Planes are used to shave fairly small amounts of wood off of long wooden boards. Rasps and files have functions similar to planes, but remove material in a different way.
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Block planes are smaller than smoothing planes and are capable of finer shaving because the iron is set at a shallow angle. The iron is positioned bevel-up in a block plane, but bevel-down in a bench plane. A block plane is normally used one-handed, but pressure can be applied with the other hand if necessary. The block plane is particularly useful for planing the end grain.
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