Stock Preparation 2

Stock Preparation 2

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Cup? Twist? Bow? These are things that happen to boards when they dry. There is nothing wrong with boards that have these traits but it is necessary to get rid of them before you start working them into projects.


  1. Ken on 23 February 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Thanks Paul, I really enjoyed watching this, I also learned a hole lot.
    Nice work guys πŸ˜‰

  2. JerryH on 23 February 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Thanks Joseph, I can see myself making a load of shavings for the next project using this method. One of these days I will get myself a Planner / Thicknesser but right now I want to be able to do this by hand.

  3. Jeff Winship on 23 February 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Thanks Paul. The perfect video at the perfect time for me. Yes, it is pronounced “afeared” if you’re out in the sticks. You’re an honorary Texan. I just bought 14.5 board feet of 8/4 rough beech for making hollows and rounds, and I ain’t afeared anymore. πŸ˜‰

  4. Dave Riendeau on 24 February 2013 at 12:53 am

    Hey Jeff, I’ll put an order in for a set of hollows and rounds πŸ™‚

  5. Jeff Winship on 24 February 2013 at 1:54 am

    Might take you up on that Dave. Thank God I watched this video first. Beech is hard. It planes beautifully but gives you a workout. Started with 8″ x 11′, 2″ wide rough sawn. Cut it down to 11″ sections with a hand saw. Split those in half with a hand saw. Then started hogging. The diagonal method really works well. That saved me. You just can’t run an iron down the length with a deep cut. Did I say beech is hard? Thanks Paul.

  6. John Poutier on 24 February 2013 at 2:14 am

    Great video in so many ways: technique, expertise, hard work, sense of humor, enthusiasum, poetry, and results. All packaged in a wonderful example of masterful teaching. Like a swan gliding across a lake…..

    And once again, absolutely outstanding video and audio results.

  7. Gary Hodgin on 24 February 2013 at 3:53 am

    Enjoyed the video. Quite a workout!

  8. Ken on 24 February 2013 at 5:32 am

    Quick question, what type of little light are you using Paul.

  9. steff on 24 February 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Great. This is what I was asking for in my comment for the next project.
    Thanks a lot.

  10. Florian on 24 February 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Thank you very much, Paul. This was my most wanted video!
    A few times during this demonstration I felt like it would be sometimes helpful to have this 3rd person’s camera perspective while beeing eye-to-eye with the board and the scrub.
    And it was good to see that this is also not a walk in the park even for such a skilled master.

    I wonder what stock preparation 3 will be about πŸ˜‰

  11. Florian on 24 February 2013 at 6:44 pm

    @Ken, it’s a led light with an orange filter foil to balance the color temperature of the led to the white balance of the video camera. πŸ˜‰

    • Ken on 24 February 2013 at 6:57 pm

      Florian……….thanks buddy πŸ™‚

    • kelly on 28 February 2013 at 12:35 am

      A #85 gel. πŸ™‚ It might have had a little ND (Neutral Density) in it too.

  12. howard1995 on 24 February 2013 at 11:38 pm


  13. lwreinhart on 25 February 2013 at 10:19 am

    HI Joseph,
    I hate to bother you but the Stock Preparation 2 720p video (860 MB) still points to the Clock 2 episode. The others are correct.
    Best regards

  14. Paul SellersTeam Member on 25 February 2013 at 1:08 pm

    When I saw this video for the first time I hadn’t really been conscious of how much I work out in a day. I have been doing some of this on my US tour every time I demonstrate so when I get to the next filming for the rocking chair conclusion I should be super fit.
    Thanks for all of you favourable comments, everyone. See you Wednesday for the start of the coffee table!

  15. Ken on 25 February 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Looking forward to it Paul. Yes sir It’s a great workout, and fun too πŸ˜‰

  16. martyn smith on 25 February 2013 at 9:59 pm

    brilliant video.

  17. Hakan GΓΆnΓΌl on 26 February 2013 at 1:25 pm

    One more perfect lesson. Reading grain, feeling wood, using planes etc. Thank you so much for share this lessons.

    • kelly on 28 February 2013 at 12:40 am

      The parts about reading the grain is new information for me. That was helpful. I hope we see more of it as it comes up in future projects or tasks.

  18. Mark on 26 February 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Great video! Always good to see basics of hand work.
    One question about of your choose of order of operations.

    Some would do face1 then edge1 – then face2 next. Then cut to length (each end), shoot the ends and finally as a last step plane edge2. Thus, the splits from end shooting and face 2 traversing would be planed away last.

    Some would do face 2 after face 1 and save the edges for later.

    I wonder why you proceed as you do? Reason or habit?

    • Paul SellersTeam Member on 1 March 2013 at 9:58 am

      I find it most practical to do flat face followed by edge so that gauge lines and stock of gauge have the proven faces to run against. Overshooting with the plane on end grain is a bad habit. I lift off before out cut reaches far side and then, once down to knife wall on the one side, turn the board around and plane into the opening cut, which when done properly and carefully will not result in spelching.

  19. Scott V on 26 February 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Nice gnarly board that you tamed Paul. Perfect example. Thanks for the excellent lesson.

    The board has some fairly short grain that can be seen on one edge as well as the “hill” that you described. You mentioned that it might be used for an apron or some other table part. For what furniture components should we reject boards that have short or strongly humped, reversing grain?

    One of the things I have found most challenging is getting an edge square to the face. I was disappointed that you got it square on the first time. I would like to hear your advice on how to correct an edge out of square or in twist.

    • kelly on 28 February 2013 at 12:42 am

      “One of the things I have found most challenging is getting an edge square to the face. I was disappointed that you got it square on the first time. I would like to hear your advice on how to correct an edge out of square or in twist.”

      I was thinking the same thing Scott. I have trouble with that too. I’ve even done the same thing on the wide flat face of a board too! It ends up looking something like a wedge. πŸ™‚

      • Ken on 28 February 2013 at 12:58 am

        I had that trouble Kelly, I always planed a taper into my board. In my case it was to much pressure on the plane. Once I lightened up and just let the plane glide over the board It went fine. I have to remind my self every time though, light, light pressure

        • kelly on 28 February 2013 at 2:11 am

          Yeah, I’m working on it. Sometimes it works better than others.

          BTW, my “wedge” seen when you look down the length of the board. One side will be thicker than the other. hahah. I usually do that only on the edge but, I did one like that on the wide flat face. …I’ll keep try’n (no pun intended.)

    • Paul SellersTeam Member on 1 March 2013 at 10:00 am

      Yes, it can be like bull-riding some times, but I wanted something real that I could explain what I was reading and working. I thought it worked out fine and I got my exercise for the week!

  20. Doug Commons on 26 February 2013 at 11:06 pm

    I really appreciate the time taken to fully explain how to dimension material. I find it very rewarding when I am able to create a board that is square, flat and parallel. Thanks again.

  21. ballinger on 27 February 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Brilliant Paul, learning from your advice I have an old Bailey No.4 from ebay, picked up a set of DMT stones (haven’t made a strop yet) and after 3 hours of flattening the back and sharpening the plane iron. I have thoroughly enjoyed planing boards that I have about the place, I couldn’t believe how well it glides through the cut. I have a board here that’s twisted, bowed and cupped so this video is perfect for getting me started… thank you so much for sharing your vast experience.

  22. kelly on 28 February 2013 at 12:24 am

    LAFFS! @36:40 … “A-Feared.” … I guess it depends on what part of Texas you happen to be in. But, ’round here we say “A-Scared.” πŸ™‚

  23. kelly on 28 February 2013 at 12:45 am

    Several good lessons in this video, really appreciate it!
    Thanks Paul and crew,

  24. clarkey104 on 28 February 2013 at 9:45 am

    Hi Paul. Great video, thanks very much. Would you personally use that process for your stock if you were making a commercial piece or do you employ the help of thicknessers/planers? I am watching these with half an eye on what is appropriate should I one day turn my hobby into a business albeit on a small scale/part time basis still with the emphasis on traditional techniques where commercialism allows.

    • Paul SellersTeam Member on 1 March 2013 at 10:12 am

      I thank you for this question as I answered it for a friend of mine just yesterday as I got ready for the show here in Columbus Ohio.
      I use both methods depending on different criteria. The difference for me is that I can make choices others can’t because I mastered skills that give me this unique freedom. And of course that’s what the woodworking masterclasses is all about – master skill. We are trying to reestablish planing and sawing skills that will equip us to work wood appropriately down the road. So that when we surface plane, we have the confidence to whip off shavings and remove the planer marks without resorting the whole time to belt and orbital sanders, which translates into dust masks ear defenders and so on. Mastering the plane is a must because it reduces power sanding by a massive 80%. I can hand sand with a flat sheet of sandpaper in a heartbeat so establishing skill in planing really actually saves time. It’s getting to that skill level that counts.. tThe other key element is that we te tend to discount wellbeing in our work in our work ethic. For me, ethos is everything.

  25. Armand Verstappen on 28 February 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Wow. Thank you so much. Paul, I was not planning on doing woodworking when I happened upon one of your video’s late december. From the little handywork I did in the past, I remember how I hated the saw, because it felt to be such a crude unprecise intrument. Seeing your knifewall explanation really dropped my jaw and running off to find a peace of wood just to saw it in the proper way.
    I am now one workbench and one carrying tote ‘old’ as a hobbyist woodworker, and yesterday you had me runnig off a again. I found myself a bent and twisted piece of what was in my mind scrapwood, and managed to get it flat and square. While working on it, I caught myself saying: “I’m having so much fun right now”, just like you do every now and then in your video’s πŸ™‚ And I really felt it, and for that I cannot thank you enough!


    • Paul SellersTeam Member on 1 March 2013 at 10:15 am

      Discovering your skills as they emerge is a wonderful revolutionary work! This is the de-industrial revolution!

  26. Ed on 1 March 2013 at 4:16 am

    I’m curious about two things. First, why rip to width before taking out the cup on the second side? Wouldn’t leaving the rip for later give you more freedom in not worrying about your squared edges being spoiled?

    The second question is I don’t understand how to correct an out of square edge. The plane blade is straight across and set parallel to the sole. Planing should just keep the edge the same angle to the face. When I try to square an edge to a face, it’s really hit or miss whether I can get what I want.

    • Scott V on 1 March 2013 at 4:40 am

      I was hoping that Paul would chime in here.

      I believe it was Robert Wearing who prescribed using a cambered (Jack plane) iron to quickly correct an out-of-square edge. By planing using only the left or right edge of the iron, the camber will cut deeper at the center of the plane than it will at the edge. Do a stroke or two and check for square.

      I believe you can do something similar (but less efficiently perhaps) with an uncambered iron by using your plane’s lateral adjuster to cut deeper on the side of the board’s edge that is higher. Do that for a stroke or two, check for square, and then put the lateral adjustment back to level once you reach square.

      I am practicing Paul’s grip now to see if holding the plane from the front is more effective than the side grip I was using.

      • Paul SellersTeam Member on 1 March 2013 at 10:21 am

        I simply press but rarely tilt my plane to the heavy side. Three strokes usually corrects any out of squareness there is. I would never readjust my plane set to set the iron out of parallel to the sole using the lateral adjustment lever – only to set it parallel. It was never the general purpose to do that and it’s seems but is not really a practical solution.

        • Ed on 2 March 2013 at 1:57 pm

          Thanks, Paul- I’ll explore that approach. I’d seen demonstrations of David Charlesworth’s gently cambered blade approach in which offsetting the plane to one side or the other of the edge controls where the heavier part of the cut is, but have not had reliable results with it. I do agree with Charlesworth’s comment that no one can tilt a plain to a few thousandths of an inch. I can easily believe some extra pressure would do the trick and be controllable. The gently cambered blade (just a a couple thou. inch) actually does work, but it is one more fussy detail when sharpening and it makes adjusting the plane fussier too. In the end, sometimes it worked for me (and then was a joy) and other times I just spiraled out of control and made the edge less and less square.

          If you plane an edge with the plane level on the edge but skewed to the pushing direction, there’s a leading edge and a trailing edge. Does one side tend to cut more aggressively when you skew? I don’t think I’ve paid enough attention to notice (too caught up in aiming for square!).

  27. clarkey104 on 1 March 2013 at 7:06 am

    Hi. I saw a very interesting YouTube video (by who I forget) on which it was explained that simply by holding the plane correctly at the front one could control accurately where in relation to the edge of the board the plane travels. It is then a simple matter of planing more to the left if more is needed to be removed on the left of the edge and vice versa. Now I have tried it and it certainly works but don’t ask me why! John

  28. Paul SellersTeam Member on 1 March 2013 at 10:26 am

    Mostly it’s to do with reducing unnecessary width, esp when hand work is involved, but it’s also about reducing excesses so that we don’t waste too.

  29. Michael van Zadelhoff on 1 March 2013 at 10:54 am

    I too keep struggling with the edge square to face thing. When I used chambered edges on my plane blades it was much easier to correct out of square. Scot pointed out a good solution by using your lateral adjuster, but sometimes the “not being square” changes from left to right along an edge. It may even be square at some points.

    Conclusion: I’m still looking for a proper method.

  30. clarkey104 on 1 March 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Ken Haygarth has actually just puy the Youtube video I was referring to under the “plane straight and square” recent topic. Its by Chris Tribe. Thanks Ken!

  31. Xavi Molina on 1 March 2013 at 10:55 pm

    That’s incredible. Paul, I’m delighted with your explanations and what I admire most about your work and philosophy of this website, is power working wood with hand tools. I hate the noise and aggressiveness of the power tools. To devote the necessary time to work a board and know and enjoy stepping timber. That fills me with satisfaction. Thanks Paul and the entire community for their advice.

  32. David Brix on 2 March 2013 at 8:14 am

    When I try to view the video I get a Message screen that Reads:


    The creator of this video has not given you permission to embed it on this domain. This is a Vimeo Plus feature.


    I am unable to watch the video….

    • Joseph SellersTeam Member on 2 March 2013 at 9:03 am

      Sorry about this. Is anyone else having this problem? I have done something that may have fixed but I couldn’t see the error in the first place. Let me know if it is still there and we will keep working to fix it.

      P.S. I will remove these comments when it is fixed.

    • Ken on 2 March 2013 at 12:30 pm

      David if you are still having problems this info might help

  33. Ken on 2 March 2013 at 10:08 am

    Video is playing fine for me Joseph

  34. STEVE MASSIE on 3 March 2013 at 8:44 pm

    LIL for this video, thank you very much Paul as this has opened my eye’s on flatening etc. with hand planes. I hate using my Delta Lunch Box planer because of the noise and dust it creates. I am really liking this hand tool approach. And it is good exercise, yes.


  35. Mihai on 10 March 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Put a plank into the machine – it comes out like any other(s) ; If I work-on it with my hands and “keep persevering” I am working also to myself; maybe the real quality of things starts in this synergy.
    Thank you for reminding this.

  36. bow on 24 November 2015 at 8:52 am

    I don’t understand an important thing in the beginning of this wonderful video: Paul says he use the hand plane in a way he gradually reduces the hump wich is i believe the convex face of the cup. I’m able to gradually reduce the concave face by traversing, but what i have to do to remove the hump like Paul?

  37. Andy Buxton on 7 January 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Thanks for the very informative video, Paul. Can you tell me what type of oil you use on the soles of the planes, please?

  38. Hugo Baillargeon on 29 January 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Thank you so much! Just what i was looking for. Extremely fascinating watching you work!

  39. joeg on 13 August 2016 at 5:47 pm

    I am building an 8′ long walnut table and I am having trouble with my number 7 leveling plane gouging the wood where I encounter a grain change. I have tried a 4.5 smoothing plane to take it out with limited success and the same with a card scraper. I don’t want to remove too much more stock because I don’t want the stock to be any thinner. I could sand it out but that will leave noticible valleys in the top, any suggestions

  40. Steve Hedstrom on 6 September 2016 at 12:27 am

    Your the hardest working man on the internet. That oak board had every nasty a person usually looks to avoid.
    Your explanation of the rising grain where the knot/branch occurs has helped me understand whats going on with the wood and how to deal with it.
    I’ve often wondered how the use of oil on the plane might interact with the finish. I’m glad you pointed out by the time the piece is ready for finish that all the oil is gone.
    Thank you!

  41. Graeme Cook on 6 September 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Thanks, Paul. Lucid as always.

    One small question: Inexpertly used, a short scrub plane could accentuate the hollows rather than reduce the humps. To get more of a bridging effect, could you not put than curved scrub plane blade in a longer plane such as a jack or even a jointer?

    Thank you


    • Ken Johnston on 6 September 2016 at 4:46 pm

      using a longer plane like a jack is what Chris Schwarz advocates. I did the same more only because that was the extra plane i had at the time and i wanted to keep my number 4 for general use. It works just fine. I haven’t tried a shorter scrub plane yet so don’t have a comparison.

    • Paul SellersTeam Member on 8 September 2016 at 2:53 pm

      I personally think that a #4 length works just fine and would not generally use a longer plane until I have taken the said high spots and humps down. Then, for those who want to use a longer plane like a jack, it will be closer to the levels you need. No, I wouldn’t use a longer plane except possibly for a more refined truing because shorter scrubs means more localised and it works fine.

  42. Thomas Angle on 6 September 2016 at 8:33 pm

    It is thought it would be I am not askeered.

  43. James Robnett on 13 September 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Given the age of the video I doubt this will get a response but I was curious about the bow along the length of the board. It’s fairly obvious around the 37 minute mark of the video where the bow flexes in the center.

    I know Paul was aware of it because 1) he’s always aware of what the wood is doing and 2) he briefly mentioned it early on. It seems to me one of those subtle nearly unconscious decisions by a master. He could have taken it out but that would have left too little material for thickness plus, depending on the use of the board, the bow is easily pulled out during joinery as long as two attachment points aren’t referenced from one end, ie flexing the bow out doesn’t change a length.

    In machined work (joiner/planer) that bow would be machined out as part of the natural process but for hand work I imagine it’s not uncommon to simply leave it in if it’s minor and long enough to be flexed out.

    I guess at some level I’m hoping for a comment that indeed the decision was that taking it out would be more detrimental than leaving it in and didn’t effect the final piece in any way.

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