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Needing help with hand planes

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Forum topic by AbranV posted 09-23-2011 05:40 PM 1175 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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AbranV

30 posts in 1954 days


09-23-2011 05:40 PM

I’m a former employee of the furniture industry of about ten years or so. I have done it all from refinishing to manager, delivery to staging etc. Now that I am in a new career I can enjoy building furniture for fun and not for work. Alll of my skills are in rebuilds and repairs, and have tools to do so, but now that I’m “starting from scratch” I need some help with hand planes.

Here is what I’m lacking….........basic knowledge about the different types of planes and how they are used, and what each specific plane is best used for.

I know that there are shoulder planes, bench planes, jack planes, low angle planes, jointer planes, smoothing planes, #4, #5, long, short and so on. I know that they are used for smoothing, and flatttening surfaces, but I have no clue about the different uses for each one.

Any help would be appreciated

Thanks!

-- I'd rather be making sawdust.....


11 replies so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12642 posts in 3564 days


#1 posted 09-23-2011 05:50 PM

Wow. This is a big topic and a lot of it has already been covered on the site. If you like, I can give you a recommended list of books and videos on the topic rather than try to answer this directly.

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

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4457 posts in 3427 days


#2 posted 09-23-2011 05:53 PM

You can spend a fortune on planes if you wish, but I have just a few that seem to fill the needs. #4, #3, couple of low angle block planes, a #7 jointer, and a nice collection of wooden molding planes.
Michael Dunbar has a book on restoring and using planes that is a good reference/guide. There is a wealth of web stuff too.
Sharpening is another art form that can suck you in with a focus on spending all your money on stuff. My suggestion here is to “keep it simple”.
Good luck.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View AbranV's profile

AbranV

30 posts in 1954 days


#3 posted 09-23-2011 06:24 PM

Thanks for the replies. Any materials on the subject would be helpful. I was looking through a Lee Valley catalog last night and just got curious about all of the differences.

-- I'd rather be making sawdust.....

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AbranV

30 posts in 1954 days


#4 posted 09-23-2011 06:27 PM

Thanks for the replies. Any materials on the subject would be helpful. I was looking through a Lee Valley catalog last night and just got curious about all of the differences.

-- I'd rather be making sawdust.....

View crank49's profile

crank49

3981 posts in 2437 days


#5 posted 09-23-2011 07:59 PM

I’ve been a DIYer all my life, but have just become interested in serious WW in the last 18 months. My dad was a hardwood floor finisher, painter, finish carpenter for over 50 years and some of his knowledge rubbed off on me, but I’m always in awe at some of the skills of folks in this LJ community.

Planes are, as already said, a very broad subject. For some folks here they might be an obsession. Bertha posted a forum topic “Handplanes of Your Dreams” and there have been over 3000 repies. That might be more than I even want to know about hand planes.

I have about 6 or 7 (one is being restored right now) and I think every wood worker needs to have at least 3 or 4. If I could only have a couple they would be a block plane and a bevel up jack with multiple irons.

The block plane is intended mostly for end grain work, tweeking miters, easing edges and de-splintering saw cuts. It is about 6 1/2” long and mine stays on my bench or in my apron. I use it on everything I build.
The low angle version is my preferred choice.

The jointer is the biggest at 22” to 24” long. It trues the edges of boards to be joined. The longer the plane sole, the straighter and more accurate the edge. The sole rides over low spots and lets the iron shave the tops off the high spots. Eventually the edge is all straight and true.

The smooth plane, at 9” to 10” long, is intended to shave off ghostly thin shavings to bring a board to final finish. A smoothed board needs no sanding, unless you want a rougher finish.

The jack is about 14” long and tries to fill the gap between jointing and smoothing. It can do both functions with limitations and by using slightly different grinds on the iron. I like the bevel-up version of the jack and recommend having 2 or more irons for more versitility.

The scrub plane is another useful plane, if you intend to level rough lumber; work done with a power thickness planer otherwise. It has a strongly cambered blade and takes thick shaving off a board; usually working across grain.The scrub leaves a surface covered with shallow gouges which the other bench planes can smooth out.

One final speciality, the shoulder plane has an iron that’s the same width as the sole so it is useful for working on tennons and rabbits and such.

Of course, this could go on forever, but this covers the basic tools. The most important item, and one I havent mentioned yet, is the sharpening system. There are books on this subject as well. I like the scary sharp system. You can Google it for all the instructions you could ever need.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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AbranV

30 posts in 1954 days


#6 posted 09-23-2011 08:31 PM

crank49, that’s perfect! just what I was looking for!

-- I'd rather be making sawdust.....

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12642 posts in 3564 days


#7 posted 09-23-2011 08:51 PM

View docholladay's profile

docholladay

1287 posts in 2525 days


#8 posted 09-23-2011 09:19 PM

I suggest “The Hand Plane Book” by Garrett Hack. If possible, get it in the slip case set with his other popular book about hand tools in general. Great set. Good writing. Lot’s of good information.

Doc

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View Don W's profile

Don W

17971 posts in 2034 days


#9 posted 09-23-2011 09:40 PM

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7223 posts in 2842 days


#10 posted 09-24-2011 05:24 PM

A couple of very useful websites:

Cianperez.com
Rexmill.com

I love Anji12305’s description of the “inexpensive handplane shaped objects” from Woodcraft and the modern Stanley’s. I’m a fan of older good quality used planes.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View rance's profile

rance

4245 posts in 2627 days


#11 posted 09-26-2011 01:12 AM

That was helpful Crank.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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