New Block Plane

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Forum topic by BerBer5985 posted 12-15-2011 12:19 AM 1774 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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445 posts in 2659 days

12-15-2011 12:19 AM

I’ve been eyeing a new block plane. I have a Stanley 60 1/2 that is in good shape, but it just doesn’t cut like I want it to for some reason and I’ve been thinking it would be nice to have a new block plane. I also do not own a shoulder or rabbet plane. I like doing dovetails but I’ve split out some dovetail pins trying to trim with a block or bench plane. I’ve read some awesome reviews on the Veritas Skew Block plane which seems to be a low-angle, adjustable mouth, rabbeting block plane with a nicker, fence, etc that will help with end grain. I think this might solve a few problems for now until I have the funds to buy a dedicated shoulder and rabbet plane. I also want the veritas plow plane too, but this plane would be more useful. I’m also going to attempt my first workbench build as the rockwell jawhorse I’ve been using for everything just isn’t cutting for hand planing anything really. I’m going to do mortise and tenon and it’d be nice to have a plane to trim those up. Now, they come in left and right hand. Does it pay to save up and get both, or can I get by just fine with the right hand (I assume for right handed people planing right to left.) I looked at the LN version too but the veritas seemed to be more feature packed for less money.

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

3 replies so far

View cellophane's profile


42 posts in 2747 days

#1 posted 12-15-2011 01:03 AM

I would buy a shoulder plane before the skew plane but that’s me. The skew is nice for cleaning up endgrain however and I don’t think you can go wrong with one. I don’t personally own one (yet) but it is definately on my list.

How is your stanley tuned up? Is it one of the new ones or an older plane? I bought one of the new ones rather than messing with the eBay waiting game and it took a lot of work to true up the sole to a point where I was ok with it. It still needs more but for now it works fine enough.

You might also try chisels for cleaning dovetails & tenons. A little more learning curve but it is pretty satisfying to do.

View drfunk's profile


223 posts in 2915 days

#2 posted 12-15-2011 02:38 AM

The skew is nice for cutting cross-grain shoulders – but also works fine for cleaning up cheeks. I have both L & R, but I really think one or the other would work fine.

A shoulder plane is definitely more ideal for mortise and tenon work. Shoulders are usually so narrow that a wide plane like a 140 skew plane would be hard to keep level. Also since you want to come at the shoulder from both directions you need a plane that rabbets on both sides – which a single 140 cannot do.

How are your sharpening skills? A 60 1/2 is a fine plane that should serve you well. The most likely reasons for blowout are a dull blade or the wrong approach direction.

A cheap plane that is a real winner in my book is the Veritas Apron Plane. Dang if I don’t reach for that one a lot. Even for shooting small pieces sometimes.

View andrewr79's profile


36 posts in 2590 days

#3 posted 12-18-2011 11:04 AM


I went down this route – first one didn’t work, so got another. Then I learnt to tune a plane and that first one took under an hour to go from a poor performer to something that’s a pleasure to use.

Simple really – lap the sole flat and wax it, make sure the back of the blade is flat before you sharpen the bevel, make sure the lever cap meets the blade squarely to stop chatter and it should be a different plane. I’ve got a $15 Trojan block that can now take paper thin shavings almost as well as a $160 record can because of the little bit of TLC it got.

-- Visit my blog @ to see what I've been up to

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