Finding the right hand plane

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Blog entry by parkerdude posted 427 days ago 914 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been looking to grow my hand plane collection for almost a year. A Stanley #6 kinda satisfied my tastes, I don’t make a lot of large projects, and nice Stanley #7’s and #8’s usually command premium prices.

This #6 showed up on eBay, and I bid until I won.

A whole $39.75

Man, this thing is HUGE! Well at least for me. It weighs just under 8 pounds. (from Patrick’s Blood & Gore website), and the sole and sides were evenly covered in rust.

Not so bad, almost 3 hours later I had draw filed, sanded, and lapped the rust away. I tuned the important places as I cleaned and reassembled the plane.

The blade was pretty dull, which is why it didn’t looked used very much.

This is the heaviest plane that I have used. My Stanley #5 weighs 4 3/4lbs.

It is very much a different experience, you can feel that it’s heavier, but it doesn’t require as much continuous effort through the power stroke.

I plan on re-doing the knob and tote later, after I’ve played with this big boy awhile!

I tend to use my planes a lot, I prefer hand tools whenever possible.

Maybe I’ll let my gym membership lapse, there’s a new work-out coming.

Thanks for looking!


-- dust control

7 comments so far

View Deycart's profile


380 posts in 883 days

#1 posted 427 days ago

I’m glad you found a No.6 plane. It’s the plane I go to for my medium sized planing task were I don’t need a perfect flat surface like the side of a bookshelf. Its long enough to get a fairly flat surface without the dread of dragging a super heavy plane around. I just got a 5 1/2 and a 7 to play with. I don’t think my go to 6 will get replaced, but I’m sure the two have a place. I’m looking for a WW2 4 1/2 or a 604 1/2 to add to my overly large collection of planes.

View woodcox's profile


568 posts in 638 days

#2 posted 427 days ago

Good entry parker:D I’ve only held three handplanes in my life. My two blocks and a rotted #7 my father in law inherited from his dad that sits outside on his patio. Progression has left me in need of a jointer. As I am getting tired of correcting the bananas my blocks do to long edges. I have been thinking of a #6 for the job. Due to the lack of lead in my arse, the 7’s and 8’s may require an infeed table and a sprinting start:-)
ebaying I will go.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 2559 days

#3 posted 427 days ago

That looks really nice! Good observations about getting some of the functionality of the 7 or 8, at a lower price point.

-- Robb

View Don W's profile

Don W

14829 posts in 1193 days

#4 posted 427 days ago

Nice job getting her back into shape. I reach for my #606 a lot. You’ll find its a handy plane, even after you score a nice jointer.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View sgmdwk's profile


259 posts in 498 days

#5 posted 427 days ago

Nice plane. I bought a #6 24 years ago, but didn’t start using it much until this year. Now, my #6 and a low-angle block plane get more use than any others.

-- Dave K.

View PurpLev's profile


8476 posts in 2274 days

#6 posted 427 days ago

now just imagine how much easier it is to use a #7 for flattening boards…. there really IS a difference between those 2 just like you notice a difference between your #5 and this #6.

If you are patient. you can find a decent #7 for not much more than you paid for this one – as long as you are willing to bring it back to life (as it seems you are).

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View rfusca's profile


155 posts in 469 days

#7 posted 427 days ago

Nice job!
I scored a poorly labeled #7 for just a couple dollars more than this on ebay last week. I like my #6, but the #7 feels so much nicer to me. That’s the trick to planes on ebay – get the ones that aren’t properly described. Instead of ‘Stanley #7 plane’ which all tend to go for top dollar, ‘22 plane’ usually shows up the odd balls or such. Like a good Miller Falls 22 or such, or a Stanley from somebody who doesn’t know what they have.

-- Chris S., North Atlanta, GA - woodworker,DBA, cook, photographer

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