LumberJocks

Hand Planes?? What do I buy??

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by mot posted 10-13-2007 01:29 AM 2729 views 3 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2694 days


10-13-2007 01:29 AM

Topic tags/keywords: hand planes

First, let me start by saying I’m not a hand plane expert. Hopefully our resident experts will chime in, but I’m going to pass on some information that I gathered from questions, posts, private messages and some unsolicited information that was given to me.

In a nutshell: (Most of this information was gleaned from woodnet forums and predominantly from a user called rfeeser)

What if I was to buy….

A single plane:

- A low angle block plane. This is probably the first plane to get for most people. There are a lot of things you can do with a block plane, such as cutting small bevels and fitting drawers. Unfortunately, the low cutting angle can cause tearout in figured hardwoods. But it is superior for softwoods and endgrain of all woods. A version with an adjustable mouth is the most flexible. Both Lie-Nielsen and Veritas currently make them. The Stanley #60-1/2 is the most common version.

- A jack plane. In terms of metallic planes there are three basic types: smoothers, jacks, and jointers. The jack is Mr. Inbetween. It is almost short enough to do a good job smoothing, and in fact there are those who prefer its heft and length for smoothing. On the other hand, it is almost long enough to do a good job straightening. In fact, you can do just as good a job straightening a face or edge with a jack plane as you can with a jointer, but it takes more workmanship to be able to do it. The #5 jack plane has been the mainstay of carpenters for ages. Many people these days prefer the wider and heavier #5-1/2, but it is less common and more expensive.

- A large smooth plane. The #4 smooth plane is probably the most commonly used plane of all. Personally, I would not select a #4 as my only bench plane because one of its most common uses would be for straightening edges, and a #5 does a better job of that.

- A low-angle jack or smooth plane. Although I do not have much experience with these planes, the favorable things I keep hearing about them from people I respect make them sound like a viable choice. Although Stanley made the #164 low-angle smoother and #62 low-angle jack plane, they are both rare and expensive. Both Lie-Nielsen and Veritas now make these planes. They are mechanically simpler than standard bench planes, making these low-angle versions a little less expensive from those expensive marks. Their proponents say that by equipping them with an additional iron or two with the bevel ground at a higher angle you can make them perform excellently to smooth hardwood surfaces. The stock iron angles are good for softwoods and rough work. If so, one of these planes with two or three blades sharpened differently could well come close to being a universal bench plane. I want to emphasize that I do not have enough personal experience with these planes to be comfortable recommending them myself.

Two planes:

A low angle block plane plus a jack or large smooth plane. The jack or smoother can be either regular-angle or low-angle. If it were me I’d choose the jack plane as the sole bench plane. In fact, that’s what I did years ago. Dad had only two planes his whole life, a cheap little #102 block plane and a #5 jack plane. Those are the planes I learned on.

Three planes:

A low angle block plane, a #4 or #4-1/2 smooth plane, and a #7 or #8 jointer. For this option, where you can have two bench planes, it makes sense to pick one of the smaller ones and one of the larger ones and leave the Mr. Inbetween jack plane out. The difficulty that gives you is that since both smooth and jointer planes are used for fine to medium work, you have nothing to handle rough work and large amounts of stock removal. However, unless you flatten and thickness rough wood by hand, you should be able to do with any roughing planes. An interesting thing to note about this three-plane solution is that you can’t get here from the two-plane solution unless you chose a #4 or #4-1/2 as your only bench plane.

Five planes:

Add a #40 scrub and a #5 or #5-1/2 jack plane to the above three-plane suggestion. To save money, an old #3 or #4 can be converted for use as a scrub plane by opening its mouth wide and grinding a pronounced curve on the cutting edge. These additional two planes, especially the #40, are only needed if you are flattening and thicknessing rough lumber by hand. Lie-Nielsen currently makes a scrub plane, and I understand that Veritas will be adding one to their line in 2005. To me, though, the absolutely best scrub plane available is the wooden one still being made by ECE. As a bonus, it only costs about half as much as the Lie-Nielsen and Veritas ones.

I hope this helps and sparks some discussion

Cheers!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)


29 replies so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12290 posts in 2755 days


#1 posted 10-13-2007 03:22 AM

What about shoulder planes? If your doing M&T work…..

The #5 will do a good job of rough stock removal if you set the blade correctly. You could get a couple of blades for it and sharpen one for fine and one for course work.

Chris Schwarz’s plane list for furnature making is

Hand planes:

1. No. 8 jointer plane

2. No. 4 smoothing plane

3. No. 5 jack plane

4. Low-angle block plane

5. 1-1/4” shoulder plane

6. Large router plane

7. Small router plane

8. Record 044 plow plane

9. Moulding planes: 1 pair hollow and rounds

10. Moulding plane, 5/16” beading plane

11. Moving fillister plane

12. Small scraping plane, Stanley 212 size

13. Bevel-up jack plane for shooting

14. Card scrapers, about 10

15. Spokeshaves, flat sole and round; large and small

I would think the first five would be my order of importance depending on what your doing….

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2694 days


#2 posted 10-13-2007 04:32 AM

Wayne to the rescue!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12290 posts in 2755 days


#3 posted 10-13-2007 04:47 AM

Well, I’m not sure about rescuing you….. lol Not something you need.

Also, other planes such as a low angle jointer have not been discussed. You could use it for shooting, jointing and smoothing if needed.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2694 days


#4 posted 10-13-2007 05:05 AM

You’re adding things that I hoped would come up. I’ve seen the odd post as to why hand planer users have so many planes. There are so many specialty planes, and so many planes that do many similar things, just better at some than others. I’ve gotten away with a #4 1/2 and a low angle block for some time. There are some planes that I like, and and some that I need. It’s just tough to decide. I find that it’s best to pick something that I want to do with it, and then add the plane. Hence the Low Angle Jack that will grace my shop in the upcoming week or so. As I love Veritas planes and have good access to them, I think this is the baby I’ll get:

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12290 posts in 2755 days


#5 posted 10-13-2007 05:24 AM

That will be a wonderful addition Tom. It is on my someday list. I think it is a slow night tonight. Everyone must be busy.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2694 days


#6 posted 10-13-2007 05:43 AM

I’m looking forward to it. :) Yeah, seems a tad slow tonight. I want to go down to the shop, but I’m feeling a little lazy.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2620 days


#7 posted 10-13-2007 06:36 AM

Hi guys,
this is a list of the planes in my shop.
an old Stanley block plane, don’t even know the number, had it for years.
a #75 which is worthless.
a #78 Duplex, it looks better on the wall a #192 rabbit plane, I works well and is well tuned but not used much
a # 80 scraper #112 scraper
2 #3 Stanleys
1 408 Sargent
2 #4’s, one sharpened at 30 degrees
1 Craftsman(409 Sargent) 1 #7 Craftsman(Sargent) 1 #7 Stanley #92 shoulder plane
shopmade Razee fore plane shopmade miter plane
There is a small spoke shave and over in the saddle shop there is a wooden spoke shave and 2 Snell and Atherton #6 heel shaves.
there are also 2 no name block planes that I never bothered to clean up.
I wish I had a router plane and a larger shoulder plane. I think I will just make them. It’s fun.
Tom

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12290 posts in 2755 days


#8 posted 10-13-2007 06:50 AM

Very nice group of planes Tom. Looking forward to seeing your next creation…

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2620 days


#9 posted 10-13-2007 07:05 AM

I’m going to do a smoother. I’ve got some ideas that I am working out. I picked up a heavy LN blade for a low angle plane. I think I’ll turn it over and use it in the smooth plane. I haven’t looked at it much. We’ll see. I also picked up a knife blank at Woodcraft. Monty wants me to build a scabbard for one they have. I have a chunk of elephant tusk that I’ve had for 30 years so I decided to scrimshaw some scales for it. 30 years ago I was building knife cases and doing scrim for a custom knife maker. I haven’t done much for a long time but I still have an Exacto knife and some India ink. I should be finished with this kitchen in another week.Still one door panel to carve and some over heads and shelves to finish. I’ll post it when done. Still need to do the tile back splash.as welll. I’ll be glad to get it done.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View cajunpen's profile

cajunpen

14393 posts in 2723 days


#10 posted 10-13-2007 09:47 AM

Well, I’ve officially jumped into the Plane collection game :-)). I posted something a couple of days ago, asking if Wayne, or anybody else could tell me what I had. Turns out it was a Stanley 220. I bought it about 30 years ago, tried it once and put it up – until I started reading so much about the planes here on LJ. I got the old plane sharpened today – using my new Work Sharp – and put it all back together, took aim at a piece of innocent wood lying on my bench and then it happened – WOW, that felt empowering!!! I passed it over the wood and got that magic sound and very thin fine curl of wood!! That did it, I’m really hooked now. I could not believe the finish it put on that piece of scrap wood (of course you guys already know). Tom, that’s about as much fun as a cowboy can have with his boots on.
I logged onto ebay tonight and won 2 planes – a Stanley 60 1/2 Low Angle and a Stanley-Bailey #5 Jack Plane. Both appear to be in good shape, bought from the same seller that claims that he bought them and decided not to use them. I’m hoping that they will arrive next week. I’ll let you guys know how it goes.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased." http://www.cajunpen.com/

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2620 days


#11 posted 10-13-2007 01:13 PM

Oh, we know how it will go, don’t we, guys? Down the ol’ slippery slope again. All of a sudden people are shaping wood the way they want it instead of how the machine will allow it. My My.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2818 days


#12 posted 10-13-2007 01:41 PM

I have a plane!! I have a plane!! And I’ve even used it :) My “plane collection” has begun with the Lee Valley router plane. What’s next? I’ll let this discussion and my needs guide my purchases.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2818 days


#13 posted 10-13-2007 01:41 PM

and my bank account, of course

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6648 posts in 2637 days


#14 posted 10-13-2007 02:00 PM

Hi Ms. Deddie;

I have a plane too! Nice post! I liked that.

Hi mot, that will make a nice addition to any shop! Looks fast!

I don’t see Lie Nielson mentioned. Do we have a problem with them?

Just curious, because I have a few of them. Should I throw them away?

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2679 days


#15 posted 10-13-2007 02:06 PM

I think I’ll make a plane or two this winter.
What blade do you folks feel is best overall quality?

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

showing 1 through 15 of 29 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase