New Tools and Tool Experiences #2: Plane, English

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Blog entry by thiel posted 07-06-2009 02:54 AM 1118 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Mortiser Part 2 of New Tools and Tool Experiences series no next part

A few months ago on ebay, I picked up a couple planes. I’m a “power tool guy” (and frankly, what I see you guys do with hand tools looks like black magic to me!), but I figured I should see what all the fuss is about. Having never used a SHARP plane before, I was certain I didn’t need them!

In the intervening months, I quit my job, moved to another state, and—perhaps most importantly—acquired a honing guide and a working knowledge of Scary Sharp.

The first plane is a Stanley Bailey #4 in pretty good shape. I spent the late afternoon today flattening its (almost flat) sole plate and sharpening the blade. Now, it cuts like butter. I can already see myself reaching for this instead of firing up a power tool (occasionally).

The second plane is a tiny block plane just 3 and 5/8” long. I had assumed that it was just some cheapie, but when I tried to flatten the sole I found the steel to be a bit stronger than I expected. Once tuned, this little plane cut like butter and its fits in my pocket.

Anybody know anything about this little number? The only marking is a cast “FJ” under the frog. The iron is 1” wide.

Lil Handplane

-- Laziness minus Apathy equals Efficiency

4 comments so far

View chuck24's profile


48 posts in 3243 days

#1 posted 07-06-2009 06:39 AM

I have always been a “power guy” as well, I want to try and incorporate some hand planes into my stuff as well. Jusat cant justify the money right now. It always looks fun to me when I watch the videos of guys using them. so let meknow if its the same in real life.

View FlWoodRat's profile


732 posts in 3877 days

#2 posted 07-06-2009 12:12 PM


Looks to me like a ‘Model Maker’s” or “Violin Maker’s’ style plane. Nice find.


-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2781 posts in 3405 days

#3 posted 07-06-2009 12:51 PM

First time I spent time cleaning up a #6 and getting it just right I put a pine board in the vise and took a shaving. About 2 inches of pine board gone later I thought…. boy this is slick but I’ve got to stop planing this board for nothing. It just felt so satisfying to make shavings.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3907 days

#4 posted 07-06-2009 03:11 PM

For those of us who use power tools, hand tools are a bit of a curiosity. However, after watching Roy Underhill for a while I, too, started to wonder what all the fuss was about. It’s quite interesting and satisfying. At the moment, I’m still working on the patience to really develop any skill.

Enjoy your adventure into the world without electricity.

-- Working at Woodworking

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