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Jointer handplane - beginner's question

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Forum topic by llwynog posted 05-05-2011 04:29 PM 8874 views 0 times favorited 49 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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llwynog

287 posts in 2040 days


05-05-2011 04:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer hand plane schwarz

Hello everyone.
I have been going through this forum for several months and now I decided to sign up and ask a question.

I was shown Christopher Schwarz’s Coarse Medium Fine DVD recently and that really rekindled my interest in hand planes. (I will need to buy this DVD for myself)
I would like to give a try to his technique but I need to buy some planes but to do this on a budget.
Smoothing and Jack/fore planes will probably be woodriver ones as they seem to get good reviews and are affordable.

But when it comes to jointer planes I am a little bit at a loss since Woodriver does not manufacture any.

Here are the results of my research work so far, would anyone care to comment or give me advices ?

Regular #7 jointer by Lie Nielsen looks fantastic and is obviously a very fine tool but is way out of my budget ($400+)

Clifton #7 jointer is pretty much the same price as the Lie Nielsen from what I can judge and yet, from the outside, does not look as much of a value good a value (brittle cast iron etc..).

Lee Valley/Veritas Bevel up jointer has great reviews. It is still almost as expensive as Woodriver smoothing, jack and block planes all put together, but much cheaper than the 2 above. I was almost ready to buy it, until I noticed that the sides were not machined (they have some black coating and only the spot for the fence is machined). In his video, Christopher Schwarz constantly checks his boards for flatness by using the edge of his jointer plane as a straight edge. This may be obvious but then it is impossible to do so with LV bevel up jointer. To me it stopped me dead cold and I did not make the purchase. It seems that this is a major feature of the jointer plane that got overlooked. Any owner beg to differ ?

Lie Nielsen low angle jointer. It is still more than the magic $300 I had set me but this looks like a nice plane. I am not sure if the throat is adjustable though. From the website it looks like it does but I read some reviews that said it did not. Anyone knows the truth ? Since LV bevel up jointer was looking more and more unsuited to my needs I was starting to resign myself to paying such a premium, knowing that I would still get an excellent tool in return. Then I found a post on this forum (sorry, forgot to bookmark the post) which says that it was NOT possible to sharpen and use a bevel up blade with a camber such as is discussed in Christopher’s DVD. Can anyone confirm/infirm this ? If this is the case, that rules out both bevel up planes altogether.

Lastly, if bevel up planes cannot be used with a cambered blade, the last possibility that I examined was to look for vintage Stanley #7 planes, the blade of which I may consider replacing with a thicker, modern one. I have found a few auctions on Ebay back here in Europe (much less choice than in the USA…) but do you think that this is a safe way to get a good tool for a beginner who knows to sharpen but who is not accustomed to using, and thus to tuning, a second hand plane ?

Thank you all for reading this far. I would appreciate any comments on my findings and conclusion. Don’t hesitate to tell me if I am wrong and if you see some other way to get a good yet affordable jointer plane, your ideas are gladly welcome.

Fabrice

-- Fabrice - "On est bien bête mais on sent bien quand on se fait mal" - my grandfather


49 replies so far

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3559 days


#1 posted 05-05-2011 05:18 PM

I’ll respond to a few of your questions…

As far as checking the boards with the side of the jointer, a good steel rule will work as well and you probably would want to have a good one in your shop anyway. I would not see this as a deal breaker on the LV plane.

I checked your profile but could not see what country your in. But Record #7 and #8 jointers should be regular items on the UK ebay site and would be a good option.

Another option might be a wooden jointer plane. They should be available in europe. Heck, you could even make one. Check this project out as an example.

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/32767

I would not be afraid of rehapping a plane there are lots of examples here on the site. Get a junky one and try it out.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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llwynog

287 posts in 2040 days


#2 posted 05-05-2011 05:55 PM

Thank you very much for you answer Wayne,

I updated my profile and I live in France. You are right I am looking mainly at planes located in the UK. So far, I restricted myself to looking at pre-war Bailey #7 jointers. So you say that Record is also a good brand to be trusted ? I will have a look, thank you.

Regarding wooden planes I have a couple of them (mostly Japanese but actually I also have 2 old French wooden jointers) but I long for easier blade adjustment : right now, it takes me more time to adjust the blade with the hammer than to sharpen it. If at all possible, I would like to concentrate first on the planing technique itself and then move to plane tuning at a further step.

I don’t understand the word rehapping, do you mean re-lapping the sole ? If so, I tried that in the past on a junk plane made in RPC: it took me half a day and I ended up with a cast iron banana. I would be afraid to ruin a venerable pre-war veteran plane, plus flattening such a wide surface must take weeks.

Thanks again for your valuable insight,

Fabrice

-- Fabrice - "On est bien bête mais on sent bien quand on se fait mal" - my grandfather

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Bertha

13003 posts in 2154 days


#3 posted 05-05-2011 06:17 PM

All the planes you mention are of high quality, the LN, the Record, the Clifton, and the Bailey. I find a jointer to be a very forgiving plane for a beginner. If I had given up on my #4 and not purchased a #7, I probably would have given up on planes altogether. The No7 and 6 are my favorite planes and I’m an early Stanley guy. You should be able to get a solid early Type #7 for less than $100 which will bring you under $200 with a new Hock, pinnacle, etc. A $12 Eclipse jig, a $10 strip of marble windowsill, and $30 worth of sandpaper will get you a scary sharp setup. My vote is for a sweetheart or earlier Stanley #7.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3559 days


#4 posted 05-05-2011 06:43 PM

Sorry for the slang. Rehabbing – Rehabilitation. Restoring the plane for use. Similar to what I am currently doing with my right leg (badly broken in Feb).

The trick to lapping a plane’s sole is to find one that is not that far out to begin with. If it is really bad you should probably take it to a machine shop. I would say that the earlier Records are on par with Stanley and may be more available to you. As Al, says above it may be worth paying the shipping to get one from the US if you compare it to the cost of a new premium plane. Also perhaps an LJ can find a deal on a pre WW2 plane and ship it your way. I’m not out much these days (leg again) but I will keep my eyes out for you.

Also, I second Al’s recommendation on good blades. I use Hock in mine as well.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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llwynog

287 posts in 2040 days


#5 posted 05-05-2011 06:50 PM

The more I think of it, the better it looks. Even if I have to pay about $50 for shipment, it looks like I could get a decent plane for about $200 in total which is more in my budget range.
Thank you Al for the information on #7 planes being forgiving, come to think of it it is true that I won’t be asking the jointer the same thing I would ask a smoothing plane.

Fabrice.

-- Fabrice - "On est bien bête mais on sent bien quand on se fait mal" - my grandfather

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Bertha

13003 posts in 2154 days


#6 posted 05-05-2011 06:53 PM

I think you’d be just as happy with the Staney #7 as you would with the other planes you list. Of course, the bevel ups are entirely different planes. Once you get really handy with the jointer, you can treat yourself to a nice bevel-up. I use my #7 more than any other plane. I prefer the #7 & #6 to the jacks for flattening boards. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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Dan

3630 posts in 2342 days


#7 posted 05-05-2011 07:05 PM

Al made a good point about the jointer plane being very forgiving. The tuning can be a little off and it wont effect its use as bad.

Stanley and Record are great but the planes performance lies in the blade. I have spent many hours and countless sheets of sandpaper lapping the backs of old blades flat. You can get an old blade to cut darn close to a premium blade but its probably a good idea to get a new thicker blade. A premium plane with a dull blade is useless tool. A cheaper plane with a sharp quality blade is a premium tool.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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llwynog

287 posts in 2040 days


#8 posted 05-05-2011 07:15 PM

Al, since you mention bevel up planes, do you agree to what I read somewhere else that bevel up planes cannot be sharpened and used with a camber ? This is just my personal curiosity asking because at first glance, I don’t really see an obvious reason while there would be a difference.

-- Fabrice - "On est bien bête mais on sent bien quand on se fait mal" - my grandfather

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llwynog

287 posts in 2040 days


#9 posted 05-05-2011 07:17 PM

Oh, and by the way, I am really impressed at how welcoming and full of valuable advice everyone is here !

Fabrice

-- Fabrice - "On est bien bête mais on sent bien quand on se fait mal" - my grandfather

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derosa

1568 posts in 2297 days


#10 posted 05-05-2011 07:20 PM

I agree that making an old plane function like new if you are on a budget is the way to go. I’ve done this with three planes now just from reading on here and watching youtube videos. Also try antique stores, I’ve got my eyes on a set of stanley no 7 and 8 with the 8 new in the box; both are 30’s time period and combined will be less then 300 with tax. It just takes time and patience.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

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Bertha

13003 posts in 2154 days


#11 posted 05-05-2011 07:33 PM

Fabrice, I agree with everyone above. The only plane I keep a camber on is my #40 scrub. I’ve never bought the cambering jig for my Tormek because it’s so darn expensive. I usually knock the edges of the jointer sized planes to avoid the stripe, and I suspect Dan does as well. The #8 is, of course, the kind of jointers and although I love mine to death, it takes a very wide swath and I’m not usually jointing 2” thick boards:) For flattening, the #8 can’t be beat but it’s a big, heavy plane. I see no reason you couldn’t put a camber on a bevel-up but I’m not sure you’d need to. The bevel-ups are really just giant block planes and they’re a complete joy to use, they just have an entirely different cut and feel. I agree with Dan that $100 for a new blade and chipbreaker is money well spent. I’ve had particularly good luck with some very early Stanley blades but there’s really no comparison to the modern massive blade/chipbreaker combos. The stability they impart is noticeable on your first pass. I’m excited for you that you’re getting into planes. Dan & I will always be happy to shoot the plane breeze. :)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3559 days


#12 posted 05-05-2011 10:56 PM

Here is a link to the info one the Record Jointer. http://www.record-planes.com/31/record-no-07-jointer-plane/

I just saw these posted on Craigslist. I am guessing they are already sold (3 planes including a jointer for $15). If not they will not last long.

http://sacramento.craigslist.org/tls/2364372124.html

Link to the Hock Tools web page showing the blades from the discussion above…

http://www.hocktools.com/BP.htm

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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Dan

3630 posts in 2342 days


#13 posted 05-05-2011 11:25 PM

Al, You are correct! I only knock the corners down a little on my planes when honing them. I have never used a camber on my blades so I cant really say much about it. I know a camber would be helpful for removing a lot of material. I have all my planes tuned and sharpened for finer cuts. I have read some things about cambering a jointer blade and the advantages but I seem to get good results without doing it. I think its more of a preference to the user.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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llwynog

287 posts in 2040 days


#14 posted 05-06-2011 07:47 AM

Thank you for the links.
Thanks to Al’s advices, I placed a bid on an ebay auction for a type 13 SW Stanley, we’ll see if I get lucky. (Al told me all about plane types and the website http://www.supertool.com/stanleybg/stan1.htm)

I’ve also started to look for replacement irons+chipbreakers and found this so far :

Hock tools A2 blade $49 + Chipbreaker $30 = $79
Woodcraft Pinnacle blade + breaker set = $105
Lee Valley / Veritas blade +breaker set = $59
Lie Nielsen blade $55 + breaker $38 = $94

So far everyone seems to be advising me the Hock blade + chip breaker, is there a vast difference with the $20 cheaper Lee Valley one ?
Lee Valley appear to insist in their sales pitch that the blades were specifically dimensioned so that the set will fit without having to file the throat or anything. Other makers such as Lie Nielsen on the contrary warn that the sets may not fit all the planes.
Woodcraft Pinnacle is the most expensive set, I don’t know if this is because they are much better or if it is to pay the Rob Cosman franchise… (don’t know the man, but I often see his name and face online or on the American woodworking magazines I can lay my hands on)

OK, now let’s wait for 3 days of suspense so see if I win the auction.

-- Fabrice - "On est bien bête mais on sent bien quand on se fait mal" - my grandfather

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3559 days


#15 posted 05-06-2011 08:07 AM

The Veritas blades are relatively new. They have been reviewed on the site positively. I have not personally used them. I have Hocks in my planes and have not had any issues with the mouths yet.

http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/product/2065

There are some photos of hock blades in the planes in these old blog posts

http://lumberjocks.com/WayneC/blog/2150
http://lumberjocks.com/WayneC/blog/942

On the ebay auction most action takes place in the last minute or two. It is best to enter your maximum bid in the last minute of the auction. Your more likely to win.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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