board edge cleanup -- which plane to use?

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Forum topic by dpjeansonne posted 500 days ago 532 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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70 posts in 1810 days

500 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: hand planes milling finishing joining plane

I am just getting into using hand planes in my shop and find them interesting, satisfying, and frustrating.

After edge jointing on a power planer or ripping on the table saw, which plane is best to use to remove the mill marks?
I think it could be a block, a #4 smoother, a #5 jack, or even a #8 ?
Would like various opinions and the reasons behind the selection.

Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences.

-- Cajun Don, Louisiana

6 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


10382 posts in 1603 days

#1 posted 500 days ago

A #7 or #8 jointer plane is typically the go to for edge dressing. The length of the plane allows it to keep a flat reference over a longer portion of the board where as a smaller plane may ride the ridges.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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2083 posts in 808 days

#2 posted 500 days ago

interesting, satisfying, and frustrating Totally agree with that sentiment.

Depends on the desired final result. For most applications, I would use the longest one in your arsenal that you can control on the width to help keep everything straight. I usually use my 608, but will also use a 606 on edges that are 3/4” wide or less because it is easier to control (don’t have a #7 size and not sure I need one). If there are multiple boards, then I clamp them all together and use the 608 to do multiple edges at one time. Your situation is different however—I do not have a power jointer, so the hand planes are used for all jointing.

If it is just to clean up milling marks on a final exposed surface then a smoother set to take very light shavings would be fine, just ask Paul Sellers—he can use a #4 for almost anything. Of course, he is far more talented and experienced than me.

-- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

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2439 posts in 948 days

#3 posted 500 days ago

#7 or #8 jointer plane will do the best job knocking off the high spots.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Don Broussard

1811 posts in 849 days

#4 posted 500 days ago

+1 on chrisstef’s recommendation. I have both a #7 and a #8C. For edge jointing, I use the 8 since it has a straight-edged iron, while the #7 has a cambered blade.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View sikrap's profile


988 posts in 1956 days

#5 posted 499 days ago

Assuming you got a straight edge, any plane will work. Most of us use a 7 or 8, but you need to be careful to keep the plane square. You can attach a fence to the side of a plane (Veritas makes a magnetic one) or you can look around for a Stanley 95. The 95 is a small plane designed especially for edge jointing, but it will only work on boards up to 3/4” thick. If you decide to use the tip from above about doing multiplr edges at once, make sure you have the edges that will be glued together next to each other. That way, it doesn’t matter if you put a slight bevel on the board.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

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2854 posts in 1084 days

#6 posted 499 days ago

A good sharp card scraper will get rid of the mill marks about as easily as a plane and won’t tend to dig in too much.
If it comes off the jointer or planer or a well tuned table saw everything should be parallel, plumb and true.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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