Woodwork Tools Blog



Woodworking Tools – The Scrub Plane

In these times of pre-prepared timber and power thicknessers/planers, the scrub plane is one of the woodworking tools that you don’t see as often as other planes. Scrub planes do still come in handy in a number of situations such as (in my case) when you don’t have a thicknesser, or your board is too wide to fit through your thicknesser, or if you want to quickly bring a piece of timber down to the correct width, but without rip-sawing it. Scrub planes can also be used to give an interesting texture to finished pieces, and of course some people just prefer to use hand woodworking tools instead of power woodworking tools, so it is unlikely that the scrub plane will ever completely disappear from use. The purpose of the scrub plane is to remove large volumes of timber quickly, and so the blade on a typical scrub plane is reasonably narrow, with the blade ground to a distinct curve, of 3-4 inches in radius. This allows the blade to make a deeper, gouging cut – the sort of cut that you generally try to avoid with all of your other planes! At around 9.5-10.5 inches, the sole of the plane is also quite short. When working with the scrub plane, work diagonally across the grain, first in one direction, then in the other, as this will assist in getting the board down to a regular thicknes. In past days, the scrub plane would have been the first plane used when starting to dress a piece of timber. Once the timber was roughed out by the scrub plane and the correct size achieved, the craftsman would then have moved to the jack plane, the jointer plane, and finally the smoothing plane – taking the workpiece from a rough-sawn piece of timber down to a dressed timber ready to be crafted into a fine piece of furniture. Whilst not one of the woodwork tools that most people see as a necessity in the toolbox, the scrub plane still has many uses, and you will find yourself reaching for it on occasion. Second hand scrub planes are not found in the abundance of other woodworking tools such as the jack plane or the smoothing plane, however there are generally a few available at any one time on ebay. If looking for a new scrub plane, take a look at the ones over here Scrub Planes to get an indication of the sort of prices that can be paid.

Looking for more information on hand planes? Check out my other entries:
The Smoothing Plane
The Jack Plane
The Block Plane
The Block Plane – My latest woodworking tool
The Jointer Plane or Trying Plane

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