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Talk Me Into a Wooden Jointer Plane

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Forum topic by jonah posted 329 days ago 1267 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jonah

451 posts in 1923 days


329 days ago

I’ve been spending some time acquiring and rehabbing some old Stanley bench planes lately, and the only thing I’m missing is a Jointer. I’ve seen some decent-but-not-great prices on ebay, so I haven’t pulled the trigger yet. I have also seen some wooden jointer planes there, but I’ve never used a wooden plane before.

Basically, talk me into a (cheaper, I think) wooden jointer plane over a #7 or #8. I understand the wooden ones are much lighter. Any other benefits? Any major drawbacks? Are they harder to tune properly? More finicky?

What should I be looking for in a wooden jointer? For example, is this a good one? http://www.ebay.com/itm/221287013685

Thanks for any help.


20 replies so far

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JustJoe

1554 posts in 663 days


#1 posted 329 days ago

That’s not a wooden jointer plane, it’s a transitional plane – halfway between a woodie and a metal plane. It’s missing some pieces and the far-away shot doesn’t tell you anything about the condition or what faults it’s hiding.

I like the heft of metal, but if you’re looking for a reason to go with wood:
1. If the sole is worn out you can put a new one on.
2. If it’s too long for that spot on the shelf you can cut a couple inches off either end.
3. yea, that’s all I got. Like I said, I prefer metal.

Edit: Tuning means flat sole and tap the iron into just the right position and tightening the wedge. That’s it.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

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Don W

14824 posts in 1192 days


#2 posted 329 days ago

fellow LJ Rhett sells Nice Ash planes. There are several reviews here. I did one of his first. He’s made some minor modifications since then, but they were and are a well made wood bodied plane.

You can also make your own. There is even still time to join the Plane swap.

Like Joe mentioned, the one you linked to is a transitional. I find the transitionals a little finicky.

A few shop made jointers to ponder over
Click for details

http://lumberjocks.com/Mosquito/blog/37231

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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Mosquito

4591 posts in 917 days


#3 posted 329 days ago

I wasn’t sure if I’d like a wooden jointer either. Then I got one from my grandfather, and it was a joy to use. Decided to make my own (Don linked to it above) and it’s great. I love using it. I made shavings for about an hour and a half when I finished the plane, for no reason more than because I enjoyed it lol

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

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12strings

392 posts in 1009 days


#4 posted 328 days ago

Advantages of a wooden Jointer:
-easier to flatten the bottom than a metal plane, in fact over-all quicker tune-up compared to sanding and filing a bunch of metal.
-feels nice
-looks better
-less expensive

Disadvantages
-more difficult to adjust the depth of cut, until you practice a bit… (This is the biggest disadvantage, in my opinion…)
-The easier to flatten sole also means it will wear faster, and need flattening more often.

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

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JayT

2169 posts in 835 days


#5 posted 328 days ago

Nothing wrong with wooden planes, but I will throw a couple things to think about out there.

If all your other planes are metal and your bench is set at a good height for using them, then a wooden plane could throw you off a bit. Since the body of the plane is much thicker, it effectively raises your working height by that amount.

Is that a deal breaker? Not for me, but someone with back problems, for instance, might notice the difference and prefer to stick with all similar bodied planes.

Second thing is adjustments. A transitional will adjust much like your metal bodied planes, but if you go for a true woodie, such as Don’s or Mos’, then you will need to learn to make all adjustments with a mallet. Again not that hard to do or learn, but something to think about.

-- "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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jonah

451 posts in 1923 days


#6 posted 328 days ago

Thanks for the feedback. The ash planes look nice, but are way, way out of my price range. This is sort of a low cost project to tide me over until we move out of our present apartment. I got a pretty nice-but-rough Stanley #3, 4, 5, and 6 separately on ebay for peanuts (in some cases the shipping was more than the item itself). There’s no way I’d pay more than all those planes put together for a jointer.

The one I linked is out. Any others that I should look at?

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jonah

451 posts in 1923 days


#7 posted 328 days ago

I should add that it’s not possible for me to make a plane at the moment, due to my living situation (I’m not living near my shop at the moment and have no space for any quantity of tools here). That’s part of why I decided to finally look into adding a few hand planes to my repertoire.

View 12strings's profile (online now)

12strings

392 posts in 1009 days


#8 posted 328 days ago

I’ll have to say I lucked out and found a good old wooden jointer plane in really good condition at a local flea market… it was $28, I think…but I passed over quite a few others that were not in good shape…so you have to be picky, but if you’re like me, spending a lot of money was not an option, and old planes were the way to go. I’ve seen quite a few at local antique stores and flea markets that range between 20-30 dollars.

That’s another advantage to a wooden plane, you can find a wooden jointer for 20-30 bucks…but an old Stanley #7 or 8 will likely be 75-100, or more…no matter what condition it’s in.

So like you, I have a Stanley #5, #3, & block plane, but couldn’t find a cheap jointer plane, so I went wooden.

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

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jonah

451 posts in 1923 days


#9 posted 327 days ago

Would this transitional be a better example of what I should be looking for?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Giant-22-Inch-Bailey-Stanley-Transitional-Jointer-Plane-Made-in-USA-/271283345943

It seems to be complete. The price is a little higher than I’d like, but it does include free shipping.

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12260 posts in 2722 days


#10 posted 326 days ago

Personally, I’m not a transitional plane fan…. You should be able to find one of these in a local antique store in the $20-30 range. Look for one without cracks where the blade is close to the front of the mouth with the blade set to planing position.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/JAMES-REID-Aberdeen-22-Wooden-Jointer-Plane-Flat-Sole-Sharp-Cutter-/171135088309?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27d87236b5

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

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Jack Bott

3 posts in 326 days


#11 posted 326 days ago

A woodworking plane is a tool that is used by a carpenter to shape and smooth wood. Hand woodworking plane were first used in ancient times and they are just as precious to the craft of wood working today.

http://www.renaissanceorangeries.co.uk/

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woodenwarrior

131 posts in 819 days


#12 posted 326 days ago

I would suggest you rummage through antique shops and antique “malls” near you. I purchased my Stanley #8 for $30 and a #4 in mint condition from around 1920 that was still in the original box for $20. They’re out there.

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda

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jonah

451 posts in 1923 days


#13 posted 326 days ago

Popped over to a local antique mall-type-thing and saw a few jointers, but they were either a) way overpriced, b) missing an iron and/or wedge, or c) cracked all to hell. One was the trifecta of bad-ness. It was basically a block of hardwood with a handle and a slot in it.

I’ll keep looking, I suppose. I checked out that plane WayneC linked, and plan to take a stab at it.

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WayneC

12260 posts in 2722 days


#14 posted 325 days ago

There are a lot of them out there. Just need to look till you find a good one.

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

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jonah

451 posts in 1923 days


#15 posted 325 days ago

I just don’t want to have to spend a lot of time and money on whatever I find. I don’t mind doing a little lapping and tweaking – that’s what I’m doing with the old Stanleys I bought recently – but I just don’t want something that’s going to be even more of a project to get functional, especially since I know absolutely nothing about using wooden planes.

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