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Selecting A Hand Plane (*UPDATE * bought one...ok, now two)

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Forum topic by fivecodys posted 05-18-2017 08:41 PM 3701 views 1 time favorited 82 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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fivecodys

806 posts in 1386 days


05-18-2017 08:41 PM

Hi Guys!
I have been watching, with great interest for a while now, the group of guys that buy and refurbish hand planes.
My experience with hand planes is limited to the little Stanley Block Plane that I bought about 15 years ago for a specific project I was working on.

My question(s) for you fine people is this:

What type of plane do you recommend I look for? I have been looking at Stanley #5’s on e-bay.

What price range if fair for the plane you recommend?

What venue should I be looking at to find one?

Thank you in advance for your input/advise.

-- Chem, Central California


82 replies so far

View diverlloyd's profile

diverlloyd

2158 posts in 1607 days


#1 posted 05-18-2017 08:55 PM

Local auctions (auctionzip.com)is the best place to find them. Usually pick them up for a couple bucks. I like the bedrocks but the stanleys are good to as long as they are old. Im sure there will be the veritas and lee valley guys saying buy them and they are good planes but for the price of one you can invest in a couple stanleys and sharpening products. Then if you like them move on up to the more expensive ones but as long as they are sharp they all do the same job. 5’s are good planes i also use 3’s a lot i would think around $20 is a good starting price for any plane.

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them700project

115 posts in 768 days


#2 posted 05-18-2017 09:15 PM

From what i can tell the older ones are much better.(ww2 era). I watched something I think it was a jay bates comparison between a veritas , a bedrock, and a harbor freight. that compares outright cost amount of labor needed to repair and tune. The thought was that buying a veritas and putting 15 minutes into a blade sharpening is cheeper than buying a vintage stanley and putting 15 hours into restoration.

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Ocelot

1839 posts in 2388 days


#3 posted 05-18-2017 09:20 PM

It depends on whether refurbing planes is part of your hobby. If it is a business, time is money. I have really enjoyed cleaning up old planes.

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fivecodys

806 posts in 1386 days


#4 posted 05-18-2017 09:28 PM



It depends on whether refurbing planes is part of your hobby. If it is a business, time is money. I have really enjoyed cleaning up old planes.

- Ocelot

I kind of like the idea of buying a used plane and cleaning it up so that I could use it myself. I thought it might be a good learning experience.
Not interested in buying and selling.

-- Chem, Central California

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fivecodys

806 posts in 1386 days


#5 posted 05-18-2017 09:32 PM



From what i can tell the older ones are much better.(ww2 era). I watched something I think it was a jay bates comparison between a veritas , a bedrock, and a harbor freight. that compares outright cost amount of labor needed to repair and tune. The thought was that buying a veritas and putting 15 minutes into a blade sharpening is cheeper than buying a vintage stanley and putting 15 hours into restoration.

- them700project

I saw Jay’s video (regular subscriber to his channel) but there are so many types and brands that it is a little overwhelming. What I really need is advice on what to keep my eye open for and what is a fair fair price range for a ‘fir-r-upper’.
Thank you for your response.

-- Chem, Central California

View diverlloyd's profile

diverlloyd

2158 posts in 1607 days


#6 posted 05-18-2017 09:33 PM

It shouldn’t take longer then a hour to restore one. Unless its spent flattening the back of the blade.

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fivecodys

806 posts in 1386 days


#7 posted 05-18-2017 10:15 PM



Local auctions (auctionzip.com)is the best place to find them. Usually pick them up for a couple bucks. I like the bedrocks but the stanleys are good to as long as they are old. Im sure there will be the veritas and lee valley guys saying buy them and they are good planes but for the price of one you can invest in a couple stanleys and sharpening products. Then if you like them move on up to the more expensive ones but as long as they are sharp they all do the same job. 5 s are good planes i also use 3 s a lot i would think around $20 is a good starting price for any plane.

- diverlloyd

Thank you Lloyd!

-- Chem, Central California

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

17905 posts in 2433 days


#8 posted 05-18-2017 11:47 PM

Usually a Jack plane like a #5…...a Jointer like a #6, #7 or #8, and then a smooth plane….like a #3 or #4 size.

The Jointers will cost the most, due to their size. jacks are all over the place…maybe around..$20 for a GOOD jack plane. Smooth planes….seen some as low as $5, and some as high as $100….for used planes.

Jointers run about $100 and up.

Vintage plane makers include not only those Stanleys, but Millers Falls, Sargent , and Ohio Tool Co. for the good planes out there.

As long as you can actually lay your hands on one, and look it over…..you can soon find a good plane in the group.

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

View diverlloyd's profile

diverlloyd

2158 posts in 1607 days


#9 posted 05-19-2017 12:33 AM

No problem 99% of the time they go for $5 bucks here and the veritas and valleys go for around $50. Good luck and if you buy a rusty one evaporust works great as does brass brushes in a drill press and I start with 80grit sand paper then to 180.

View EricTwice's profile

EricTwice

211 posts in 283 days


#10 posted 05-19-2017 12:59 AM

What would I recommend? #3, #4, #5, #7, a block plane, a rebate, and anything else you just happen across.

If I am looking at used planes, I generally figure the price by percentage.
Like new, 65-75%
Used, good shape 50% of new
requires work depends how much work is required. (usually 5$ or less)

No matter what the price (Unless it is already crazy) I try to talk them down. Remember the old proverb “Bad, Bad, says the buyer, then he goes away and brags.”

I frequent yard sales and flea markets in season. I bought a Stanley #3 (1930s era corrugated sole) Lovely condition for 3$. (asking price, I even asked him if he was sure it was right) I have bought from ebay. Be careful about condition. Look for the miss marked stuff. I bought a “Staley #4 for 5$ and then Had to have the bakley #3 to go with it. I believe I paid 6.50 for it.

I just got a birthday present from my sister. The hand dovetailed wooden box is marked $5.99. Inside is a Stanley England #71 (complete) that shows no sign of use. (She paid 5.99 for it) Look around, the deals are out there.

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

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fivecodys

806 posts in 1386 days


#11 posted 05-19-2017 02:58 AM

Thanks for all the great comments and info fellas!
I’ve been a power tool guy since I started so branching off into hand tools can be a bit intimidating.
You have given me a lot to think about and I will report back with what I find.
Have a great weekend!

-- Chem, Central California

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

7679 posts in 1236 days


#12 posted 05-19-2017 03:18 AM

I’ve usually had to pay around $25-30 on eBay for a plane I feel pretty good about bidding on. I don’t worry about minor missing parts too much or broken totes. Those are problems easily remedied. Especially broken totes.

A fine wire wheel for a bench grinder and a 1” wire cup for a drill press will take care of most rust removal efforts.

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

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HokieKen

4068 posts in 888 days


#13 posted 05-19-2017 07:40 PM

I’d recommend starting with a #4 or #5 both for ease of rehab and for being good all-around users. I’d watch eBay if you don’t have local options (antique stores and auction houses are usually the cheapest buys). Don’t be married to Stanley but don’t buy no-names either. Stanley, Sargent, Ohio Tool, Millers Falls are all good choices. Just beware of their “value” lines like Stanley Handyman and Millers Falls V-line. Look for planes that are complete and that don’t have any broken castings. You can repair or replace knobs and totes if you need to. Beware of missing screws. The threads used in older planes are no longer common threads so you can’t just run to the hardware store and pick up replacements.

You should be able to pick up old 4 or 5s for $25-$50 shipped depending on condition. If you’re patient, you can do better but that’s a fair range IMO.

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

View diverlloyd's profile

diverlloyd

2158 posts in 1607 days


#14 posted 05-19-2017 08:13 PM

Uh the handy man series only thing I have succeeded with the one I have is turning my hand blue and constantly trying to keep it working while I’m working.

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TheFridge

7679 posts in 1236 days


#15 posted 05-19-2017 09:05 PM

Ditto

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

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