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A tip that greatly increased my speed and eased the work involves nothing  more than a couple of 1" spring clamps.  My planing form is elevated about  1/4" above a board. In this way I can place a strip in the form and lock it  in place with the clamp. No slipping, no cut fingers, no splinters. The  clamp can be placed anywhere on the strip to hold it in place.  (Ralph Moon)


Here is a neat little trick I learned recently that I thought might at least interest some on the list. To help stop the strip from slipping, especially when hogging off material in the roughing forms and initial phases of final planing, cut a small strip of double sided carpet tape (the real sticky kind) right down into the "V" and up onto the sides  behind the butt excess. This will give you little extra grip you need. Remember to fold a little tab over at the end to aid in removal of the tape ;^)

Not a big deal but it seems to help!

P.S. I also wear a latex glove on my left hand!  (Shawn Pineo)

(Footnote:  I got a message from Shawn saying that now, he uses a very sharp plane and the spring clamp method.  "I start by clamping the butt about an inch from the end, hogging down towards the tip a couple passes, then I move the spring clamp  about half way down the forms (they are raised an inch) and hold down the strip with my free hand  between the clamp and plane to prevent bowing then I flip the strip and repeat. Once I get to the final passes I resharpen my  plane blade and the passes are so thin that the clamp is no longer needed.")

    Another way to hold the strip in place is to use a lever-type clamp.  It holds the strip so securely that you do not need to touch it with your free hand. You can then focus on handling the plane perfectly level. Take two-three passes, flip the strip, lower the clamp, and take the same number on the other side. Also, this allows you to use a larger, two-handed smoothing plane if you wish.

    My strips are about five inches  longer than the final stripped size. The butt end of the strips lines up with the end of the planing forms but the actual taper begins five inches up. I plane the butt end that will be trimmed off to a slightly oversize and the clamp is always holding this section of the strip in place. (Richard Nantel)

    Another trick is to sharpen your plane iron. (Tony "the artist of simplicity" Young)


I also use a spring clamp to hold strips so I can plane with both hands on the plane. The little rubber nubs do a good job of holding the strips and you cam move the clamp anywhere you wish.  (Don Schneider)

    I use one of the moldable erasers under the clamp jaw. It works pretty good till it picks up dust and will slip in use. Your idea of using a finger protector sounds like a winner. Will give it a try tomorrow when I plane some strips. The spring clamp I use opens enough to clamp my form with the strip in it right to the work bench. There are photos on Todd's site. Thanks for the tip.  (Tony Spezio)

      I used a soft piece of rubber before but kept losing it in the junk on the bench. Now, I only have to find the clamp :>)  (Don Schneider)

        Pony makes a 3" spring clamp with orange molded rubber tips & grips.  (Chad Wigham)

          For those who need rubber tips for clamps, try using an old inner tube from a rod bicycle (road bikes are the ones with skinny 1/2" wide wheels).  You can cut rubber bands of whatever width you like and slip them over your clamps (or use them to band together anything you desire).  If you can get them from cyclists who have had blow outs, there free, if you have to buy one it still will only set you back about threes bucks for a life time supply of heavy duty rubber bands.  (Chris Obuchowski)

            Also, you can use that rubber "dip a grip" stuff (for adding grips to tools).  I believe I got mine from Home Depot.  (George Bourke)


I was surfing rod makers pages at lunch and on one of them I found a picture of a planing form stand and hold down that was pretty slick. the planning form was mounted on a block of wood about 3" tall and the length of the form. on the outboard side was mounted a T-bolt track that a toggle hold down mounted into it with a T-bolt and could slide up and down the length of the form, all the builder had to do was clamp it down just behind where he was planning. wish I could remember who's web site it was.  (Patrick Coffey)

    I don't know if this is where you saw it, but John Neimera had a planing station that was very similar to what you described in Roscoe this year.  I cant remember his web site off hand though.  Maybe someone else has it???  (Carl DiNardo)

    You can also check out Tom Smithwick's set up here.  (Todd Talsma)


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