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The Handplane Book by Garrett Hack, John S. Sheldon (Photographer) The Handplane Book
by Garrett Hack, John S. Sheldon (Photographer)

Paperback: 272 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.64 x 10.99 x 9.23
Publisher: Taunton Pr; (October 1999)
ISBN: 1561583170

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Amazon.com: Woodworkers beware: Garrett Hack has put together a completely irresistible book, beautifully illustrated with color photographs, drawings, diagrams, and everything you would ever want or need to know about the handplane, the ultimate woodworker's tool. Hack covers the history of planes back to Roman times, and explains how to tune and sharpen a handplane, how to use the many different varieties properly, and how to purchase the right kind of plane. In a world where most woodwork is done with machine tools and mechanized wood-shaping devices, The Handplane Book is an ode to the wonders of the beautiful work done with a tool many modern woodworkers have probably forgotten.

Book Description: More than any tool, the handplane has come to symbolize fine craftsmanship. Hand-planes evoke the romance of an earlier era when planes performed countless woodworking tasks, from preparing stock to shaping moldings. Planes from that time and into the early 20th cen-tury were often exquisitely made and speak eloquently of the respect and love craftsmen had for their tools. In The Handplane Book, Garrett Hack reveals the rich heritage of this classic tool by presenting a treasure trove of information about handplanes.

The only book completely devoted to the handplane, The Handplane Book is a complete guide to one of the best known and most collectible handtools. It covers all the basics, including how to buy a plane, tune it up, and use it. Fascinating background information on the development and manufacture of handplanes shows the rich heritage of this versatile tool. Focusing on planes from the golden age of handplanes (19th and early 20th century), it also profiles tools from many sources around the world.

Ingram: In a visually stunning, technically informative reference on the classic handplane, professional woodworker Garrett Hack provides detailed, practical information on choosing, using, tuning, and repairing all types of planes, including unique, antique, and specialty planes. 175 photos. 152 drawings.

Customer Reviews
Excellent, February 20, 2002
Reviewer: gluehappy from Lutz, FL United States
This book is filled with encyclopedic information about planes, their history, their use, and their mechanics.

Included is information about different kinds of planes that are used for joining, truing, surfacing, shaping, and specialty planes such as those used by violin makers and others, as well as information on how to select, maintain, and tune a plane. I really liked the way the author gives due consideration to wooden planes, information one can use to help make their own. There are wonderful photographs and illustrations used throughout the book that accompany the professionally written text.

The author has defintely performed an excellent job compiling and presenting the information. Even as a coffee table book, those who peruse it will find it hard to put down. For the woodworker at any skill level this is a must have for the shop.

beautiful book, November 6, 2000
Reviewer: Martin Harriman from Aptos, CA United States
The Handplane Book is a beautiful book. It's an excellent introduction to the aesthetic pleasures of handplanes (if you liked Sandor Nagyszanczy's Art of Fine Tools, I expect you will like this book, too).

There's more to this book than aesthetics. Garrett Hack provides an excellent introduction to the practical side of handplanes. There are a few areas where other experts disagree with Mr. Hack (e.g., whether one must lap the sole of a plane flat, or whether one should snug up the depth adjustment to "take out the slack").

As another reviewer commented, this makes a great coffe table book--but it also makes an excellent and inspiring workshop book. I recommend it whole-heartedly.

A must-have book for therapeutic woodworking, December 2, 1999
Reviewer: David L. Miller from Chicago, US
This excellent book can certainly serve as a testament to convert those seekers who are unfulfilled with the gospel of Norm Abraham and his idolatrous worship of power tools. However, the real value of this work lies in enriching the woodworking experience for those of us who transmogrify wood for therapy and not solely to achieve the end result. While I was reasonably skilled with hand planes prior to my purchase of this book, Garret Hack helped me ascend to the next level of woodworking consciousness - the smug recognition that a well-tuned hand plane and some basic skills can accomplish many woodworking tasks with better results in less time than an expensive electric tool. An interesting phenomenon occurs as one converts from screaming three-phase power tools to handsaws, chisels, braces and planes - the woodworking experience changes focus from the project to the process. Your ability to read the wood and select the most appropriate stock increases dramatically. You begin to appreciate the wood and even the tools themselves as much as you do the actual project. I've been collecting every manner of woodworking hand tools for years, thinking that in my retirement I could afford the luxury of conducting all my woodworking in a non-electric shop as penance to St. Roy of Underhill for my avaricious glorification of Nikola Tesla. While I may never do away with my table saw, this book has given me the strength to forsake all of my other power tools and relegate them to occasional use when I'm doing rough work on knotty pagan wood. It's a good book - swear to God.

A beautifully illustrated tome of necessary knowledge, September 14, 1998
Reviewer: mistermatt@aol.com from New York, NY
When you finally decide to defect from the world of routers, jointers and power planers, come read from this book. Garrett has taken what some would argue is an outdated tool and shown its practical use. The Handplane Book gives great overviews on the various types of planes that exist - old, new and new versions of oldies. Garrett shows you how to set many of these planes up to achieve results that power tool users can only dream of (try getting a glass smooth surface with sandpaper - read the book and you'll understand why you can't). As for the photographs, only the most beautiful tool examples were used, and were very well shot. Nice enough to put on your coffee table ;-) For any fan of manually powered craftsmanship (smoothing and shaping in specific) or those who understand the simple beauty of a hand tool, this is a must have.

Handplanes are valuable tools that should get more use., July 19, 1998
Reviewer: Ryan Cowell (rcowell@hotmail.com) from Poway, California
I have recently purchased a new Lie-Nielson plane that worked great out of the box after a little honing of the blade. It will never replace the now tuned Stanley transitional plane. This book showed me the value of a well-tuned tool, old or new, and deepened my appreciation of hand tools. Having grown weary of noisey power tools, I have shifted my focus towards more traditional hand tools. These tools don't come with manuals, which makes this book all the more valuable to have. After reading of some specialty planes. I know which I should look for while searching flea markets, garage sales, and woodworking catalogs.

This an excellent book for novice and expert woodworkers., May 17, 1998
Reviewer: dgartman@aol.com from Washington, USA
This book covers all aspects of almost every type of handplane including their tuning, uses, and specialty items. There are many great tips that I have found invaluable. This a book that on first glance I thought would be boring or uninformative, but instead I found it to be very interesting, well written and illustrated, and of high quality.

A wonderfully written history and how-to of planes, January 6, 1998
Reviewer: davedean@soho.ios.com from New York, NY
Have you thought of planes as boring and impossible to use? This book makes them interseting and teaches you the skills on how to tune up your planes so they will make the beautiful shavings you see in the pictures.

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Paperback: 272 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.64 x 10.99 x 9.23
Publisher: Taunton Pr; (October 1999)
ISBN: 1561583170

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