Woodwork Tools Blog



The Jack Plane

This is the first of a series of very brief entries in which I intend to cover some of the different types of my favourite woodwork tools – hand planes. I thought I would start with one of the most common – the Jack Plane.

The Jack plane is probably the most used of the bench planes, and is generally one of the first woodworking tools that will be added to the toolbox.

The purpose of the Jack Plane is to quickly remove a large amount of wood, such as taking off the rough-sawn outside of a plank. For this reason, it is common for the the blade on a Jack Plane to be honed to a slightly rounded shape. This allows the depth of the blade to be set quite deep, whilst still allowing the blade to move through the timber with less force than would be required with a square blade. Despite the rounding of the blade being ever so slight, it is amazing what a difference this makes.

It seems that the name “Jack plane” comes from the term “Jack-of-all-trades”, no doubt in reference to the fact that many people use it to carry out the work of the try plane and the bench plane.

Jack planes are generally about 14-15 inches long with a 2 inch (50mm) wide blade, although some do have a 2 3/8 inch (60mm) cutting iron.

The Stanley No. 5 Jack Plane is a typical example of a jack plane, and a reasonable plane for a reasonable amount of money. You can check it out by clicking here.

If you are looking for a top of the line plane, as usual, the team at Lie-Nielsen have you covered with the Lie-Nielsen low angle jack plane – possibly a bit pricey if you are starting out, but as with most tool purchases, you definitely get what you pay for.

Interested in hand planes? You may also like enjoy reading these entries:

The Jointer Plane or Trying Plane
The Smoothing Plane
The Block Plane
The Block Plane – My latest woodworking tool
Woodworking Tools – The Scrub Plane

PS. Are you SICK OF FIGHTING with your hand planes?
If you feel your hand plane should be giving you a little more joy, make sure you check out “The Handplane Book” – everything you need to know to start getting the most out of your hand planes.
Click here to solve your handplane problems today!

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