Let’s Bust a Myth!

Is this what you were taught?

Is this what you were taught?

I think most of us were taught to lay our planes on their sides, as in the picture above, when placing them on the workbench. This is one of those myths that seem to be self-perpetuating. Set your planes sole down on your workbench. This will protect the sole of the plane and the iron from being inadvertently nicked by other metal tools that may be on the bench. If the sides of your bench plane get nicked it is not a problem, but nicks on the sole can leave plane tracks as can nicks on the iron.

It is not known where this myth began, but I wish it would go away.

As always, thanks for stopping by and fell free to leave a comment.


Professional furniture maker and restorer. Dealer and collector of vintage and antique woodworking tools.
This entry was posted in Woodworking Hand Tools and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Let’s Bust a Myth!

  1. The only time I lay my over like yours is if the plane is laying on something other than wood. And that happens less frequently than the appearance of Haley’s comet.

  2. bobjones2000 says:

    I always lay my bottom down but on a pile of shavings.

  3. Rob Porcaro says:

    Same here, I just lay the plane on its sole on a couple of shavings. But, Bill, that plane in the photo needs new handles, doesn’t it?!

  4. planeman says:

    The main reason my planes are lain down on their sides is to protect the bench top. Bumping a plane that is resting on its sole can take a hunk of wood out of the bench.

    • Let’s see, a plane sole can be dinged or worse the iron can be nicked or I can take a little shaving of wood out of my bench top. Of the 3 choices I’ll opt for the third every time. After all what’s another ding on my workbench top? I use my workbench, and I emphasize the word work, every day and let me tell you it has it’s share of dings and stains. My next post will show my bench in all its glory. A nick in my planes sole or the iron will take me away from woodworking to repair. A ding in my workbench top means nothing.

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