Woodworking has much to do with practicing, and hand tools, especially things like hand planes often require even more practice before we can achieve a high level of results and there is something rewarding in going through the practice and finally getting the "feel" and the "sound" of the plane as the razor-sharp blade cuts through the wood and in the end, you end up with some perfect or at least near-perfect planed boards.
Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/7JeiXqbsCPg
In the meantime ... for those who are newer to woodworking and have not yet had the time to practice hand planing and other tool techniques, and to help ensure these woodworkers continue to keep inspired, I have developed, or at least maybe re-developed a small jig that attaches to a hand plane that can help in getting nice right-angle edges on your wood.
The concept is pretty simple, it really just uses some scrap plywood that is used as a guide to help keep the plane at right angles to the cut. Before you begin, it's important to check to make sure that the side of the plane is at right angles to the base ... many of the less expensive planes ARE NOT ... which means if you want to use them with this jig, you may have to make some adjustments and I added some shims in order to get them at right angles using the jig.
The easiest way to make this jig is with a Magswitch, but you could also make some sort of a little wooden catch, or even use a clamp to hold the side of the clamp to the wooden jig. If you do not have a Magswitch, I have provided a link to the supplier who can ship this out to you. You should also note that for this, and most other woodworking jigs I make, I prefer to use the Magswitch 150 which costs slightly more than the Magswitch 95, but the holding power of the 150 is easily worth the extra cost ... not worry, if you have already purchased one or 2 Magswitch 95s, if you find they do not have the holding power you need, you can simply purchase one more Magswitch 95 and now with the three of them together on most jigs, they will have the same holding power as 2 of the 150s
To start off with you will need a couple of scrap pieces of plywood and if you are using a Magswitch, the main plywood thickness will need to be 3/4 inch. If it is not, again you may need to add some sheets of veneer to build up the thickness because Magswitches require a 3/4 thickness of wood in order to "seat" properly. The second thinner piece can be any thickness as long as it is flat and thicker than the offset of your plane blade to the edge of the outside of the plane. That is ... hand plane blades very seldom reach a full side to side on the base of the plane, this means that if you do not "inset" the plane base, the cuts you make will not be across the whole base of your wood ... when you turn your plane upside down and look at the blade, you will see it does not go fully edge to edge.
Cutting the hole for the Magswitch is easy, simply position your Forstner bit somewhere near the top of your base plywood and drill a hole. I like to use a 1-3/8 Forstner bit, then drill a second off-set hole beside it that it only 3/8 offset, this gives me an oblong hole rather than one larger hole, but either will work.
Once the hole is drilled, you can fasten the plane with the Magwitch to see how your positioning is, and adjust as needed. When you have done this, next you can install the thinner piece of plywood and use the plane that is attached as a guide. You will want to make sure that screws are count-sunk, or you could use glue, but nothing can protrude front he second piece of plywood otherwise it is not going to move evenly across the wood you are wanting to square off.
The final item, is you are going to want to make sure your plane blade is sharp - sharp - sharp. A dull blade will mean struggling to make your cut so check to make sure your blade is sharp and hone or sharpen as needed.
I found it only took a couple of so passes in order to get a perfect, squared off ... flat edge on my wood, a simple jig and that works great ...
Copyright Colin Knecht