Little Hands In The Shop, Part 2
I was back in the shop the other night, boxing up the Adria dovetail saw to go to its new owner…
(That’s right; you gotta be fast around here! If you hear me say something is for sale, and you’re interested in it, speak up quickly!)
… when Finley came down again, wearing his slide-on slippers on the wrong feet like he always does. (I think they stay on better that way, for some reason.)
“Dadda, can you show me how to plane again?”
I’d been thinking about it since the first time he asked and realized I had the perfect solution already at hand. I told him I’d do him one better and pulled out a Stanley 220 block plane for him to use! He was very excited.
This was the very first plane I bought when I had the idea I wanted to give hand planes a try. Apparently I don’t really have much sentimental value attached to it, because it was sitting in the box of tools I’m going to sell in the near future, as I’ve since upgraded my block planes.
This one is a little off in that the knob is not rosewood, like you’d normally see on a 220 block plane. It is a domestic hardwood (looks to be maple) with a reddish stain on it. After buying the first one, I picked up a second 220 with a broken body that still had the rosewood knob on it for $1, hoping to put a proper one back on mine. But the threaded post on mine was too skinny, which seems odd, so I left the non-rosewood knob on it and didn’t give it a second thought. As it turns out, that was a good thing. The other knob is a perfect gripping size for the hands of a not-quite-4-year-old boy!
Since Finley goes to a Montessori school, I’m trying to give him lessons the way they do. You silently do the task while he observes, breaking it down into as many steps as necessary, then let him do it. The only verbal instructions I gave him were to be mindful of the blade, because it is sharp.
I clamped some wood into the soon-to-be-replaced workbench and put a large toolbox under it for him to stand on. He gripped the knob with his left hand and the lever cap with his right and… started planing wood! I showed him how to get wide shavings by planing on the edge of the board and then how to get thin, curly shavings by planing the corner. He liked those the best.
After he went back upstairs, I finished boxing up the Adria dovetail saw and then continued with another small task – picking out some tools for Finley to use.
And, in case you think I’m cold and heartless, that 220 block plane most certainly has some sentimental value at this point.