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Jointing with a hand plane- what to buy?

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Forum topic by nadavpev posted 03-16-2017 09:43 AM 3290 views 0 times favorited 37 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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nadavpev

7 posts in 281 days


03-16-2017 09:43 AM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer jointing plane hand plane jack jack plane

Hi,
I’m looking in to buying a plane for wood jointing. I’m talking about medium-small stuff- my intention is to cut rough stock on the bandsaw to as-close-as-possible dimensions and then plane out any twist, bow or cupping that has occured either while the wood was drying or when tension were released during the cut. I think that the maximum length will be around 5 feet, really nothing more and even that would be quite rarely.
This is aimed both to replace a big, loud and quite expensive jointer that would take up space in my small workshop, and also just for the fun of hand planing.
I have about 500$ to invest. After consulting with some friends I’d really like to have a premiun plane- veritas or lie-nielsen, even if it’s not the most budget-smart decision. I’m not so much into restoring an old one, call me lazy :)
The current options I have in mind are:
BD jack(prob. 5 1/2)
BU jack with a couple of blade
No. 7 jointer
No. 7 BU jointer with a 25 and a 38 blade

On one hand a jack is cheaper and more versatile, but I always fear that versatility has a cost in terms of quality- and I really just need it for one job. On the other hand from watching videos and doing some reading I fear that a jointer plane is not really suitable for starting out with a rough board and there needs to be some work done with a more aggressive plane before using a jointer.
BTW I’m well aware of both the learning curve and the need for sharpening equipment and have that in mind.

I’d really like to hear what you guys think
Thanks!

-- Alright, that's the last jig I'm gonna build. From now on I'll start making furniture!


37 replies so far

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4521 posts in 978 days


#1 posted 03-16-2017 11:15 AM

IMHO, having a single plane with the sole purpose of jointing rough stock, a jack plane would be my choice without question. If it were me, I’d go with BD with 2 irons – one for heavier cuts (scrubbing) sharpened with a bit of camber and a second one without camber for final jointing. A #7 is great for flattening large stock but with the size stock you’re working with, it’s overkill and will require more work because the long sole makes it pretty much useless for working stock efficiently unless it’s pretty near flat to begin with.

All of my planes are vintage that I’ve refurbished but, if I were only going to own a single plane, it would be Veritas or LN. I think of those 2 lines, I’d go with the LN 5-1/2 for your purposes.

Good luck and welcome to the site!

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

View HickWillis's profile

HickWillis

114 posts in 499 days


#2 posted 03-16-2017 11:56 AM



IMHO, having a single plane with the sole purpose of jointing rough stock, a jack plane would be my choice without question. If it were me, I d go with BD with 2 irons – one for heavier cuts (scrubbing) sharpened with a bit of camber and a second one without camber for final jointing. A #7 is great for flattening large stock but with the size stock you re working with, it s overkill and will require more work because the long sole makes it pretty much useless for working stock efficiently unless it s pretty near flat to begin with.

All of my planes are vintage that I ve refurbished but, if I were only going to own a single plane, it would be Veritas or LN. I think of those 2 lines, I d go with the LN 5-1/2 for your purposes.

Good luck and welcome to the site!

- HokieKen

I agree with everything said here – go with the LN 5 1/2. It is a fantastic plane and will suit your needs well. Definitely do not worry about the quality of handplanes coming from LN and Veritas.

-- -Will

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

1231 posts in 422 days


#3 posted 03-16-2017 12:03 PM

I own a LN 5-1/2 jack. It’s a darned good all-arounder, and I’ve jointed 2 foot long pieces with it, and am now smoothing a new 3”x21”x66” elm bench-top with it. I only have one iron, but basically proceeded as Kenny said without switching blades. It’s a very nice plane. There’s no quality sacrifice I can see for the versatility of the jack, and it came ready to make shavings from LN. I did end up buying a #2 for smoothing little stuff, but I almost always reach for the jack first.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1426 posts in 1829 days


#4 posted 03-16-2017 12:12 PM

You should re-evaluate your plan. On one hand you say you only want to joint, then you say you want to flatten rough stock surfaces. Are you going to use a loud, annoying sander to smooth up the flat surfaces? These are very different jobs that are best done with different planes – that’s why there are different sized bench planes. Here's a reasonable description of the what and why for bench planes.

Paul Sellers has a lot of great info on bench planes – here's one article to get you started. He has loads of info online. For only one plane, he would recommend a Bailey design #4. Your lazy and don’t want to refurb planes (but you want to hand joint and plane wood?). There are several on LJ’s who do that and sell them at reasonable prices. I recommend you do some more research and get a refurbed plane or 2 and see where you go from there. Just for grins, here's a series on tuning planes. Even the high end one’s can use some after a while.

View Sawdust2012's profile

Sawdust2012

100 posts in 1552 days


#5 posted 03-16-2017 12:19 PM

You’ll never regret a LN or Veritas. A low angle bevel up jack plane gives you a lot of options. One option that could be less expensive is a sweetheart 5 1/4 jack plane. I have one i bought on eBay, and I use it far more often than my Millers Falls jointer. The 5 1/4 is also called a “junior jack”. It’s a little less wide than the 5 1/2, and sweetheart era Stanleys are a joy to use. You’ll have to do some cleaning and sharpening, and maybe flattening of the sole, but you’ll have a fantastic multi purpose plane.

View nadavpev's profile

nadavpev

7 posts in 281 days


#6 posted 03-16-2017 12:38 PM

Thanks everybody for the informative answers!


You should re-evaluate your plan. On one hand you say you only want to joint, then you say you want to flatten rough stock surfaces. Are you going to use a loud, annoying sander to smooth up the flat surfaces?
- OSU55

As english is not my native language, I might not use the right words for some things… I understand the difference between jointing twisted stock and planing saw marks.
I don’t care to use an electric sander (I have a random orbital one), and do not seek a planer because of some hand-working ideology. It’s mere fun.


Your lazy and don’t want to refurb planes (but you want to hand joint and plane wood?)
- OSU55

I was joking when I said it’s laziness, going back to what I wrote above- it’s just in terms of fun. I enjoy the process of handplaning, I don’t enjoy heavy restoration of old planes. To me theres a big difference between that and regular maintenance.
Thanks!

-- Alright, that's the last jig I'm gonna build. From now on I'll start making furniture!

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1445 posts in 2907 days


#7 posted 03-16-2017 01:22 PM

I used to do all my rough to final with hand planes. I learned from Rob Cosmon’s rough to ready. I used a LN scrub plane to get it close and a LN #7 to finish it off.

Sweet planes and worked like a charm. I would recommend those to anyone. I have a 12” jointer now, sending my scrub and #7 to my son.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2717 posts in 1321 days


#8 posted 03-16-2017 03:12 PM

What HokieKen ^ said about blades, except I would go with a #6 instead of a jack. All around, I find a 6 is probably the most versatile plane. I also use it for shooting.

This will get you better jointing capabilities. It is a bit longer than a 5 1/2 but about the same cost.

Unless your definitely sold on a premium plane, I suggest take a look at the WoodRiver planes. I have several of them + LN’s and IMO they are quite up to par with a LN. Yes, they are made in China and that turns off a lot of guys, but I got over that after trying one out.

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

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

8336 posts in 1326 days


#9 posted 03-16-2017 03:29 PM

I’m not a fan of any bench plane without a chipbreaker (BU).

While I have almost a full line of LNs. If you want to get the most out of 500$ I’d go vintage. Lots of reputable people on here buying selling & trading.

If you don’t mind then waiting you can’t go wrong with LN. They are fantastic. They have a very high resale value if you ever decide you don’t want them. Veritas not so much but still a great plane.

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

View JayT's profile

JayT

5455 posts in 2051 days


#10 posted 03-16-2017 03:41 PM

For pieces 5ft and less, a 5-1/2 or 6 will work fine for jointing. I find that those sizes are a nice combination of size and weight to use for extended periods when working panels or flattening stock, while still giving enough sole length to be able to joint a straight edge. I use a #6 size for almost all my jointing and it works great. My 5-1/2’s are set up for rough work and panel flattening with cambered irons, but I would have no issue using one of them as a jointer with iron sharpened more appropriately for that task.

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

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

1856 posts in 2478 days


#11 posted 03-16-2017 04:00 PM

A lot of folks come to the conclusion that cleaning up old planes is even more fun than woodworking. :-)

-Paul

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1426 posts in 1829 days


#12 posted 03-16-2017 04:53 PM

Since its mere fun, either a Veritas BULA jack, Veritas custom 5-1/2, or Veritas #6 fore. They resale as well as LN in my experience. Either make is about as good as can be found.

View Allegrus's profile

Allegrus

3 posts in 362 days


#13 posted 03-16-2017 06:02 PM

I think there needs to be some expansion of some of the answers given here: Two blades on a plane (take a #6 for example) will not be sufficient for you to go from rough lumber to a finished board or cover the situations you will encounter; at least not effectively or efficiently. I took the same route as OP did with a LV Bu Jack plane. I had 4 blades ready at all times with different profiles:

1. A no-camber blade for jointing
2. A high camber blade for rough stock removal
3. A slightly cambered, low angle blade for smoothing
4. A slightly cambered, high angle blade for smoothing highly figured wood

I don’t see how you can get away with fewer blades unless you want to compromise/complicate your workflow or limit your wood selections. The workflow with 4 blades to swap between is somewhat practical on a BU configuration; on a BD configuration, would be just annoying because of the addition of a chipbreaker.

View BigYin's profile

BigYin

403 posts in 2256 days


#14 posted 03-16-2017 06:19 PM

there are several guys on this site who resore and sell planes, buy from them.
a stanley or record no.7 or no.6 with 2 blades one cambered for scrubbing down rough wood and one for jointing
and as jointing and smoothing are different subjects a no.4 or no.4-1/2 for smoothing

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

18642 posts in 2523 days


#15 posted 03-16-2017 06:20 PM

I just change planes..

#7c, #6c, #5-1/2, # 5 c, #5, and a #5-1/4. Along with a few #3s and #4 sized smoothers. Stanleys, and Millers Falls. Oh, and a few block planes thrown in, as well.
The #5c has a cambered iron, the other #5 has no camber.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

showing 1 through 15 of 37 replies

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