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Buck Bros. 14" jack Plane

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Review by woodmaker posted 09-17-2012 04:54 PM 7806 views 0 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Buck Bros. 14" jack Plane No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

This week-end my Porter-Cable 6” portable jointer burned up (sparks flying from the motor and tripped the circuit breaker) and I was in desperate need of something to flatten some boards. I have an old Stanely 4” smoother, but the boards are cupped and twisted, too much work for that one.

So the wife and I had to go to Home Depot anyway for some stuff and while there I asked one of the salesmen if they had any wood planes and he directed me to the aisle where they were.

I’m thinking Buck Bros., never ever heard of them. But being desperate, I purchased the plane for $39.95 took it home and expected that it would need hours of work. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the plane was ready to go to work; sharpened blade and all.

I’ll grant you it’s not the finest hand plane ever made but it has done a good job and kept it’s edge (so far) after 4 hours of planing, so I am very surprised.

I’m giving it 3 stars because of build quality, even the name plate is a stick on decal.

-- Mike




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woodmaker

268 posts in 1437 days



27 comments so far

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

712 posts in 2364 days


#1 posted 09-17-2012 05:11 PM

Works well right out of the box and keeps it’s edge for 4 hours. Seems like it should have received a better rating.

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View michelletwo's profile

michelletwo

2290 posts in 1761 days


#2 posted 09-17-2012 06:09 PM

I agree with Don..even Lie-Neilsen’s need some honing at 3-4-5 times the price. Hope it holds up for you…

-- We call the destruction of replaceable human made items vandalism, while the destruction of irreplaceable natural resources is called development.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

7478 posts in 1429 days


#3 posted 09-17-2012 06:29 PM

I recently sold mine, along with a Fulton the same size. Seemed to work OK, did not like the “pot metal” adjustor wheel.

Modified it to take a brass wheel. It will make nice shavings, once the iron is sharpened up.

Would I buy another one? No.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Purrmaster's profile

Purrmaster

832 posts in 838 days


#4 posted 09-17-2012 06:39 PM

I got their block plane which was a total piece of garbage.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

7478 posts in 1429 days


#5 posted 09-17-2012 06:50 PM

Ah, but, IF you buy the blades for these planes, they are worth the price. They do sell the irons by themselves. At around $3 each, one can have an arsenal of irons. Both block plane size, and the 2” wide irons. You have to flatten the backs a bit, but they do work nicely.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

1917 posts in 936 days


#6 posted 09-17-2012 08:47 PM

I purchased that same plane when I started woodworking, back in 2003. After an hour of planing, the handle came off, because the long screw through the length of the tote had stripped out the threads in the base. Took it back, got credit, no questions.
Next purchase was a Marples plane. It still has the tote attached.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View woodmaker's profile

woodmaker

268 posts in 1437 days


#7 posted 09-17-2012 10:01 PM

I gave it 3 stars because of the workmanship.
I don’t see this plane lasting for years, and as I think I said I was desperate.

-- Mike

View Luke's profile

Luke

541 posts in 2039 days


#8 posted 09-17-2012 10:09 PM

I have the same plane. Sole was really out of flat so I sanded that down with sandpaper on a block of granite for hours. The blade was nowhere near sharp and the back was way out of flat. The handle popped right off during planing after all that, threads stripped out. So I drilled the hole down just a bit into the handle so the head of the screw would sink in a little therefore giving more thread into the base. This worked okay so I didn’t return it after all I had put my heart and soul into it already. Anyhow, it has some really bad chatter I’m thinking due to a thin blade and crappy chip breaker so don’t even think about smoothing anything out that you want to look good. I still use it as sort of a scrub plane so that I don’t mess up my lie nielson’s with the rough work so I’d give it 2 stars TOPS!

-- LAS, http://www.abettersign.com

View Purrmaster's profile

Purrmaster

832 posts in 838 days


#9 posted 09-17-2012 11:10 PM

I’m not sure I understand how buying extra blades for these planes helps. I had the block plane blade professionally sharpened and the plane was still unworkable, even with a really sharp blade.

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4145 posts in 1697 days


#10 posted 09-18-2012 12:44 AM

I bought a Buck Bros plane once. Sold it Bandit, who apparently sold it on ebay (above). Haha.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Greg3G's profile

Greg3G

815 posts in 2831 days


#11 posted 09-18-2012 03:32 AM

I must confess…In a moment of weakness…I too purchased a couple of Buck Bros. planes. I must say in all honesty, they were the Worst tools I have ever purchased. I tried and tried to get them dialed in but I could never get them to work. The frog was difficult to adjust, it would open up the mouth as I used it no matter how much I tried to get it to work. The iron was way too thin and wouldn’t hold an edge more than a dozen strokes. I was tempted to sell them in a garage sale but I didn’t want to discourage a new woodworker who might buy them. I took them apart and put them in the recycle bin. Maybe someday they will be turned into something useful…like a bicycle sprocket.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View crank49's profile

crank49

3507 posts in 1716 days


#12 posted 09-18-2012 03:49 AM

I have a couple of these. A Block and a Jack.
A few seconds on the belt sander and a few minutes flattening and honing the irons and they cut ok.
The lateral adjuster on the Block plane will eat your palm if you don’t grind the sharp edges off. And the screw on the tote of the Jack needs to be seated, as mentioned earlier; But, actually, they are ok. I would agree with the three star valuation. I keep mine in my tool kit for onsite work.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View Dan's profile

Dan

3543 posts in 1626 days


#13 posted 09-18-2012 03:55 AM

Purrmaster- The spare bench plane irons that Buck Bros sells are a standard size and will fit most #4 & #5 sized planes. So say someone has a vintage plane that needs an iron and they don’t want to buy an expensive premium iron they can grab one of these for a few bucks. Are they premium irons? No, but they work fine. I have several and I cant complain.

Greg- I am confused what you mean when you say the mouth would open up as you used it?

Also, in response to you guys saying the irons are way to thin… The irons are just as thick as the vintage Stanley irons. I use both thick and thin irons and have no problems with either of them. I know the Buck bros is by no means a premium plane but any plane is usable if the iron is truly sharp. I would hardly consider them garbage or call them unusable. Just my opinion.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View woodmaker's profile

woodmaker

268 posts in 1437 days


#14 posted 09-18-2012 12:36 PM

It seems like no two Buck Bros. planes are the same. I must have gotten lucky and picked the “good” box off the shelf. As a stop gap plane it’s fine, long term use, I don’t see it. I’ll buy a better plane prety soon, but for now it will do and serve as a back up between sharpenings of my smoother.

-- Mike

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5387 posts in 1977 days


#15 posted 09-18-2012 03:26 PM

You may have gotten the odd good one from them. I had borrowed a Buck Bros jack plane from a friend when both he and I were building our shops at first… I had trouble giving it back to him. The adjusters for the thing wouldn’t stay put, and the sole was slightly convex. The adjusting wheel was some cheap stamped aluminum I guess it was thing, that I could almost pull off the threaded shaft without unthreading it…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

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