefer not to do that, you can also clamp your fence to the plane body with bolts (through the wooden fence only) and large diameter fender washers.

For wooden planes, use wood screws. Just remember…your fence must be at a 90-degree angle to the plane sole for most operations.

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