Reply by FreshPants

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Posted on Which hand plane?

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10 posts in 3091 days

#1 posted 02-07-2011 07:57 AM

a) What length of board are you trying to joint?
b) A #5 would be a good plane for multiple uses (hence the nick name “jack plane”), but if you’re regularly trying to plane the edges of fairly long boards (i.e. 48”+) than it may not be the right plane for the job.

The numbering system overall doesn’t make a ton of sense, but as far as the typical bench planes the numbering system is sequential (mostly) by size. 1, 2, 3, 4, 4 1/2, 5, 5 1/4, 5 1/2, 6, 7, 8 were all bench plane numbers from the tiny little #1 to the aircraft carrier of planes, the #8 jointer. Many, but not all, of the older manufacturers numbered their planes following Stanley’s planes.

Go here for more information than you ever needed (or maybe wanted) to know about the Stanley plane numbering system.

Patrick Leach has a ton of information on Stanley hand planes, and a good sense of humour too.

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