Rounds and hollows

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Forum topic by nordichomey posted 09-01-2011 03:48 AM 3308 views 2 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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100 posts in 3099 days

09-01-2011 03:48 AM

I have been researching a bit on moulding planes. I think I would really enjoy using them like I love my other hand tools. Have been thinking of starting with a old half set of hollows and rounds? Any body have any good advise on hollows and rounds? What to look for? Key sizes? Pitch considerations? Other considerations? Why I am crazy?


-- nordichomey

10 replies so far

View djohnson2061's profile


3 posts in 2457 days

#1 posted 09-01-2011 06:21 AM

I just started investigating moulding planes this summer. I recently purchased an old half set of hollows and rounds and have been cleaning them up. A few things I have learned so far from forums, DVD’s, and purchasing mistakes:

-the planes must not be warped
-the blades must not be pitted at the cutting edge and should have some length left
-the mouth must be tight (sometimes they have been cut wider, maybe in an attempt to reduce clogging)
-higher pitch (50-55 degrees) is preferred over 45 degrees
-earlier British planes are considered to be better than later American planes
-you will likely need to regrind the blade’s profile to match the plane’s sole
-wedge condition is more important than you think (tight fit in mortise, length/shape to eject shaving)
-many ebay planes are garbage
-it is safest to buy from the more well-known online dealers
-there aren’t many online dealers, and the selection is limited and a few of the dealers are very pricey
-half sets don’t seem to be readily available
-some folks think it best to just make your own
-buy the videos from Old Street Tools
-using a moulding plane to make a consistent piece of moulding can be difficult
-it might be a good idea to buy a single pair first in a useful size and play with them for awhile

I stumbled across a half set from the same manufacturer and with the same owner’s mark, and I didn’t feel like I could pass it up. It is a lot of work, however, to refurbish 18 planes…


View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4094 days

#2 posted 09-01-2011 06:25 AM

Lumberjock Phil Edwards makes them….

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

View nordichomey's profile


100 posts in 3099 days

#3 posted 09-01-2011 03:00 PM


This is some great insight! I was not in that big of hurry either, but I have ran across 5 matching pairs. From 5/8 to 1 1/2”. Made by J. Lingard of Manchester, England. They look sound in the picture but I have not held them yet. Being sold by a retiring home restoration craftsman.

If I stop and look at them I now know much more than before!!! I am a bit concerned at >1” size I may not have as much need for those. Sort of like my bench chisels… there are 2 I always reach for.

-- nordichomey

View tirebob's profile


134 posts in 2851 days

#4 posted 09-01-2011 03:36 PM

I’ve been interested in moulding planes for a while now, but I am intimidated about buying them. Used wooden planes seem like such a crap shoot. I am going to watch this thread closely!

View mbholden's profile


3 posts in 3912 days

#5 posted 09-04-2011 01:27 AM

I recently picked up a half set of hollows and rounds and am cleaning/sharpening them.
The first thing I have learned is that the mouth side opposite the throat (left side from above) needs to be tight to the blade, otherwise it chokes with shavings.
I think that some replacement wood to tighten things up is needed. Only a couple of my planes show this.
I also picked up a pair of snipe bills.

-- Mike

View lwllms's profile


555 posts in 3279 days

#6 posted 09-04-2011 02:21 AM

I’m Larry Williams from Old Street Tool, Inc (formerly Clark & Williams). I believe I’ve been making planes longer than any of the small makers out there. I present in two of the videos Derek mentioned. The general stuff is, I think, pretty well covered in the DVDs but, if anyone has specific questions, I’ll try to answer them. Just keep in mind that those tools are deceptively sophisticated and I learn new stuff all the time.

View nordichomey's profile


100 posts in 3099 days

#7 posted 09-07-2011 04:41 AM

Larry – Thanks for the reply. I look forward to checking out the DVD’s. One question… in getting started with wood moulding planes where do you best start in trying to have a positive experience? Rounds and hollows or does one get a few profiles (ovolo, sima, etc.) and start from there?

Eureka Springs!!! My in-laws live in Holiday Island. Definately a nice part of the country. Believe we are going to try in get down there in June. My father in-law wants to try stripper fishing on Beaver Lake.

-- nordichomey

View lwllms's profile


555 posts in 3279 days

#8 posted 09-07-2011 05:23 AM

Hollows and rounds are easier to sharpen with rounds being the easiest. It’s best to get matched pairs and I suggest starting out with something like a number 8 (1/2” wide and radius) or number 10 (5/8” wide and 5/8” radius). Hollows and rounds should cut 60º of arc so they have a relatively good cutting geometry as well. I think you’ll find them more versatile than dedicated profile planes as well. Unless we’re out doing workshops or shows, we’re here working six days a week and don’t object to visitors. You’re welcome to stop by and there’s a map on the “contact us” page of our web site.

View nordichomey's profile


100 posts in 3099 days

#9 posted 09-08-2011 03:17 AM

Thanks Larry. Look forward to it!!

-- nordichomey

View krisintoronto's profile


8 posts in 2795 days

#10 posted 09-08-2011 08:32 PM

And I suggest a great book on the topic: Restoring, Tuning & Using Classic Woodworking Tools by Michael Dunbar. He covers all types of wooden, transitional and metal planes, with tones of advise on how to choose, what to avoid, how to sharpen and so on.

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