PLANE, (from the Latin, planus,) a tool used by artificers who work in wood, to produce straight, flat, and even sur faces upon that material.
Almost all trades which fabricate articles of wood, employ planes at times; but as joiners make a greater use of these tools than any others, they are usually considered as joiners' and carpenters' tools. Planes have been of late years used by some artists to produce flat surfaces in metals. A plane operates to cut off a. than chip, or shaving, from the wood on which it is applied, by the sharp edge of a steel cutter, or broad chisel, called, very improperly, the plane iron : this is fixed in a hole made through a wooden block, called the plane stock, and the edge of the iron projects in a very small degree through the lower side of the stock, called the face of the plane ; the surface of which face is made a perfectly true plane.
The iron is fixed in an inclined position in the hole through the stock, by means of a wedge driven in before it, to jamb it fast in the hole, which being wider than the thickness of the iron, leaves an aperture before the iron, called the mouth of the plane ; this is very narrow where it opens in the lower side, or face, but grows wider as it rises up through the stock : the wedge is also cut forked, to allow more room for the shavings which the plane-iron cuts, to pass up before it through the mouth. When a plane of this kind is applied with its thee upon the surface of a piece of wood, and pressed down upon it whilst it is moved forwards, the edge of the iron penetrates the wood to the depth which it projects through the face, and removes a shaving of that thickness, thew hole breadth of the edge of the iron ; the shaving turn ing up before the iron, passing through the mouth, and escaping. The inclination of the iron makes it cut easily ; and if the iron is set fine, that is, if the edge projects but very little beyond the face, it will remove very thin shavings, and produce a that and smooth surface : on the other hand, if it is set rank, that is, with a considerable projection, it will cut away very fast, producing a flat, though rough, surface, and quickly reducing the wood to its intended thickness : if the wood has an irregular surface, it soon reduces it to a plane, because the face, being fiat, will not suffer the edge of the iron to descend into the hollow places, but removes all the eminences it passes over till they arc reduced to one level.
This is a general description of several kinds of planes, which are all known by different names, from their various dimensions and purposes.
Joiners use the jack plane, the long plane, trying plane, shooting plane, or jointer, and the smoothing plane ; all which they denominate bench planes, because the wood they are used upon is generally laid on the work-bench. They have also the straight block, for straightening short edges; rebating planes, for forming rebates ; others for the same use, are called the moving fillister, sash fillister, and side-rebating plane. The plough is a narrow plane, provided with an
apparatus to guide it, in moving straight forward, to plow a groove or trench at any required distance from the edge of a hoard, or other piece of wood, and to any depth or width. The dada grooving plane is also for forming grooves.
There are several other tools, which, having an iron fitted into a stock, are called planes, because they cut in the same manner, though, in strictness, they are not planes, for they do not make plane surfaces ; these are moulding planes, with faces and cutting edges curved. to produce all the varieties of ornamental mouldings, and which are known by the names of snipe's-bills, side snipe's-bills, beads, hollows. and rounds, ovolos, and ogees. The varieties and different sizes of these form a vast number, with which every complete joiner is furnished. It is impos silde to describe the terms applied to these tools without figures, as they are arbitrary, though generally known among The faces of all these planes are straight in the direction of their length, but a section across the thee is the impression or reverse of the moulding they are intended to make, and time edge of the iron is curved to correspond with this curve when in its place, though in reality it is a very different figure, because it is inclined to the thee of the plane at an angle of about forty-five degrees. Another distinction between these and the bench planes is that their mouths do not open so as to discharge the shaving through the stock at the top thereof but the wedge completely' fills the hole, and the shaving passes out sideways through a hole for that pur pose : in some, these apertures arc on the right, and in others on the left side ; in the first case, the shaving is said, by the workmen, to be thrown on the bench, that is, upon the right side of the plane ; but when the orifice of discharge is on the left, and consequently the shaven thrown upon the left, then the plane is said to throw the shaving off the bench. The CoMpass plane is used by coach-makers, cabinet makers, &c. ; it is made with a convex thee, formed to an are of a circle in the direction of its length, and it therefore forms the concave surfhee of a cylinder. The fork-stag' plane is straight in the direction of its length, but its thee is made concave in its breadth, to the are of a small cylinder ; the edge of the iron is of course curved in the same manner, and it planes cylindrical surfaces. Coopers also employ long and heavy planes to form the edges of the staves of barrels, these are mounted in an inclined position on legs like a stool, with their faces upwards, and the stave is drawn backwards and flIrwards upon them.