looking for first hand plane

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Forum topic by dad2jj82 posted 02-05-2016 04:11 PM 681 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 1187 days

02-05-2016 04:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plane

Hello all Im looking at getting my first hand plane. Unless you gentlemen direct me in another direction I believe it will be a stanley #5 and a block plane. I don’t plan on doing a lot of hand work just touch up and making some small surfaces flat. With that said do you guys know of someone reputable that sells them used on eBay or out of there garage. I would rather buy from someone who can be “trusted” and is valued on LJ. I don not have an experience with hand planes or sharping. I plan on getting a worksharp 3000 to help with sharping. Also is the stanley OK or is there an equivalent out there. I don’t want to spend much over a 100 on them. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks fellas

12 replies so far

View jmartel's profile (online now)


6899 posts in 1722 days

#1 posted 02-05-2016 04:14 PM

This site is run by a member here.

One of the #5’s on there or the #6 would be good for your application. I’d probably pick either the Sargent 414 or the Stanely #6 for what you want, depending on the size of your projects you’re going to work on.

And I wouldn’t go out and buy a worksharp immediately. Use sandpaper and a granite tile for now to learn as it’s cheaper.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View waho6o9's profile


7543 posts in 2149 days

#2 posted 02-05-2016 04:17 PM

jmartel nailed it.

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 749 days

#3 posted 02-05-2016 04:21 PM

I second DonW’s site TimeTestedTools. I have purchased from him and got a good plane.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View chrisstef's profile


16126 posts in 2579 days

#4 posted 02-05-2016 04:21 PM

I find the WS a great tool for rehabbing irons that may be out of whack or with chipped edges. It’ll get ya sharp for sure by not as sharp as I like personally. Another option to sandpaper is the diamond honing film sold at lee valley. For $25 youll get 4 psa sheets that will bring an iron to serious edge.

-- Something, something, something.

View jdh122's profile


891 posts in 2390 days

#5 posted 02-05-2016 04:26 PM

I have the Worksharp and like it just fine. With a homemade mdf wheel with stropping compound you can get a very sharp edge.
In the last year or so, however, I’ve found myself using a grinder for a hollow grind almost to the edge and then finishing freehand on stones. A cheap grinder will be quite a lot less than the WS.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View JayT's profile (online now)


5129 posts in 1783 days

#6 posted 02-05-2016 04:49 PM

Another vote for contacting DonW, he’ll steer you straight and you’ll get a ready to use tool.

Also is the Stanley OK or is there an equivalent out there.

- dad2jj82

When looking at vintage planes, there are quite a few companies/brands that are as good or better than Stanley. (“better” depends on each person’s preferences) Union, Sargent, Ohio Tool, Vaughan & Bushnell, and others all made very good quality planes in their premium lines. Like Stanley, some of them also made some bargain lines, so you have to take each plane on its own merits. With what is currently showing on Don’s website for #5 sized planes, both the Sargent 414 and Union #5 would be every bit as good as a Stanley of the same era.

There are also a whole bunch of rebranded planes, such as Keen Kutter or Winchester, that were manufactured by one of the big names for a specific customer and are identical to planes with the manufacturer’s name on them.

-- Pay heed all who enter: Beware of "the Phog" Rock Chalk, Jayhawk

View HokieKen's profile


2325 posts in 711 days

#7 posted 02-05-2016 05:25 PM

Chalk up another for Don W.

As far as vintage planes, Stanley is definitely the standard. However, I recently got a Miller’s Falls smoother and must say that I find it superior to my Stanleys in quality of manufacture. I also like the way it “handles” better. All that being said, when the rubber meets the road, they both get the job done equally well provided they’re fettled properly. One word of caution though if you do consider a Millers Falls, don’t get the V-Line (economy) planes. I’ve never had one, but from what I’ve heard, they rank with handymans.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View TheFridge's profile


6538 posts in 1058 days

#8 posted 02-05-2016 05:41 PM

If don or anyone else doesn’t have what you need, I have a Stanley #5 and a block plane or two I need to find a home for. If you’re interested pm me.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View hotbyte's profile


893 posts in 2548 days

#9 posted 02-05-2016 07:53 PM

Here’s my story…

I was not versed at all in hand planes (am just barely versed now…maybe uttering baby sounds) and had an old #4 sized Miller Falls that had belonged to father-in-law. I tried to bring it back to life without much success and finally broke down and purchased a new WoodRiver 5-1/2 and low angle block plane from Woodcraft along with some sharpening stones. The store mgr spent a fair amount of time helping/showing me how to set them up, do initial flattening, sharpening, etc. Since then, I have used both on several projects and find them great to work with. I’m hoping to revisit the old plane and see if I can do better job with some decent hand plane use behind me.

I think buying a used but nicely rehab’ed plane from someone here on LJ would be great way to get in the door without dropping major dollars. I would not suggest used that needs rehab’ing.

If you want to buy new, I think the WR is a decent plane without spending the LN/LV type dollars.

View JayT's profile (online now)


5129 posts in 1783 days

#10 posted 02-05-2016 08:32 PM

I m hoping to revisit the old plane and see if I can do better job with some decent hand plane use behind me.

I think buying a used but nicely rehab ed plane from someone here on LJ would be great way to get in the door without dropping major dollars. I would not suggest used that needs rehab ing.

- hotbyte

I bet you will do a much better job with the vintage plane now that you know what you are shooting for as far as tuning and fettling.

Totally agree with the second statement. I recommend that someone new to handplanes start out by purchasing one that is ready to work for someone who knows how to tune up a a plane. Once you know how they should work, it’s much easier to do the rehab on one that needs it.

-- Pay heed all who enter: Beware of "the Phog" Rock Chalk, Jayhawk

View rwe2156's profile


2392 posts in 1053 days

#11 posted 02-06-2016 01:00 PM

Argument can be made a #4 smoother is probably a better choice over the #5 perhaps others will chime in.

Definitely beware of Ebay everybody thinks they have a collectors item. Timetested or WoodRiver are good choices.

Dittos on what JayT & hotbyte said but you’ll get arguments from the rehab guys on that. I started out on the rehab route and until I got my first new plane never really knew how they were supposed to perform. (Its more than just making a shaving).

That old plane you’ve got can be a good user if there’s nothing major wrong with it. Check out some videos on tuning and give it a go its actually not that hard.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View OSU55's profile (online now)


1207 posts in 1562 days

#12 posted 02-06-2016 10:25 PM

Not sure there’s a need to drop ~$150 + on a new bench plane to see how a tuned one works so you can then rehab an old one, unless you just have $ burning a hole in your pocket. I have a standing offer, follow the rehab process in my blog starting here and if you still can’t get it to work pm me. Granted, a person needs to have some level of aptitude in a workshop – meaning they know something about troubleshooting and figuring out solutions, and using various tools. It’s not magic, it’s the right knowledge and building some experience. Ebay requires some diligence to find good buys. Don W is a good source for good used.

Here are my thoughts on 1st hand planes – #4 or 4-1/2, cheap Stanley low angle block, #7 if a jointer/panel flattener is needed.

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