Doug Berch

Dulcimer Maker And Musician

cropped Dulcimer Builders and Makers 1 23

Plane Away The Pounds!

I just spent the last hour hand planing a beautiful piece of figured walnut.

wood shavings on the floor

I was reminded of an idea I’ve had for some time; an  exercise program for woodworkers called “Plane Away The Pounds!”

It’s really simple! You get a bunch of rough-sawn lumber, preferably locally harvested in an environmentally conscious manner and sawn by a local sawyer who loves wood as much as you do.

You take said wood to the bench, sharpen up a few planes and plane away, imagining that each shaving that hits the floor equals a hand full of calories you’ve just worked off.

There could be a video series, a video for each size of bench plane. Start out with a #4 and work your way up to a #8! Back-bevel the blade for a super-intense workout!

type 11 number 7 plane

If you are really out of shape you can start with a #3. And if the only excercise you usually get is reaching for your wallet you may be a perfect candiate to start with a #1!

Am I rich yet?


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  1. Doug Berch

    I like that. Finger weights! Gotta keep those fingers slim & trim!

  2. renna ulvang

    and for a change of pace….wrap some little weights on your fingers when you play the dulcimer! In no time you will have trim & shapely fingers! Especially if you are playing Fishers Hornpipe at mach speed. Go Doug!

  3. Doug Berch

    Very Punny!

  4. The Village Carpenter

    I have a similar workout regimen that I call “Sweatin’ to the Mouldies”.
    Works great!

  5. Doug Berch

    Hi Luke,

    Fortunately (or unfortunately) “Plane Away The Pounds” hasn’t had such radical results that my planing ballast has diminished to the point of impeding planing performance!

  6. Luke Townsley

    That is a fine idea, but I find that a bit of extra “ballast” around the waist helps push the plane through the wood, so I try to eat a bit more when I am doing a lot of planing to compensate!

    Things like chips, sweets, and especially chocolate are highly recommended.

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Doug Berch & Dulcimer Makers