Wood or metalic jointer plane

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Forum topic by b2rtch posted 04-10-2010 03:04 AM 4644 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4861 posts in 3077 days

04-10-2010 03:04 AM

Topic tags/keywords: plane

I am planning on buying a jointer plane.
I have been shopping around and on Amazon there is this very gorgeous wooden jointer plane.

I looked around for this Zen store, I read excellent reviews about their planes and I am very tempted to buy one to use it but also because this is a beautiful object, but on the other hand I was looking at videos on youtube about tuning wooden planes and I heard this person says that one is constantly tune them up and flattening the sole because of the weather/humidity changes.
That scares me a little bit.
Would I be better off buying a metallic jointer plane?
Thank you for your answers.

-- Bert

16 replies so far

View dfdye's profile


372 posts in 3066 days

#1 posted 04-10-2010 03:54 AM

Bert, I can only comment on my personal experience with my #7 Stanley. Once I got it fixed up, it has worked great, warts and all, with absolutely no tuning issues other than slight adjustments to the depth of cut when I am using it. I love the look of wooden planes, but really like the low maintenance and comfort of the metal planes. I wound’t personally want to deal with the issues of a wooden plane, but I know people who absolutely swear by them!

Again, just me, but I would go with an old Bailey if you can find one and fix it up. It has the nostalgia and aesthetic appeal (at least to me) while being pretty darn solid. Not sure how big you want to go, but the WoodRiver #6 seems a very good quality plane for a little less than than the plane you posted (didn’t you just post a review of WoodRiver planes?—see PS). Good luck with whatever you chose to buy!

PS Didn’t you just get a few Wood River planes? How are those working out for you? I am really interested in the long term usability of those planes since I am pretty sure I am going to get one of them for my next plane when I need one.

-- David from Indiana --

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4861 posts in 3077 days

#2 posted 04-10-2010 04:02 AM

Yes, I have a #4 Wood River and I love it
I have been betting on Ebay for #7 and #11 Stanley.
The issue I have with Ebay is the shipping which makes the plane way expensive. Weather permitting I shall go to my local swap meet tomorrow looking for a joiner plane and hand saws.
Today locally I found a #7 for @25.00 I almost bought it but I am looking for a jointer plane not a jack plane.
I have been reading Chris Swartz books and I now want to use hand tools more than electric ones.
I am even thinking about making my own wooden jointer plane

-- Bert

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2786 posts in 3001 days

#3 posted 04-10-2010 04:24 AM

Wood planes can be a pleasure to use, but you need one good jointer to flaten their soles, so it makes sense to get a Stanley 7 or 8 and then explore wood ones if you want after that. I have a pre-war Stanley 7 that works great, and is sometimes put to work flattening and truing the soles of some of my wood planes.

-- Galootish log blog,

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4861 posts in 3077 days

#4 posted 04-10-2010 04:35 AM

When I bought my Wood River plane at woodcraft, the person who helped me told me that he would refuse to sale me a Groz plane!
Skarp you are right the #7 is a jointer,,

-- Bert

View Wintersedge's profile


83 posts in 3003 days

#5 posted 04-10-2010 04:38 AM

#7 is a jointer plane. I would go metal just for the mere fact that I know it is always in tune once tuned; unless dropped.

I like the idea of always having one set in my toolbox that I can use as a measurement against other tools. The other reason I would go metal is once true, you can test your winding sticks against the sole of the plane, or any other tool that you need to know if it is true.

-- Motivation alone is not enough. If you have an idiot and you motivate him, now you have a motivated idiot.

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4861 posts in 3077 days

#6 posted 04-10-2010 05:06 AM

I am not sure now that he said “refuse” but I am sure that he said that he would not sale me one.
Skarp the Woodriver are a little more expensive but the one I bought was ready out of the box. I polished the blade for the h—-l of it but I really did not had to. I followed Lie-Nielsen’s instructions to do it and took me just few minutes.
The Wood river is a beautiful and very well made plane.
The largest Wood River is a#6, which is a bit short for jointer plane.

-- Bert

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4861 posts in 3077 days

#7 posted 04-10-2010 05:20 AM

The Wood river blades are thicker than most other blades

-- Bert

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2602 posts in 3026 days

#8 posted 04-10-2010 06:51 AM

I will suggest a metallic #7 or #8.
If you look at my project page you will see I have several (okay many ) wood planes.
The reason I choose to use the metal one is the weight. If you are going to plane a lot of material that has a few knots the metal one will cruise right through it. The momentum does the work for you. All you have to do is carry this heavy thing around …If you can still grab that #7 for $25. DO IT. A crappy one usually sells for $75. and up.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

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8057 posts in 3404 days

#9 posted 04-10-2010 03:01 PM

Bert – I wish I could give you details from hands on experience with both. There’s a part of me that’s routing for the Zen plane just because it’s so beautiful, but then I also realize the practicality and strength advantages of a good metal plane. I know that rosewood is very hard and that wood planes were used effectively for centuries. Also, I don’t use a jointer plane as a smoother, so while I’d want it to work well I wouldn’t get too concerned about it being setup perfectly.

If I were to buy a metal plane, it’d be top shelf whether via an older Millers Falls, Record, Bailey, Bedrock, Union, Sargent, or a newer Lie Nielsen/Veritas, which all have superior precision and metal choices in key areas than the inexpensive modern planes made overseas.

In the end, I’d probably go with my heart. To me, hand planes are different than screw drivers and other utility tools…it’s a connection to the past, and a nostalgic experience. I enjoy many of my other tools but there’s just something about a plane that calls to you that other tools don’t do. Good luck with your decision.

Here’s my Record 07:

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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4861 posts in 3077 days

#10 posted 04-10-2010 03:55 PM

The Record is beautiful.
Thank you all for your replies. I shall buy a metallic jointer and later on a wooden one ( almost) just for the look

-- Bert

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98 posts in 3542 days

#11 posted 04-11-2010 03:43 AM


The Ken plane is really nice, it would look nice on display. It may even be great to use. For a user plane, however, I would recommend an iron plane. If you follow ebay, you should be able to fine a good Stanley #7 for >$75. Usually, it will require cleaning up, de-rusting and sharpening the blade, but this can be done in an hour or so. You can get a great user this way.

Good luck.

-- measure once, cut once, swear, start over

View Sean's profile


156 posts in 3644 days

#12 posted 04-12-2010 04:04 AM

bert, you dont really have to go thru ebay….check out your community or surrounding communities….i find most of my old tools at antique shops. works out better than ebay: no exhorbitant shipping, and you can pick it up, take it apart, check for square, see all sides of it, make sure its not a frankenplane, etc.

-- "Democracy is by far the worst system of government. Except all the others that have been tried." ~ Winston Churchill

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4052 posts in 3317 days

#13 posted 04-12-2010 05:06 AM

very nice #7 i just started getting record planes and i like the metal ones better cuz the wood ones are hard for me to set the blade alot of tapping.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

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4861 posts in 3077 days

#14 posted 04-12-2010 12:07 PM

Sean, I tried local antics and swap-meet but so far I had no luck.
Last weekend I went to he largest swap-meet in Salt Lake City and there was not even one vendor selling old tools.

I found a #5 for $25.00 in decent shape, I already I have Wood river #4 so I did not buy it, but I wonder if should go get it because the price seems to be right.

The same store has a Sargent #5 in good condition for $75.00. Is Sargent a good brand?

-- Bert

View map's profile


98 posts in 3542 days

#15 posted 04-13-2010 01:44 AM

Assuming that it is all there, the $25 #5 should be a fairly good deal. From what I have seen, types 11-15 seem to be considered the best user planes. If you go to:

There is a nice chart that works well in dating the Stanley planes. I bought a type 19 #5 for $20 at a shop and have been very pleased with the result. If you are going to clean one up, check out “EvapoRust”, the stuff is magic for removing rust with no other damage.

Good hunting.


-- measure once, cut once, swear, start over

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