Two little “groovin’ cuties”
Every woodworker has favorite tools. Some are favorites because they have a broad range of uses, like a reciprocating saw. Others have very limited uses, but they just feel “right” every time you pick them up. Some are simply wonderful examples of the toolmaker’s art.
Two of my favorites are plough planes, a Record 050 and a Record 043. (If this were a discussion about an American made plane, I would have spelled it plow.) The 050 is a “standard” size. The 043 is a small, single-handed plane, for fine work. Both are a joy to use.
I’ve noticed that when most folks use a plough (or any moulding or specialty plane) for the first time, they’re inclined to position it as you would a jointer, at the “beginning” of the cut. WRONG! While it may seem counter- intuitive, specialty planes should be started near the “finish” of the cut.
Starting at the “finish” effectively shortens chip length. Shorter chip length greatly reduces the potential for tear out. Also, taking shorter chips helps when encountering changes in grain direction, knots or other anomalies in the stock. It also requires less energy and makes the plane easier to control. This is especially important when using any plane that is fitted with a movable fence or other type of lateral stop. Happy ploughing (plowing).