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Forum topic by Itsme6582 posted 12-07-2016 01:08 AM 768 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Itsme6582

6 posts in 374 days


12-07-2016 01:08 AM

Topic tags/keywords: plane buy wtb

I imagine there are some people who restore and sell planes here. Hopefully someone can make me a pitch.

I’m just getting started woodworking and I’m looking for a #4, 4-1/2, or 5 bench plane. This will be my first and only plane so it’s gotta be versatile. They all seem close enough that there is some overlap in functionality. First project will be a workbench and then some end tables.

My budget is roughly $50 so I can get a new Stanley or maybe a vintage one. I’m reluctant to pick something off ebay with no experience. I don’t mind putting some effort into a plane but I don’t have time for a big overhaul. If it’s more than a couple hours of work, I’d rather be cutting wood.

Thanks


24 replies so far

View corelz125's profile

corelz125

312 posts in 809 days


#1 posted 12-07-2016 01:23 AM

There are a lot of #5s on ebay in decent shape for under your price. Give one of the older ones a try. Your going to have to sharpen the iron on an old or new one and lap the sole also.

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waho6o9

8025 posts in 2410 days


#2 posted 12-07-2016 02:16 AM

http://timetestedtools.net/

Don may have one on his site and you won’t have buyers remorse after purchasing it, he’s a fellow Lumber Jock

and welcome to LJ’s Itsme6582!

Maybe send Nick a PM as he might have one as well.

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/53772

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onoitsmatt

367 posts in 1009 days


#3 posted 12-07-2016 04:06 AM

You might mention where you are, possibly save shipping costs.

-- Matt - Phoenix, AZ

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BurlyBob

5043 posts in 2098 days


#4 posted 12-07-2016 05:53 AM

Check out some antique shops or 2nd hand stores in you area. You could probably pick up a 4 and a 5 for $50. A 4 1/2 that one is going to cost you more no matter where you look.

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Itsme6582

6 posts in 374 days


#5 posted 12-07-2016 11:35 AM

Thanks for pointing me to some vendors. That’s quite a markup over ebay.

I’ve got 2 local antique options. I doubt they have any tools but I’ll try to check it out. This doesn’t really fix that I don’t really know what I’m looking for but at least I can get my hands on it.

Any input on the sizes for a versatile first and only plane? 4 vs 4-1/2 vs 5

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4503 posts in 971 days


#6 posted 12-07-2016 12:17 PM


Any input on the sizes for a versatile first and only plane? 4 vs 4-1/2 vs 5

- Itsme6582

Yes, you want a #5… probably ;-) We need to know exactly what you intend to do with the tool. A #4 is a smoothing plane. It’s intended purpose is to clean up the tool marks left by other hand planes or power tools. It excels at its function but, due to its small size, is pretty much limited to that function. I personally have a #4 that I use as a scrub plane to dress rough lumber. So, it’s a great plane to have but is limited in its uses. A 4-1/2 is the same plane with a wider blade. It would make a great smoother but you’ll pay for it. They’re not nearly as available as #4s on the used market and their prices reflect it.

A #5 on the other hand, is very versatile. The additional 5” are a pretty big deal when it comes to possible uses. It can also serve as a smoother like the #4. It really excels in bringing boards to “almost” flat ahead of a jointer plane but when used properly can do the work of a jointer as well.

You said in your OP that your first project is a workbench. I assume you need this plane to do the final flattening of the benchtop? Can you do that with a #4? Maybe you can, but I can’t. And it’ll be a long road for even the most seasoned hand-planer. You can go to raw stock to a flat top with only a jack (#5) if you have to. A jointer plane (#7 or #8) would be a big help with final flattening and a #4 would be nice for smoothing after the jointer. But, like I said, the #5 can do all of those jobs in a pinch. That’s why it’s called a Jack (jack of all trades…)

Hope that’s helpful. If you need more detail, just ask and post some more specifics on what you intend to use the plane for.


Thanks for pointing me to some vendors. That s quite a markup over ebay.

- Itsme6582

Agreed, you can get similar planes cheaper off e-bay. BUT, if you buy a plane from Don W. on his site, you’re getting a plane that’s ready to go to work (unless he tells you otherwise). I don’t see a #5 on his site right now that’s ready to shave wood but if you contact him, he may have something that isn’t listed. Anytime I buy a plane off e-Bay, I assume I’m going to have to spend a minimum of 2-3 hours getting it ready to use. Don will tell you what the plane needs, if anything, right up front.

AND as far as what to look for… look for older Stanley, Millers Falls, Sargent and Record planes. There are other good choices as well depending on when they were made but those are pretty safe bets no matter the vintage. With Stanley, I’d steer clear of Defiance or Handyman planes. Check for cracks in the base, particularly around the mouth. Leave cracked ones alone. Probably best to leave ones with brazed cracks alone too unless you can tell the difference between a good repair and a bad one. For Millers Falls, steer clear of the ones with the “V-line” lever caps. Planes with rosewood knobs/totes and brass hardware are probably a good vintage.

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

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JayT

5453 posts in 2044 days


#7 posted 12-07-2016 12:17 PM

Depends on what you want to do with it. If only for finishing tasks, then a #4. If you will be doing some jointing and panel flattening, then the #5 is more versatile. It’s known as a jack plane for a reason, as it can be a jack of all trades. A little long for smoothing and a little short for jointing, but can handle either one in a pinch.

Since this is your first plane, I would strongly recommend getting a plane from someone who knows what they are doing and will get you one that is ready to work out of the box. If you decide to add more planes in the future and want to buy one from an antique store an fix it up, then you’ll have a reference point for how one is supposed to work.

There are quite a few LJ’s that fix up and resell planes and someone will have a good #5. Don W is a great starting point.

Edit: Or +1 to what Kenny wrote. Great minds think alike. (So do poor ones, but we’ll go with great, right?)

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

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OSU55

1420 posts in 1822 days


#8 posted 12-07-2016 01:05 PM

You don’t mention what other tools you have and what part of the process you expect to use the plane for. There are several sizes of just bench planes due to the different tasks. I advise two planes, a #4 or 4-1/2 (same blade as a #7) for smoothing, and a #7 for jointing, panel flattening. If you’re determined to get just one (good luck staying with that promise…ha ha) then as others said a #5. Stanley Bailey series. Here are links to some hand plane stuff that may help - tuning .............. choosing

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

5043 posts in 2098 days


#9 posted 12-07-2016 02:41 PM

Unless your extremely disciplined or you lose interest altogether in wood working, Your hand plane addiction is about to begin. You do need to watch a few videos on restoring and sharpening. Your plane will be only as good as the edge you put on the iron. So learn how to flatten and sharpen it.

Best of luck.

View corelz125's profile

corelz125

312 posts in 809 days


#10 posted 12-07-2016 08:25 PM

Hand planes are like potato chips you can never have only one or two

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4503 posts in 971 days


#11 posted 12-07-2016 08:58 PM



Hand planes are like potato chips you can never have only one or two

- corelz125

Yeah, but they taste like crap.

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

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corelz125

312 posts in 809 days


#12 posted 12-08-2016 12:33 AM

Haha I never tried tasting one before

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Itsme6582

6 posts in 374 days


#13 posted 12-08-2016 01:57 AM

It’s very easy to just get one and I never said it would be just one forever.


I advise two planes, a #4 or 4-1/2 (same blade as a #7) for smoothing, and a #7 for jointing, panel flattening.

- OSU55

This was pretty much my thought process but i didn’t want to lead the witness. I see a 4 and 7 being a better pair than a 4 and 5. The conundrum is it seems like the 5 like a better standalone option.

I’ve got a cheap set of chisels, a 12 in sliding compound miter saw, a circular saw, a jigsaw, a router, and a drill. Every dollar spent here delays a table saw.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

5043 posts in 2098 days


#14 posted 12-08-2016 02:37 AM

I can personally confirm what corelz said…You can never stop with just one or two. I bought my first #4 3 years ago to do one little project for the wife. I’ve collected over 50 now! They are so awesome.

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HokieKen

4503 posts in 971 days


#15 posted 12-08-2016 03:14 AM



This was pretty much my thought process but i didn t want to lead the witness. I see a 4 and 7 being a better pair than a 4 and 5. The conundrum is it seems like the 5 like a better standalone option.

- Itsme6582

Bingo. Given you budgetary requirements and not wanting to spend a lot of time on fixing/tuning a junker, I think the #5 is your best bet. You’ll be lucky to get a decent #7 for what you could pick up a #4 and a #5 for.

I looked through my untouched pile of planes tonight with you in mind. I have a non-name #5 with a cast-in frog. Not a good plane but yours for $10 + shipping if you want it. Will require some tuning and may never be a good plane, just throwing it out there. I also have a #4 Defiance. Could be a good user but would require a good bit of tuning in my experience. Same price if you want it. Mind you, I wouldn’t recommend these planes unless you want to really learn to tune a turd. The upside is you might be able to grab a #7 as well and come in around $150 for the lot.

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

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