View Full Version : How to hold plane tote

Frank J Hall
04-13-2016, 10:01 AM
Hi everyone I have a newbie question about how to hold the plane tote.

For a little background, I've been doing handtool woodworking for about a year now (couple hrs every other weekend or so if I'm lucky) and the only plane I've used has been a LV #4.

I recently purchased several woodriver planes (4, 5, 7, LA block) and when I unboxed one yesterday, I'm finding no room for my small finger.. I'm wondering if it is the way im holding it vs ifmy hand is just too big.

With the LV I have been holding the plane with the palm basically perpendicular to the ground, and three finger grip, when I do this with theWR the pinky is squished. Should the palm be more facing down?

I know this sounds like a dumb question but as a new woodworker basic holding may be off for me.

I took a picture of my hand holding each plane to show the difference.

Thanks for any help/advise.

Reinis Kanders
04-13-2016, 10:55 AM
Your hand is too big. I run into the same issue with some totes. You can either make a bit bigger tote or just have the pinky be on the side, just be careful not to jam it when jointing edges, etc.

Bill Houghton
04-13-2016, 12:04 PM
I have fairly large hands, too. On some planes (Stanley 10-1/2, for instance), I'll leave all my fingers "open" on both sides of the plane - think of how you would hold a book larger than your hands. You push with your palm anyway.

There are wrong ways to do things, and you know you're doing it wrong when you can't get the work done; but a huge number of right ways to do things.

Jim Koepke
04-13-2016, 12:37 PM
Howdy Frank and welcome to the Creek. Your profile doesn't list your location. You might live near someone like me who would be happy to work with you to solve woodworking mysteries.

On some totes my hand is also too big. So the three finger grip becomes a two finger grip:


My pinky finger is inside the side wall of the plane.

The plane pictured is type 6 #4-1/2. The totes were different in that time period. later totes I have 'adjusted' the wood with rasps for more comfort.

One of my totes had a bad break. I added some wood which increased the height. It is easy to get a four fingered grip on that one.


Andy McKenzie
04-13-2016, 12:45 PM
Reinis nailed it, although I would have said the tote is too small.

I've finally learned the lesson that I should get my hand on the handle before buying a new tool: Not every tote, even within a brand, fits the same size hands. Your grip looks pretty much right, the tote is just too small for you.

lowell holmes
04-13-2016, 12:53 PM
I imagine you have issues with dove tail and tenon saws as well.:)

Frank J Hall
04-13-2016, 2:16 PM
Thanks guys! Wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something simple. I'll use it with two or open fingers for a bit and hopefully get used to it.

Lowell, the I've used the LV dovetail and carcass saw with no problem, the LN dovetail saw with no problem, but actually the worst one is the LV tenon saw which is a little too tight... Though still not as tight as the plane tote here.