Hand Tools

Re: planing long thin strips-how to hold?

I have done hundreds of strips for this, I even made a special bench, though that was completely unnecessary. I hand plane strips for canoes, bow limbs (tapered), battens for sails, parts for guitars.

I just hammer in a nail with a slight angle away from the pull, clip the head off, and then I press the strip onto the nail head.

With some projects like bamboo rod strips, I just hold the strip with my off hand, and sorta scuttle hand over hand, at least to get it started. Some guys use a toggle clamp once the end has been worked.

If for some reason a huge amount of force is require, I use a plug cutter to cut a hole through the strip, this leaves bevelled edges. I use a screw, adjusted so it will not strike the blade, I use bronze. Because the screw head an hole interlock, it is very solid.

On some projects like tapered battens a certain part will not be planed. In that case I use a rope and wedge, such that the planing force pulls the rope tight and the wedge jams the strip.

For certain products that buckle, but so far not strips, I use a vacuum jig.

In many of these projects I use runners on the plane so I get a perfectly dimensioned strip to the thou, with zero effort.

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