Reply by Rxmpo

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Posted on Work Bench

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268 posts in 3867 days

#1 posted 03-02-2012 03:41 AM


Do not be afraid of the hand plane. I asked for advice here on LJ about a hand plane 2 weeks ago and as usual, I got great advice. Get an old Stanley plane for a fraction of the price of the Verita or LN and bring it back to life. I was VERY hesitant as I didn’t trust myself with “restoration work”, but I took the advice and was shocked at how easy it was to get great results.

Point is I just got an old #7 Stanley plane off Craig’s list last Saturday and spent $80. Spent a couple of hours removing rust (Naval Jelly) , sanded the sole and sides flat using sandpaper on a piece of glass, and sharpened the blade. (Tutorials on all this info is blogged on this site already) I had made a 2×4 lamination “benchtop” that I would just put on top of a bench I knew wasn’t flat to get a flatter surface, which still wasn’t 100% flat. So I took the new/old #7 and planed the top and bottom of that 2×4 bench till it was dead flat on both sides. Better yet, it was easy. The pine cuts like butter b/c soft, but the plane is almost 22” long so it only hits the high spots. Plane at a 45 degree angle across the top and you will have a flat top in no time. THIS WAS DONE BY A HAND PLANE PSEUDO-BEGINNER. (Total experience-Had a Veritas BU Jack for one year) If you can sharpen a blade you can use a plane. Just takes patients and what in woodworking doesn’t take that?

My 2cents, build it once. Yes you will need to resurface a HW top down the line, but imagine what a PITA it would be to have to replace a 3/4” layer of an MDF top because it can’t be resurfaced?

Good luck with whatever you decide and I hope you post your experience with which ever benchtop you use.

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