Tonight I discovered something, I’m sure the experienced hand tool wood workers out there already knew.
The simple ease of the planing stop.
A proper height bench, a good piece of wood and a sharp plane really helps, but the simple ease of a planing stop is pretty cool. Before my instincts would have been to clamp the crap out of it, but I tried something new tonight. I clamped a scrap piece of pine to the end of the bench, laid the wood down resting against the stop with no other clamping, and started planing. And it worked, like a dream. I even did the edge planing with nothing additional. Pretty neat.
The board in the background is what the board on the bench used to look like. The ECE Jack plane worked great for taking off that ugly finish, and flattening the edges. I even took an edge down from my first attempt at ripping with no problems (it needed a LOT of work.)
More later on the project I’m prepping the wood for.