This article was published in the November/Dec 2020 issue. Subscribe to This Old House Magazine by clicking here
The No. The No.102 low-angle blockplan, which made its debut in 1877 catalog by Stanley Rule & Level Co., was a 5 1/2-inch long, all-steel tool that could be used to cut through tough end grain such as butcher blocks.
Everything About the No. All About the No.
Carpenters found that the No. The 102 was small enough to fit into a belt and could be used for trimming cabinets doors, trimming shingles, fitting baseboards and fine-tuning miters.
Stanley was Stanley’s last No. In 1962, Stanley made its last No. Twenty-five year later, Lie-Nielsen Toolworks released an improved version in 1987. It featured a cap iron, a body made from rustproof manganese, a blade-depth adjustment with fine micrometers and a 1/8-inch stainless-steel blade–double the thickness of the original–for vibration-free, cutting.
It’s a portable, lightweight plane that can be used to make shavings as thin as.008 to 0.010 inches right out of the box.
How to use a hand planer
How to adjust it
If the blade becomes dull, it must be removed, sharpened and then put back in. This is how to do it:
- To loosen the cap iron, place the tool upside-down in your hand.
- By looking down at the underside, you can retract the blade into the slit at the bottom by turning counterclockwise the blade-adjuster nuts.
- Turn it counterclockwise until you see the blade edge. If the edge is not square to the sole, you can push the blade sideways and tighten it.
- Run the plane’s right and left sides over the edge of the wood strip. If you don’t see any shaving, loosen the cap and turn the adjuster nuts clockwise. If you only see one side of the blade shaving, you can gently nudge it sideways.
- Continue to adjust and test until you get equal-sized shavings on both sides.
Is the Blade Sharp enough?
Tom lifts his blade from the plane and holds it vertically. He tilts his thumb so that its edge rests on his thumbnail. If the blade sticks to Tom’s nail, it is sharp enough for his next job. If the blade slips off, he flattens it against a sharpening stone of 1,000 grit and gives it a quick hone.
There are three ways to work this plane
Two hands are required for large planes. Smaller block planes, however, offer greater flexibility. You can use all the grips to skew your plane as you pull or push it along the workpiece. This reduces the angle of your blade and makes it smoother.
- The two-handed push stroke is the best for maximum control. Place your thumb on the finger rest, then grab the sides of plane body with your thumb and fingers. Finally, place the cap in your hand. Next, push your body away.
- The one-handed push stroke is the best for the longest reach. Place your forefinger onto the finger rest, grasp the sides of the plane with the thumb on one side, and place the cap in your hand. Next, push the cap away from your body.
- The one-handed pull stroke is the strongest stroke. Hold the nose of the tool in your hand and grip it with your thumbs and fingers. Pull the plane towards you. This will allow you to brace your body against the work.