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Transitional hand plane finished surface- is it better?

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Forum topic by Jeff2016 posted 04-09-2017 04:23 PM 1934 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jeff2016

115 posts in 703 days


04-09-2017 04:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question plane shaping hand tool

After swearing off sandpaper and the nasty mess that comes with it I have begun to delve deeper into the world of hand planes.

While cruising the ebay listings, I have seen many of the curious (at least to me) transitional planes going for cheap.
I’ve done a fair amount of web surfing on them, and came up just about as confused as when I started.
My own personal view- as someone who has yet to own one- is my vintage iron planes are overall more versitile and useful. That being said I wonder about the quality of finish a transitional plane may offer as a smoother.
Does the burnishing effect of wood on wood provide a finish better than than my trusty Stanley #4 which already provides a glass smooth finish?

And to those of you who have warned the slippery slope hand plane collecting can be, you weren’t kidding, I’m in deeper than I ever imagined!

-- Proud owner of an electronics free workshop. Please check your cell phone at the door!


18 replies so far

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Johnny7

327 posts in 929 days


#1 posted 04-09-2017 04:30 PM


Does the burnishing effect of wood on wood provide a finish better than than my trusty Stanley #4 which already provides a glass smooth finish?

- Jeff2016

No.
Moreover, if you’re really burnishing your workpiece using the sole of your plane, your technique is far too heavy-handed.

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Jeff2016

115 posts in 703 days


#2 posted 04-09-2017 05:21 PM

I wondered about that. I often burnish handles spun on my lathe and wondered if the same effect could relate to the flat surface of a board with a transitional or wooden plane.

As it stands now, maybe I should just leave the transitional planes for collectors of fancy paperweights….

-- Proud owner of an electronics free workshop. Please check your cell phone at the door!

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

8333 posts in 1325 days


#3 posted 04-09-2017 05:35 PM

They work well when tuned from everything I’ve seen. Some like the feel of wood on wood.

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

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Rick_M

10640 posts in 2219 days


#4 posted 04-09-2017 09:54 PM

No difference in finish, just a matter of preference. Transitionals are easier to flatten. I have one, a jointer, and it’s my favorite. It glides across wood much easier than an iron, maybe because the wood pores hold wax better or maybe the wood is just less friction.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Johnny7

327 posts in 929 days


#5 posted 04-09-2017 10:44 PM

In full agreement with those who note that it is a different feel

But, after all is said and done, a plane is merely a chisel holder—the material from which the holder is made, aside from tactile feedback, is largely irrelevant.

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Jeff2016

115 posts in 703 days


#6 posted 04-10-2017 10:38 AM

Thanks guys, I appreciate the feed back. I might pick one up yet, but for now I think I’ll fill in the sizes I want in iron first.

-- Proud owner of an electronics free workshop. Please check your cell phone at the door!

View Just_Iain's profile

Just_Iain

231 posts in 255 days


#7 posted 04-13-2017 01:36 AM

A transitional plane(s) is/are in my future. First I got to get all the metal ones tuned and properly stored.

-- For those about to die, remember your bicycle helmet!

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Don W

18523 posts in 2407 days


#8 posted 04-14-2017 11:41 AM

Slippery slope is right!

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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Jeff2016

115 posts in 703 days


#9 posted 04-15-2017 12:38 PM

Don I must say thank you, your website has been a wonderful research tool for me while learning about hand planes.
The knowledge you have put together is amazing!

-- Proud owner of an electronics free workshop. Please check your cell phone at the door!

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2716 posts in 1320 days


#10 posted 04-15-2017 01:49 PM

There’s a reason they don’t make ‘em anymore :-)

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

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

18637 posts in 2522 days


#11 posted 04-15-2017 04:59 PM

They do work, though..

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

18523 posts in 2407 days


#12 posted 04-15-2017 10:07 PM


Don I must say thank you, your website has been a wonderful research tool for me while learning about hand planes.
The knowledge you have put together is amazing!

- Jeff2016

Thank you!

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

2600 posts in 2836 days


#13 posted 04-16-2017 03:11 AM

Slippery slope …....I fell right down
Don …I think you are winning !
Some of the articles I read. These craftsman prefer the wooden ones. They talked about less friction having wood on wood !
i dont know if thats true. Im too lazy to plane all day for a week to find out !

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

View Jeff2016's profile

Jeff2016

115 posts in 703 days


#14 posted 04-16-2017 02:13 PM



Slippery slope …....I fell right down
Don …I think you are winning !
Some of the articles I read. These craftsman prefer the wooden ones. They talked about less friction having wood on wood !
i dont know if thats true. Im too lazy to plane all day for a week to find out !

- canadianchips

I love your collection! I’d have to give up an entire workbench to have that many.
I read the similar articles that stated the transitional came about because craftsman didn’t want to give up their wooden planes. That is what sparked my curiosity about the possible difference in the finish.
I will more than likely end up with a couple, but for now I don’t have all the sizes I want in metal yet.

My first restoration is under way, an old union #5. I’ll post a project on it soon. I need to finish the tote and knob, and get the blade back to square.

-- Proud owner of an electronics free workshop. Please check your cell phone at the door!

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bandit571

18637 posts in 2522 days


#15 posted 04-16-2017 02:47 PM

Yep, they do work, too..

have had a few in the shop…

Even small ones


Also, keep an eye out for these types of planes

Just to use as a smooth plane….

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

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