Almost everyone will agree that the hand plane is possibly the most fun woodworking tool. A plane is simply a chisel enclosed a metal or wooden base to make it easier to use both hands and work a lot more quickly, lifting off at each stroke a very thin wood shaving. While using a plane, you can actually start to feel the pleasure of carpentry; the aroma of wood rising towards your nostrils; beautiful curled shavings come up from the blade; the area behind the plane (as long as you're planing along the grain, as you should be) is smoothened and slick.
When about to use the plane, check the blade before adjusting it. You'll find that by taking out the lever cap, the blade may be removed easily. A cap iron is screwed on the blade which rests slightly in back from the sharp edge on the un-beveled side. The cap iron serves as a planing deflector. The cap iron's sharp edge and the little flat surface that is set next to the cutter must lie tightly along the full width of the blade since they are screwed together. This prevents shavings from going between them. When placing the blade back in the plane, be sure to place the cap iron topmost on the unbeveled side of the blade. Replace the lever cap, locking it with the little cam at the top.
More about hand planes: Tips on Using the Hand Plane
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