Erasing the red line

When milling wide boards, I often put a line in the middle of the board so I have something to target.  This helps me weight my plane properly so that I actually flatten the board.  

To quote Robert Wearing in his book “The Essential Woodworker” – “At the start of the stroke there is strong pressure by the left hand on the knob, while the right hand on the handle pushes straight forward.  In the middle of the stroke the down pressure is equal by both hands.  At the end of the stroke the positions are reversed … “.  

The way it was explained to me in my first hand planing class is that you’re digging out a bowl.  So my red line is the middle of the bowl and I work to make it disappear.

Microscope view of planing – Thanks Wilbur Pan

Video – with Translation

Microscopic View

This phenomenal video of a microscopic view of what happens when a plane blade cuts wood was created by Professor Yasunori Kawai and Honorary Professor Chutaro Kato at Yamagata University, as part of their research in the role of cap irons in planing. This segment shows a plane blade without a cap iron, planing with the grain, then against the grain, and finally taking a thinner shaving against the grain.