|Forum topic by HarveyDunn||posted 129 days ago||1136 views||1 time favorited||69 replies|
129 days ago
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.