Last, hold it correctly. If you're right-handed, that hand
does all the pushing. Take a tip from handsaw users and point
your forefinger; it naturally guides you straight and helps
keep things vertical. Use the left hand to keep the fence
tight. Ignore any knobs or handles and simply hook your thumb
over the top of the fence and press your fingers low down
on the face.
Once you're ready to go, select good, straight-grained stock,
orientate it so that you're planing with the grain and get
practising. Although experience differs, most people find
that rather than planing from end to end, it's more effective
to start at one end and use short strokes, which eventually
get longer until the entire length of the stock is being planed.
This gives the nose of the plow somewhere to go and generally
helps guide it in the early stages. Use care with the first
full strokesonce the groove is established, you can go at
it more vigorously. Experiment with different shaving thicknesses
to find the best results. Wispy shavings are all very well,
but you don't want to spend hours on every groove.