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Forum topic by WadeHolloway posted 361 days ago 1654 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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WadeHolloway

50 posts in 597 days


361 days ago

I really have two questions. I have almost finished a work bench. I started out building Chris Schwarz 175 Dollar work bench but really ran into a problem finding decent Yellow Pine. I accidently ran into a man that has a saw mill and he offered me some White Oak true 2×4’s for 3.00 a board foot. I got the top finally finished and it did not come out as flat as I had planned for it. I have been reading about how to hand plane a top flat and thought I would try it out. Everything I have read they usually talk about using a Jack Plane, Jointer Plane and a Smoothing Plane. So my quesiton is doing your really have to have all three plane or can you get by with just using a Jointer Plane. I have not bought any of the planes yet and spending a 1000 dollars on 3 planes kind of hurts my hip if you know what I mean. The other question I have is a LN plane really worth the extra money they cost or are you paying for the name. I can get a Wood Valley or a Veritas jointer plane for about 300 dollars or the LN for about 500 dollars so are they really that much better? Anyway thanks in advance for any advice.


18 replies so far

View bandit571's profile (online now)

bandit571

5400 posts in 1186 days


#1 posted 361 days ago

Of the three, the Jack plane can get the most work done.

A “common” Jack plane, vintage Stanley #5, would set your back hip “back” maybe $30 on ebay.

set the iron up with a cambered edge, and one can flatten a rough board fairly quickly. Have a barely cambered iron for it, and

You can use it as a small jointer on a board’s edges. If you only “dub” the iron’s corners, to remove any “tracks”

You now have a long bedded smooth plane.

As for myself, I have three jacks in the shop, each set up just a bit differently. Total cost for these three? less than $60 delivered, and tuned. Ymmv…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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Marty5965

158 posts in 448 days


#2 posted 361 days ago

I agree with bandit. You can adjust a Jack to smooth and you can joint with it if you are careful where you plane (being shorter than a jointer, it can follow the hills and valleys instead of leveling them out). As to your brand question, I have LN, Record, Stanley and a couple of others. They can all be “tuned” to perform well, but a LN or Veritas plane will require way less “tuning” than the others. I actually ended up flattening my slabs with a router, worked great, if a little noisy <g>.

-- Marty, Columbus, OH, learning every day....

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Tim

910 posts in 464 days


#3 posted 360 days ago

I agree with the above too, but the time to learn how to tune up a flea market find is significant. There is some investment in materials too not to mention the time and gas to find them. If its not something you would enjoy you would be better off buying from one of the members here that sell already cleaned and tuned up old planes. For a couple hundred bucks easy you could get all three planes. Also, while you can flatten a large top with a jack plane, its shorter length means it would take a lot more skill to do so. It all depends on how much flat matters to you. Don W and Sikrap (Dave) can both set you up with good planes. Contact them and see what they have unless you’re interested in doing the restore.

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RGtools

3258 posts in 1157 days


#4 posted 360 days ago

When I first flattened my bench I used a jack plane all the way and it worked, but the purchase of a jointer made this task a heck of a lot easier. I would not bother with a smoother on a bench.

If you are going to be doing a ton of handwork and investment in 3 planes is key:

Jack (or Fore), for cleaning up rough surfaces and hogging away wood quickly. Use a cambered blade
Jointer, for making things dead flat. Use a flat or very lightly cambered blade.
Smoother, for cleaning up small patches of tearout and removing plane tracks. Use a flat blade with “relaxed” corners.

You don’t need Stanley 1-8 to get the job done. These 3 planes will serve all of your stock prep and surfacing needs so they are worth the investment (compare them to a 12” power jointer/planer and you will feel better about the price). LN planes are the top of the line, but I have used and loved Veritas and WoodRiver as well, these are all sound investments that take very little fettling to get up and running. The main difference is in little details like how much play is in the depth adjustment knob, and how well the iron holds an edge over time…and so on.

For my money

I’d grab a vintage Stanley Jack in good condition (~$25) and put a good camber in the iron. (I have a pretty minty one you can PM me about if your interested). Jacks do rough work so I don’t see a lot of sense in buying a precision tool here.

For the jointer and smoother, I would go Clifton. I find rounded top planes to be more comfortable in use than the “Bedrock” style…but that is just me. Jointers and Smoothers both do a precise task and there fore the extra money for good machining is worth it (that and flattening a jointer’s sole is an odious task that should be avoided at all cost).

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

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StevieM

7 posts in 368 days


#5 posted 360 days ago

You can find decent stanley/bailey planes on ebay.

View WadeHolloway's profile

WadeHolloway

50 posts in 597 days


#6 posted 360 days ago

Thanks for all of the help and guidance it is really appreciated. Since I have never really set up a plane it sounds like it would be best to get one that is already set and ready to go and then as I learn more about them and how to set one up I could try the restore route. Man who would have thought that there so much to do with hand tools :) In the past my idea of hand tools were a hammer and a tape measure if you know what I mean.

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

1904 posts in 988 days


#7 posted 360 days ago

Wade, I recommend visiting the Hand Planes of Your Dreams thread. It’s pretty much the ongoing hangout for anything hand plane related. Any questions you have there will get plenty of expert answers. Show the restoration before and after is also worth a look.

-- Brian in Arlington, TX

View Don W's profile

Don W

13950 posts in 1070 days


#8 posted 360 days ago

The problem with buying hand planes (at least good ones) is once you find out how well hand planes work, you’ll want more. Now I know that the flea market and ebay finds can be cheap, and can be great, its hard to stop once you get started.

I agree with the above. Find a good #5. For this particular instance you could even just get away with an extra iron, one with a camber and one without. That will get you reasonably flat. Then when you find a jointer just go over it again.

Several good restore and tuning blogs around including mine I linked to.

Best of all, there is nothing like sliding a nice sharp plane across a piece of wood!!

-- There is nothing like the sound of a well tuned hand plane. - http://timetestedtools.wordpress.com (timetestedtools at hotmail dot c0m)

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Rick M.

3384 posts in 883 days


#9 posted 360 days ago

Since I have never really set up a plane it sounds like it would be best to get one that is already set and ready to go and then as I learn more about them and how to set one up I could try the restore route.

It’s not that complicated. Even $300 planes will need some tuning, just not as much.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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Tugboater78

927 posts in 695 days


#10 posted 360 days ago

I have maybe 125 dollars invested in my planes, have a #8,6,5,4,4,3 all but 1 required some tuneup, i learned how tp do that by reading many of the linked blogs above. I also bought a couple of chris shwarz vids about tuning handplanes which really were informative. Good luck, and like chris says in one vid, if you have more money than time, buy new. If you have more time than money one can have an old plane working as good or better than the new ones. (Roughly quoted). I have plenty of time but short on money myself.

-- Justin - the tugboat woodworker - " nothing changed me like the first shnick from a well sharpened, decent hand plane"

View WadeHolloway's profile

WadeHolloway

50 posts in 597 days


#11 posted 359 days ago

Brian it looks like we are neighbors, I live in Bridgeport, TX about 30 miles on the north side of Fort Worth.

Don thanks for the links and the advice. I was looking at some of your planes that you have on your site. I like the looks of that Jointer you have. We may have to talk about that one.

Tug- “like chris says in one vid, if you have more money than time, buy new. If you have more time than money one can have an old plane working as good or better than the new ones. (Roughly quoted). I have plenty of time but short on money myself.” Here lately I am short on time and short on money too. :)

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Tugboater78

927 posts in 695 days


#12 posted 359 days ago

I hear yah on that, time is rather short for me too but i always have more of it than the money.

-- Justin - the tugboat woodworker - " nothing changed me like the first shnick from a well sharpened, decent hand plane"

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BigRedKnothead

3571 posts in 485 days


#13 posted 359 days ago

Wade, i hear about wanting to buy one that’s ready to go. I bought nice, new planes to begin with. But once I learned my way around them, I love the vintage planes. It’s tough to ignore their value.
As far as flattening a benchtop, I would jump on DonW's #8 if you can swing it. Costs a little more to get one that restored nicely, but not near as much as an LN.
Same sort of plane I used to flatten my bench. Ohh that’s my $175 bench in the background. It was never really flat because I didn’t know how to wield a plane in those days;-)

-- Red -- “I ain't as good as I'm gonna get....but I'm better than I used to be."

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WadeHolloway

50 posts in 597 days


#14 posted 358 days ago

That is a nice looking bench you got now. I can see where this hand plane stuff can get real addictive real quick. But there are worse addictions to have, at least that is what I tell my wife anyway. :)

View bandit571's profile (online now)

bandit571

5400 posts in 1186 days


#15 posted 358 days ago

The Number 5 jack planes I was talking about

Three are the 14” long #5 size, and the the fourth one ( on the right) is at least 15” long, and is a #5-1/2 size. I do have a couple Jointer?Fore planes, too

A big&shiny #8c jointer, and a pair of #6 Fore planes. Part of a small family of planes i have

Took about a year, buying and selling planes, until i got a few I liked. Most ever paid? About $60 for one plane. That includes Shipping and handling from Ebay. Most were LESS than $20…..

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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