The block plane is designed for planing or smoothing ends of boards. The blade is set at a lower angle than the bench plane, its bigger brother, and is therefore able to cut end grains better than the other planes. Furthermore, it is compact and can be used in one hand as compared with the bench planes, which require two hands for proper operation.
They come in a number of different sizes, varying in length from about 31/2" to 7", with blades or cutters from about I" to 13/4" wide. All block planes come with a finger rest in the front and a lever cap designed to fit into the palm of your hand
This tool is one of the basic carpentry tools in an adequately equipped workshop. The average handyman needs only one model, while the handyman engaged in hobby work or the making of fine furniture, requires several different types. An all- around model for the average workshop is a 6" block plane with a 15/s" cutter or blade.
Some Important Facts
I remember using this tool on a concrete carpentry job a little over 11 years ago. I was a first year apprentice working on a bridge in Newark Airport. The job that I was working one was actually my first concrete job out of the carpenters union. And the shop steward came to me and said I have a nice job for you. He gave me the plane and I had to shave the edges off the bottom of the bridge that we’re gonna be sharp after the concrete is poured. There were some journeyman that were teasing me because they never seen a plane being used on a concrete job.
To this day I have never seen a block plane used on a concrete job like this. But it was necessary in order to strip the panel’s away from the bridge without any problems after the concrete was poured. It was extremely necessary. I used the plane for a full day on my hands and knees outside. Look at me now rich and famous, I’m only kidding.