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Forum topic by HarveyDunn posted 267 days ago 1266 views 1 time favorited 69 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HarveyDunn

286 posts in 327 days


267 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: hand planes question plane milling

I’m a novice woodworker. I’m looking for a low-cost way to get a coarse, medium & fine hand plane for squaring up my boards and then perfecting the surface so I can do as little sanding as possible (I work in a spare room inside the house, so sawdust is a huge issue. Wispy shavings, not so much.)

I know the standard recommendation is to buy vintage Stanleys on eBay. My research tells me that I’d be happy with a #5 as my fore plane (i.e. my “coarse”), a #7 as my jointer (i.e. my “medium”), and a #3 or #4 as my smoother (i.e. my “fine”).

Unfortunately, eBay isn’t quite the bargain wonderland that I had hoped it would be. Those three planes would cost around $200 by the time shipping is included. And what will I actually find when the box arrives? Since I don’t have a well-equipped shop, if there is anything wrong with any of them that needs fixing, I’ll have to spend additional money on tools and supplies to get them up-to-scratch. And, to be honest: I’m not completely sure that I’d really know what I’m doing, no matter how many blog posts I read.

I did find a used tool dealer who said he could set me with all three in “good working order” for $250, which I thought was fair. The best he could say about the dates was they would all be pre-1970.

There is another option: a brand new WoodRiver No. 5 with three blades. One with a major camber for coarse, one with a minor camber for medium, and one with a slight camber for fine. Woodcraft is having a sale, so I can get it all for $180, delivered.

But I don’t own a grinding wheel, or any diamond, water or oil stones. I do have a piece of float glass and a cheap honing guide for “scary sharp”. Can I camber a blade with just that (and maybe a file?)

And input about any of these ideas, or any better ideas?

There was an article in FWW Jan/Feb ‘11 about using a LN 62 LA Jack with FOUR different blades – one was angled specifically for end grain and use with a shooting board. Total cost at current prices: $390. Out of my league, but it does make me wonder if I need to think about a four blade for the WoodRiver, or a fourth vintage plane if I decide to go that route.


69 replies so far

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Tedstor

1369 posts in 1229 days


#1 posted 267 days ago

Just to complicate things…...I’ll recommend you add a block plane to that list.

Google-Brass City Records and check out Walt’s tool selection. I’m thinking you could get everything you needed, including a block plane, for $200ish. And its a safe bet that the planes you recieve would need minimal tune-up. I’ve ordered several tools from BCR, and they’ve all been virtually ready-to-use upon delivery. Give Walt a call and tell him what your trying to do. He’ll hook you up.

Having one plane and various blades seems too fussy for me. And blades cost $30+ each, so the savings might not be overly significant compared to buying old Stanleys. I’m not the biggest hand tool user, so others might disagree, but I’m thinking you’d be better served with a smoother, jointer, and a block plane. And I feel you should buy the block plane first. I don’t personally deal with a lot of long boards, so I don’t even have a jointer. I get by with a jack plane.

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HarveyDunn

286 posts in 327 days


#2 posted 267 days ago

Thanks Tedstor. For which tasks do I need the block plane?

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Don W

14599 posts in 1164 days


#3 posted 267 days ago

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Tedstor

1369 posts in 1229 days


#4 posted 267 days ago

I use my block plane multiple times, on virtually every project. Cleaning-up joints mostly. Chamfering/shaping edges too. Pretty much anytime a larger plane would be impractical…..which is often.

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Tedstor

1369 posts in 1229 days


#5 posted 267 days ago

Don’s link sums it up well.

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WayneC

12246 posts in 2693 days


#6 posted 267 days ago

I do not like what your tool dealer offered you from both an age and a price perspective. Think you have not found the right dealer. If you like, I could start suggesting handplanes on ebay for you to consider.

You are looking for planes that are from about 1910 to 1940.

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

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chrisstef

10369 posts in 1602 days


#7 posted 267 days ago

You can certainly sharpen an iron with a guide and a pile of sandpaper but what I think you will be missing by not tuning up a plane by yourself is the inner working of the tool.

Until I totally took one apart, fussed with all the settings, and put it back together I couldn’t understand what made it work and more importantly, what made it not work. There isn’t a ton of moving parts inside and outside of a plane but there are enough that one errant miscalculation can lead to frustration.

If you would like, Id like you to spend your money elsewhere. You PM me where I can send it and ill ship you out a Millers Falls 14 jack plane (equivalent to a #5). Its been mostly derusted of the heavy stuff but does have a little surface rust on it from me not treating it right after its initial bath. Its in very good shape but does need the sole flattened, the iron sharpened, and the frog and chipbreaker dialed in. I can even post you a pic tonight if youd like.

We (LJ’s) will walk you through the restoration / refurb step by step if you need the help. We’re nothing but a bunch of enablers any way.

-- "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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WayneC

12246 posts in 2693 days


#8 posted 267 days ago

Here is a good example of a #3

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1925-1928-Stanley-Bailey-3-Wood-Plane-Type-13-Sweetheart-Blade-/310774911903?pt=US_Hand_Tools&hash=item485ba0d39f

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

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Don W

14599 posts in 1164 days


#9 posted 267 days ago

We’re nothing but a bunch of enablers any way.

Well said!!

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

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WayneC

12246 posts in 2693 days


#10 posted 267 days ago

Here is a #5 that would be a good restore candidate…

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Old-Bailey-Wood-Plane-No-5-Patd-Date-/121199350601?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c380b5349

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

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WayneC

12246 posts in 2693 days


#11 posted 267 days ago

Good example of a restore-able #4.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Stanley-Bailey-No-4-Wood-Plane-with-Patd-Dates-of-1902-and-1910-/350901680138?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item51b35eb80a

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

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WayneC

12246 posts in 2693 days


#12 posted 267 days ago

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WayneC

12246 posts in 2693 days


#13 posted 267 days ago

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WayneC

12246 posts in 2693 days


#14 posted 267 days ago

LOL. Done enabling

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

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JayT

2076 posts in 807 days


#15 posted 267 days ago

I put out this offer in the Handplanes of Your Dreams thread, but to reiterate, I have a very nice Millers Falls #9B smoother (same size as a Stanley #4) that is yours for the asking, just PM me an address. With that and chrisstef’s offer for a jack, you would be well on your way.

Edit: This one is tuned up and ready to go, so you would have something to compare the jack to as you worked it over.

-- "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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