Reply by OSU55

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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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1857 posts in 2132 days

#1 posted 12-23-2014 05:39 AM

Don’t use my 5 1/2 that much. My 4 1/2’s are much better smoothers, and the #5 gets use on rougher lumber because it has a narrower blade. Everyone should have a #4 – there’s always a use for it, like knocking down high spots for a planer and jointing short boards, and about anything else, just check Paul Seller’s website. A #7 is a must have for jointing and flattening panel glue ups, and a 4 1/2 is the best bevel down smoother. Forego the 5 1/2 and get a #7. Used, whatever vintage you can find. There really isn’t a reason to buy a new high dollar Bailey style bench plane. OEM Stanley blades and breakers work just fine when you learn how to tune and sharpen. High cutting angles for unruly grain is where the higher $ planes come in.

When you’re ready to buy new, get a Veritas BU LAJ – shooting plane, jointer, panel flattener, big smoother all in one with the right blade assortment.

I have a 1/2 dozen wood body planes. They’re fun to mess with and I enjoy them, but if I had to choose I’d burn them in a minute and keep my metal planes. Woodies are much more tempermental.

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