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Reply by Jorge G.

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Posted on My first best handplane

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Jorge G.

1523 posts in 1061 days


#1 posted 867 days ago

Kenny has summarized the advantages of BU planes in great detail. When I started WW those are the planes I purchased, they seemed easier to use and set correctly. Now that I am more experienced I seem to be moving more towards the BD planes for the following reasons:

- mouth opening, sure BU planes are more convenient but most planes are used for a specific task, with a usually constant mouth opening. So this is really not an issue.

- difficult woods, once again it is more convenient to change the blade than the frog. On the other hand with a BD plane you might just get away with sharpening a back bevel on the blade, in my opinion this would only be an issue if you are using a smoother with a very difficult wood.

- setting the blade depth. Here is where the BD planes win hands down and allow you to work more efficiently. With a BU plane you have to loosen the cap, turn the screw until you “think” it is high or low enough, tighten the cap and try it. With a BD plane you just adjust as you go with your index finger. In other words it gives you a faster feedback and a better feel for blade depth since you see and feel right away the thickness of the shaving.

- Putting a camber on the blade. This is done a lot easier on a BD plane than on a BU. I don’t consider this an important feature with exception of a smoother, and you can do it as well on a BU plane, but you have to remove a lot more metal, specially if you are using the 25º blades.

In my opinion you need to consider two things. As Farkled stated, what do you plan to do? Smooth, size, flatten? And the other is will you be sticking with hand tools. Lets be honest here, if you are one fo those guys who has a 20” drum sander, a 12” jointer and 12” planer and just want to try a hand plane for kicks, then go with the Veritas BU plane, it will get you working in no time with less frustration. If you plan to stick with hand tools then get the BD planes, they are more efficient once you learn to use them well. Which really it does not take that long, if you get a nice quality plane like a LN or Veritas they work out of the box.

Best of luck and I hope I did not confuse you more… :-)

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.


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