Reply by paxorion

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Posted on Looking to buy a Jack Plane - Should I get a No 5 or 5-1/2

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1107 posts in 2187 days

#1 posted 12-22-2014 08:17 PM

Good feedback from everyone so far. After tallying the recommendations, it looks like there is an interesting tally:
  • 3x to start with a #5
  • 3x to start with a #5-1/2
  • 2x to call it a wash because I should just get both

I’m almost tempted to declare that I will buy both and make it a 3 way tie. But in all seriousness, I’d be curious to hear more feedback to determine any tie-breakers. Here is a summary of my take-aways from the advice given thus far.

Reasons for a #5:
  1. Cost – Plentiful antiques worth getting and restoring. Even moderate restoration will give me what I need for the flattening tool I am looking for.
  2. Will likely start as a gateway tool leading to more planes with different blades setup.
Reasons for a #5-1/2
  1. Companion to a #4 – Jay and Mosquito gave very compelling arguments that a #5-1/2 may be a better companion to a #4.
  2. Short jointer – Depending on my projects and use, it may be a better gap fill, and I may not find myself needing a #7 or #8.

-- paxorion

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