questions about shoulder plane

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Forum topic by Charlie posted 04-04-2013 05:05 PM 1686 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2520 days

04-04-2013 05:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

New to specialty planes so…. question…
Will a shoulder plane work (for example) to tweak a tenon AND the shoulder?

Will a Stanley 78 be a good first shoulder plane? I realize it appears to be primarily a rabbet plane, but would it be a good shoulder plane ?

If not, can you point me in a better direction?


9 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3882 days

#1 posted 04-04-2013 05:11 PM

The best shoulder plane for general truing of shoulders
for furniture making is the big 4 lb. style sold as
a “large shoulder plane” by Lie Nielsen and Lee
Valley. A rabbet plane doesn’t come close in
performance terms when working on shoulders.

Some people prefer smaller ones. It’s the mass of
the big ones that makes them so effective though.

Buy the right tool and cry once. You can resell
a L-N or Veritas plane for 90% of what you paid.

Tenon cheeks can be worked with a wide chisel
or a nice rasp or iwasaki file. Easier to do it this
way than with a plane in my opinion, plus the
chisel or file has other uses.

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 3186 days

#2 posted 04-04-2013 05:13 PM

Charlie, I do not own a shoulder plane. I don’t need one. I tweak tenons with either a LN rabbet block plane or a router plane. The only thing I do to shoulders is undercut them with a chisel to help the shoulder sit flush on the joint. I have never had to plane down a shoulder. If you cut everything correctly, you won’t need to.

Would a #78 make a good substitute? I don’t think so. I have one and never reached for it to perform that task. It might work, but I have other tools to use for trimming tenons instead of the #78.

-- Mike

View chrisstef's profile


17796 posts in 3241 days

#3 posted 04-04-2013 05:13 PM

Charlie a #92 would do a bit better of a job on tenon’s IMO. Its not to say that you couldnt use a 78 but its a bit big and kinda clunky for that kind of operation and wouldnt work really well on the shoulders.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2520 days

#4 posted 04-04-2013 05:18 PM

OK. thanks, guys. Up to now I’ve trimmed tenons for fit just using my chisels or my carving chisels. Don’t laugh, it’s been working. It’s just really really tedious and easy to mess up. Fortunately my chisels are so sharp they’ll cut you on Monday and you won’t know you’re bleeding until about Thursday. :)

I’ll keep looking. No rush. And I’ll have a look at buying new. The more stuff my wife sees coming OUT of the shop, the more willing she is to let me put stuff INTO it. :)

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3205 days

#5 posted 04-04-2013 06:42 PM

I do mine with my TS and chisels to rough them out, then finish up with a #92.
Don’t own a rabbit block yet, but it’s next on my list; right after I get my farm and home sold, and move to town, and build my new shop.

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3593 days

#6 posted 04-04-2013 07:53 PM

The 78 is a rabbet plane and won’t work very well for trimming tenons. If you have a rabbeting block plane, that would work okay, but a shoulder plane (Stanley 92/93/94) or the LV or LN would peform MUCH better. The biggest advantage a shoulder plane will give you is that the sides are machined to be EXACTLY 90 degrees to the sole. A router plane will work well for trimming the cheeks, but not so well on the shoulders.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3203 days

#7 posted 04-04-2013 09:07 PM

I have a Stanley #92 ebay special and love it. Looking out for a #93 to keep it company. The 92 does shoulders and cheeks very well.

View AandCstyle's profile


3184 posts in 2491 days

#8 posted 04-05-2013 12:11 AM

I am not really a hand tool guy, but I bought and love the Veritas medium shoulder plane. It came ready to use out of the box and it holds the edge great. I would buy another one in a heartbeat if something happened to this one.

-- Art

View Don W's profile

Don W

19034 posts in 2802 days

#9 posted 04-05-2013 12:39 AM

a #78 isn’t even a good rabbit plane. Go for the shoulder.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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