Stanley Plane Instructions

wooden blocks image by Ramona smiers from

Things You'll Need

  • Wood block
  • Work bench
  • Stanley block plane

Stanley is a manufacturer of woodworking tools, including a popular line of block planes, also known as hand planes. A block plane is a hand-held tool which the user runs over the surfaces of a block of wood in order to level the entire surface, and remove any raised knots or bumps. While an easy tool to use, it is important to know proper block plane procedure to ensure it is properly utilized.

Secure the block you will be planing on a stable work bench. It is important that the block be held firm so that it does not slip, which can lead to damage to the wood as well as personal injury.

Adjust the depth of the cut on the plane by adjusting the blade height knob located on the back of the plane. An ideal height will cut as thin as possible without slipping, as the thicker the cut, the more likely it is to catch on the wood and create a jagged cut.

Grip the back of the plane in your dominant hand with a firm grip. Some planes feature an easy-grip handle, while other planes simply feature a raised section in the back shaped to allow for a comfortable application of pressure.

Grip the front of the plane in your non-dominant hand around the round knob near the leading edge.

Place the front of the plane, before the blade, at the back edge of the block and push forward with the plane angled slightly to the side, not directly down the grain. Be sure the plane is resting flat along the block as you push.

Lift up the plane as you pull it back to make another pass. Do not drag the plane backwards, as it will damage your wood.

Continue making passes until the wood is smooth.


Photo Credits

  • wooden blocks image by Ramona smiers from