The planes are of different types and are used for different tasks. Here we will talk about the bench plane. Bench plane is perhaps the most mysterious tool in the carpenters' tool sets but yet it is very useful tools for carpenters. Bench plane is an adjustable tool used for multipurpose like fitting and shaping, smoothing, beveling or trimming of wood. It has blades positioned downward at an angle of 45 degrees. Most of the planes range in size from 9' to 24'. The smallest being the smooth planes and the longest being the jointer planes. The jointer planes are usually 22' to 24' long, the jack planes are about 12' to 17' long and smooth planes have the size range of 9 to 10'. Out of the three jointer planes are less popular and the jack planes are considered as the best planes regarding properties.
In bench plane, the length of the sole plate determines the accuracy rate of the plainness of the surface of the wood. Full width of the plane is usually not covered by the blade and this makes it ineffective to work on the surface closer to edges. The blade is attached to a cap iron and is clamped just behind the cutting edge. The ideal distance between the iron cap and the cutting edge depends upon the wood and the thickness of the shaving. It is normally 1 to 1.5mm. Both the cap iron and the blade are held to the body of the plane at an angle of 60 degrees to the sole plate through the wedge iron. A small knob controls the depth of the cut and this knob adjusts the position of the blade from the sole plate.
The blade should be aligned with sole plate only then it will give you a smooth even surface. You can use the lever to adjust the blade. By keeping an eye on the sole plate turn the lever until the blade projects evenly with the plate.
Before using the bench plane, make sure that the wood is held firm in the position. To get a smooth surface while finishing the grain, always make a continuous cut along the entire length of the piece. Remember you need to push the pressure on the front side of the plane while beginning the stroke and shift the pressure gradually on the back while completing the length. While finishing the end of the grain, starts from either side towards the middle. However, you can finish off one corner at a time but with an element of risk as one side may get more strokes then the other. Take special care while treating the thin edges or champers. Use your fingers to guide the plane to have the even treatment on the entire surface.
It is important to remove the sawdust and all the other shavings in between the working. Never let the plane rest on its sole plate. Place it on its side instead. To avoid any moisture damage to its blade always stores it in a dry place.