WT146 – Matt’s Story Stick

Special thanks to our show sponsor: Festool.

On today’s show, we’re talking about wooden planes for the beginner, sassafrass toxicity, hinges for a bathroom vanity, choosing between Festool Domino models, finishing around an inlay, and how to make a tenon for a breadboard end.


What’s on the Bench

Marc finished up the hidden drawer on his Greene & Greene Blanket Chest. Matt is making some nice wooden hoops. Shannon stopped building so he can start building.

What’s New

– Coming soon! Weekend Warrior Magazine (online only)
Lights from water bottles.
Mateo’s sweet dance moves!
– Ingrained – Makes woodworking look cool!


– Information for a previous caller about the potential value of his used hand planes.


– Walter needs help purchasing the right block plane. He’s considering Veritas and Scott Meeks. Marc also recommended he check out Blum Tool Co.
– Doug has a question about Sassafras toxicity.
– Pat is looking for concealed hinges for a bathroom vanity.
– Rick wants to know which Domino is best for his work: the DF 500 or the DF 700.
– Will is trying to avoid getting finish on a decorative inlay.
– David is looking for advice on creating tearout free tenons for a breadboard end.

Reviews and Thanks!

Are you interested in setting up a recurring donation to help support the show? Use the links in the left column! Thanks to Jeffrey R. and everyone else for their continued support.

Don’t forget to leave us a kick-butt review in the iTunes Store, just like Pappa Rysm and Fish37 did.

Special thanks to Andrew Allen for creating our music. Check him out at KeysWithSoul.com.

4 replies on “WT146 – Matt’s Story Stick”


I don’t know what show you all talked about this but, here’s a link to a pair of earbuds with interchangeable tips. I use them in the shop and mowing grass. They have rating of 35 -42 db noise isolation. The tips I like the best are the push in type. I purchased mine from amazon.


Hey guys! Just listened to the show from this past week and, what do you know, I hear my name. lol
I just wanted to share a couple things regarding adjusting wood planes from my perspective of making and using them now for over 4 years.
First, I’ve started to wonder if the biggest roadblock to people getting the hang of adjusting wood body planes has more to do with the fact that most are already indoctrinated into the metal plane methodology? Because the differences are so stark, I think when moving from one style to another requires much more of a mental shift than when one starts with a wood plane. I’ve taught a couple people who were new to hand tools how to adjust a wood body, and they seem to pick it up quicker without prior experience with metal bodies.

Second, adjusting a wood body is a multi-sensory action, definitely requiring a wholly different level of finesse. Proficiency will not happen in a day, or even a week. Every wood plane has different quirks and personality, so one must spend a significant amount of time getting to know the plane. When it clicks, the user will be using touch, sight, AND even hearing to adjust their plane. All I can say is practice, practice, practice. That said, isn’t this the case with metal bodies as well? They have a learning curve as well. It is certainly different, and doesn’t require every sense like a wood plane does, but no one picks up a metal body plane and is proficient with it immediately. More familiarity with one style does not necessarily mean one is easier than the other for everyone.

I will admit this: Having someone proficient in wood body planes show you in person how to set up and adjust them really does make a huge difference. That is why I love being at woodworking shows and events as much as possible. Putting a plane into someone’s hands is a much better teacher than typed out instructions that come in the box. I suppose I could just raise my prices to include custom, in person hand delivery of all plane orders. HAHA Joking aside, if anyone is avoiding wood body planes due to a fear of learning to adjust them, PLEASE come visit me at a show if you can and ask me to show you how to do it. It isn’t mysticism or magic. It’s a learned skill that anyone can master and which develops a deeper connection between you, the tool, and the work than you can imagine.

Happy Planing!

Also, I think it is high time that I finally record a video on adjusting wood body planes. I have no excuse for not having done this yet, other than I find editing video SO tedious. Marc or Shannon, either of you want to come visit Asheville and film me? I’ll buy the beer!

Will had an email/question about a butterfly inlay on a project, and trying to protect it from changing color when finishing. On one of my projects, I had a maple inlay in a poplar table top. The poplar was getting a gel stain, but the inlay was to stay as “white” as possible. Marc suggested a masking tape 1/8″ to cover it. Some stain bled under at joints, but only a very little, and I thought it was a huge success.

On another project using spalted sycamore, my wife wanted it to stay as blonde as I could keep it. It has an ebony bowtie medallion in a field of curly maple on the front apron, and we wanted the ebony black and the maple white.

I used GF High Performance on the whole project, after test boards with lacquer, super blonde shellac, and other “clear” finishes. GF HP left the sycamore and the curly maple closest to the original color.

I realize the original question was some time ago, but if the guy is anything like me, Will has been or will be paralyzed by this conundrum for about 6 months, so we still have plenty of time to weigh in and confuse him more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *