Saturday, August 30, 2008

I Lean to the Left

Some of you may be surprised or even a little disappointed to hear that, but it's true.

No matter how hard I try to keep even pressure on my plane, the edge I'm jointing becomes sloped to the left. Knowing this about myself, I take a conservative approach to jointing by frequently checking my progress with a square.

You might think the way to remedy the problem is to lean to the right. But that would only result in a peaked ridge down the middle of the board with slopes to the left and to the right.

Instead, seat your plane firmly on the right side of the edge of the board (photo 3), being sure to keep the plane perfectly flat. Don't get too radical—only take a pass or two. As you continue to plane, gradually migrate towards center until you produce a shaving that equals the entire width of the edge.

I'll continue to practice and someday I'll be able to take moderately level shavings right from the start.

That's because keeping centered is my primary focus.