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Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring #9: Bench and Block Planes Purchase

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Blog entry by Paul Bucalo posted 10-14-2014 12:36 PM 1520 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: The Dungeon: Before Construction of a Woodworking Shop Part 9 of Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring series Part 10: Table Saw Base: The Saga Continues »

These days I can’t afford to splurge on many of the things I want, but I still do some impulsive shopping when the money allows for it and the urge is upon me. I had forgotten that yesterday was a holiday for some institutions in our area, in my case the credit union I have my business accounts with. Fortunately, behind and above the credit union lies our Lowe’s hardware center. Sure. Why not? I needed a metal speed square, anyway.

I imagine that some of you shop much the same as I do, going in with a notion of what you want or need, but finding yourself needing to check other isles just in case you forgot something on your list. Yep. When I saw the planes I knew this was what I needed to deal with jointing and planing the edges and faces of all that pallet wood I have stored up. A power jointer and planer are purchases for a later time. This just made sense. Later today I hope to get the marble plates and sandpaper out to see if I can scary-sharp the blades on these. I’ll have to see if I can find a large, flat surface for the soles. I really can’t wait to make some curly shavings.

Did I get the speed square, you ask? Nope. I forgot about it in the excitement. Next time. There will always be that.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA



7 comments so far

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7171 posts in 2038 days


#1 posted 10-14-2014 12:49 PM

Congrats and have some fun. Don’t forget to strop the blades

with green honing compound :)

View Notw's profile

Notw

467 posts in 1214 days


#2 posted 10-14-2014 12:53 PM

I look forward to seeing if these planes are any good

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

621 posts in 821 days


#3 posted 10-14-2014 12:58 PM



Congrats and have some fun. Don t forget to strop the blades

with green honing compound :)

- waho6o9

Thanks. I haven’t either at the moment, so I will have to see how well these will do at 600 grit.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

621 posts in 821 days


#4 posted 10-14-2014 12:59 PM



I look forward to seeing if these planes are any good

- Notw

Same here. Some Kobalt tools are quite good. Some, like their coping saw, is close to being junk. My guess is the worthiness of either plane will come down to ease in setting up and how well the blades hold an edge. All I could afford at the time. They have to be better than nothing at all.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

2461 posts in 1764 days


#5 posted 10-14-2014 04:18 PM

I sharpen my blades the poor man’s way, various grits of sandpaper mounted to a piece of granite but a thick piece of glass will work as well. Have fun with your new purchases.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

621 posts in 821 days


#6 posted 10-14-2014 04:57 PM



I sharpen my blades the poor man s way, various grits of sandpaper mounted to a piece of granite but a thick piece of glass will work as well. Have fun with your new purchases.

- luv2learn

Thanks. I will be sharpening mine just as you do, with the exception of using marble instead of granite. Hoepfully the cheap marble will hold up.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

621 posts in 821 days


#7 posted 10-14-2014 05:20 PM

I had some time to take the No. 4 Smoothing Plane apart, clean the grease out, reassemble and set for some test cuts. I kid you not: the blade came with the ability to knick my thumbnail. My jack knives are rarely this sharp. The test planing was a success, as far as I am concerned, but I did find some trouble when I was disassembling the frog assembly:

I really need to get some planing done, so I had to decide whether to return the plane to the store or see how far it would go before it broke. If I returned it I will have to order a replacement as this was the only one in stock. Since it has a lifetime guarantee, I figured I would wait and see how it worked and decide accordingly.

For the test I took two rough-ripped boards from one of the pallets I recently broke down. I mounted each in a metal worker’s vice at the center of the board. I tried to set the blade depth to the smallest possible height that I could gauge by sight, maybe no more than .010” of blade showing through the throat. The shavings are from planing the roughly 3/8” edges:

I spent only a few minutes on jointing both edges. Both were bowed to the point where the gap between them at the center was about 1/4”. Here is what they look like now:

If you look closely you can see that both boards are cupped. To show the fit I placed a wedge under the outside edges of both boards.

Not bad for the time invested, the condition they were in to begin with, the fact I haven’t used a hand plane this big in over four decades, and that I didn’t sharpen the blade. I can see this plane helping me with my jointing and planing needs. With the lifetime guarantee to back up the future, I plan on keeping it instead of returning it.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

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