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Footprint 247H Block Plane - A review from a beginner's perspective

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Review by KellyS posted 08-26-2009 01:57 PM 5305 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Footprint 247H Block Plane - A review from a beginner's perspective No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

My opinion and review of a 247H Block Plane from Footprint tools:
This is my personal opinion; we all know what opinions are like. If I hurt anyone’s feelings, I apologize.

Rockler recently advertised these block planes on sale for $9.99. My wife talked me into buying one. (My first rule, if the wife offers to let me buy a tool, I never turn her down…That’s just bad form!) So I decided to buy it. It’s a very basic, no frills block plane, the mouth is non-adjustable, the blade has to be positioned by hand, there’s no adjustment for the cutter depth or lateral adjustment. It’s just a plain old block plane. I would say others would consider it an entry level block plane. I say it is best suited for someone curious about hand-planing and not willing to fork out a lot of dough or spend a lot of time to see if they need it or like it. Up until recently, I’ve done a lot of work without owning a single plane, so I can relate to this situation and please note that this review is from someone who is somewhat new to the world of hand planes, so it could be a good perspective for some and not for others.

First thing I did was sand the sole a little to make sure it was reasonably flat, it was reasonably flat right out of the box. I sharpened the iron on my new Worksharp 3000 which I really love. It didn’t take long to get a keen edge on the blade and with a little adjustment I had it peeling off nice fine shavings. So what are the pros and cons?

Pros:
It’s cheap! $10.00 for a block plane! I know, some of you are saying “You can buy an old Stanley or something else of better quality for less at a yard sale or flea market”. Your right, you can, and I have. But, going to a flea market or yard sale might not be everyone’s “cup of tea”, maybe they would rather buy it new than have to deal and haggle with someone or go pilfering through someone’s stuff to find a deal. I enjoy going to yard sales and flea markets, but some people are not wired that way and some are. I do somewhat agree that your money could be better spent, but like I said there could be several reasons why someone would buy new than refurbish something. Also, after “loving” on an old Stanley getting it up to speed and ready to make shavings, you can grow somewhat attached to them. If something happens to it, it’s just going to bother you! So, let’s go back to the first Pro, it’s cheap! If your son looses it in the mud (I’ve lost a lot of dad’s tools that way), or he uses it as a hammer, you leave it at the jobsite, you loan it to someone (Never loan tools, that’s bad form too.) maybe you’re at a lumber auction and you set it down and someone walks off with it, you hit a nail planning reclaimed lumber, or any other various sort of mishap, you’re not going to be as upset as if it were a good Stanley or something else. It’s a $10.00 hand plane; leave it in the glove box, in the tool caddy or what ever.

One additional pro over buying a used one could be that this is a new iron with a 25 degree angle on it. It’s not been mutilated and round over at the corners, or pitted or ground at some oddball angle that one will spend a lot of time correcting to what they want. It’s not ready to go, but with little time I had it cutting really well.

Cons:
It’s a cheap $10.00 hand plane. It has a plastic knob to clamp the blade down that doesn’t seem like its going to last very long. If Ford called their under hood painting in the 70’s “slop grey”, then I would say the paint job on this is “slop black”, very basic.

All in all I would say it’s an okay expenditure of $10.00 if you can still buy it for that, it’s definitely worth what I paid. If you have a flea market or yard sale close buy, then I would keep a close eye out for a good deal on an old Stanley block plane, but if not, then you’re not out that much….skip a cup of latte, eat a bowl of Ramen noodles instead of lunch at Longhorn and buy a hand plane!

Hope this is okay for my first Review.
Kelly Sprayberry

-- He who dies with the most tools wins!.....Just wait, I'm going to win!..ERR my wife will at least.




View KellyS's profile

KellyS

78 posts in 1976 days



3 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2392 days


#1 posted 08-26-2009 04:30 PM

nice review.

not offense, and nothing personal – but just comparing prices – you can pick up a brand new (no flea market, not haggling) Stanley block plane at lowes for $20 – with depth and lateral adjustments, all metal parts. I’ve had a plane with plastic parts, and the plastics seem to break when you need the plane the most, and since this is not a huge price different (True – twice the cost, but at that price range, well worth it), I would recommend getting the Stanley one. like yourself – just a personal opinion.

the pro that I can see about this type of planes is that since there are no adjustment knobs, there are less moving parts -it should be more stable.

now , here’s a question for you KellyS – how does the plane feel to use? does it feel heavy? does it have a good balance when held? does it chatter when cutting end grain (it’s main purpose)?

PS. rounding the edges of a plane’s blade is actually a GOOD thing in most cases – not really necessary for a block-plane, but generally it’ll give you a cleaner planed surface.

Thanks for the review!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

712 posts in 2363 days


#2 posted 08-26-2009 06:19 PM

Nice review Kelly…..you did good!

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View KellyS's profile

KellyS

78 posts in 1976 days


#3 posted 08-26-2009 07:03 PM

No offense taken! I agree that spending $20.00 on a Stanley is probably a better expenditure of your money if you can afford it. I appreciate the information on rounding the corners of the plane iron slightly, I’ve noticed my new one digging in a little and leaving a mark

The plane doesn’t feel that bad, I’ve not really used it on end grain yets, I’ve used to to rough plane some reclaimed wood, just playing around a little. I’ll give an update then.

Thanks
Kelly

-- He who dies with the most tools wins!.....Just wait, I'm going to win!..ERR my wife will at least.

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