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Forum topic by MissouriOutdoors88 posted 10-24-2014 01:49 AM 1071 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MissouriOutdoors88

334 posts in 797 days


10-24-2014 01:49 AM

I’m looking for a decent hand plane. Something I can use, not just pretty to look at. I’m still new to all this and don’t really know what all the numbers represent (#4, 5, etc.). What would be a good one to look for to do everyday planing on a variety of hardnesses?

-- I'm an aspiring woodworker with a degree in Biology.


22 replies so far

View ontheroad's profile

ontheroad

5 posts in 1309 days


#1 posted 10-24-2014 02:50 AM

Well it really depends on what you want to be useing it for and making. The #5 is called the jack plane, the middle of the road jack of all. However I’m a hand tool only woodworker and the #4 is always on my bench. If you will be useing power tools a small block plane may be the most useful. Do not get a plane at the big blue or orange store or harbor freight. If you can find an old Stanley and rehab it you could save some money. You need a good plane and you need to learn how to sharpen it. As far as new planes LN and LV are great but I have a Woodriver from Woodcraft at half the price. ( made in China…. watch the hate mail come in). The sole was dead flat with my Starrett rule, the blade was thicker then a Hock blade and the back of the blade was almost dead flat, it took much less time to flatten than my Hock irons. That said I can’t wait to get a Lie Neilson #4. Both Lie Neilson an Lee Valley make quality tools ready to use out of the box, but the best tool is useless if you do not know how to sharpen it.

View MissouriOutdoors88's profile

MissouriOutdoors88

334 posts in 797 days


#2 posted 10-24-2014 03:03 AM

Yea I’d like to get an older one and restore it. They look cooler anyway! I would be using it to flatten out/even up some surfaces for eventual table tops.

-- I'm an aspiring woodworker with a degree in Biology.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

13712 posts in 2078 days


#3 posted 10-24-2014 03:11 AM

Sounds like you’re all about smoothing. For large surface areas, Stanley marketed a larger smoothing plane: the #4 1/2. Sounds like you want one of those. But first, consider a straight #4, pre-WWII. Learn about the Stanley line of reference here.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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MissouriOutdoors88

334 posts in 797 days


#4 posted 10-24-2014 03:13 AM

Yea smoothing I suppose. Taking enough off the tip to hide the dings and dents…

-- I'm an aspiring woodworker with a degree in Biology.

View Aussie's profile

Aussie

19 posts in 861 days


#5 posted 10-24-2014 07:53 AM

... and so the slippery slope begins. :o)

-- The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you've got it made.

View 12strings's profile

12strings

434 posts in 1844 days


#6 posted 10-24-2014 12:21 PM

Here’s a few things to think about if you’re a complete newbie.

1. Sharpening: if you can’t sharpen it, it won’t work properly. Before you worry about getting the highest grit possible of stones, or sand-paper…make sure you are actually sharpening all the way to the edge. A plane sharpened to a few-hundred grit on sandpaper will actually do some decent work. Polishing up past 1000, 4000, 8000 just gives you less resistance, a more glossy finish, and makes the edge last longer.

2. Length: size 3-4 are short for smoothing, 5 is medium for some smoothing and flattening, 6 is bigger for some flattening and jointing, 7-8 are large, for flattening and jointing large pieces. BUT…(very important to know): the ONLY difference is the size. If you get at #4 thinking it will be set up for finer work than a #5, you’ll be disappointing. It’s all about how you sharpen the iron and how you set it up to cut. Any plane can take both a fine cut and an aggressive cut.

3. For a first plane, a 4 or 5, or 4 1/2 is probably best.

4. When you first get your plane sharpened and ready to go, test out your sharpening, set-up, depth of cut, alignment, and planing technique on the edge of a scrap board. If you can’t bring a 3/4” edge flat and smooth, there’s no way you will be able to flatten a large table-top.

5. If you’re like most of us, the first time you try it, you will have the iron sticking out to far, or not sharp, or both, and the plane will just jam into the wood and stop dead. Don’t give up…start with the lightest cut you can while you’re learning.

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

17955 posts in 2027 days


#7 posted 10-24-2014 11:44 PM

look for a smoother. In a Stanley its a #3 or 4. A sargent its a #408 or 409, and Millers falls its a #8 or 9.

Here is some help in what to look for.

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

View sikrap's profile

sikrap

1121 posts in 2818 days


#8 posted 10-25-2014 01:21 AM

Assuming the “dents and dings” are not very deep, I would agree that you should look for a smoother. IMHO, a smoother is a “finishing” plane and planing down to get rid of major dents/dings is gonna take a while with a smoother.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View lateralus819's profile

lateralus819

2236 posts in 1349 days


#9 posted 10-25-2014 01:28 AM

I will say it’s tough in the beginning knowing what “Sharp” is.

I remember my first #5 i bought. Trying to plane some maple, i just KNEW it was sharp enough but clearly it wasnt! ;)

Now i can plane almost any wood.

Get a 1000/5000 water stone $30 and a $15 honing guide you should be good.

I have a #4 and #5 if you’re interested.

View MissouriOutdoors88's profile

MissouriOutdoors88

334 posts in 797 days


#10 posted 10-25-2014 01:34 AM

Kevin can I see a pic of them?

-- I'm an aspiring woodworker with a degree in Biology.

View lateralus819's profile

lateralus819

2236 posts in 1349 days


#11 posted 10-25-2014 01:40 AM

The #4 is quite nice, I’ll even sharpen them for you.

The #5 is a millers falls, little bit lower end, but i tell ya it served me fine as a learning plane.

Pay me shipping and you can have em. I’m not using them and would like to see them get used.

View Loren's profile

Loren

8294 posts in 3107 days


#12 posted 10-25-2014 03:23 AM

Man, that’s cool Kevin.

View sikrap's profile

sikrap

1121 posts in 2818 days


#13 posted 10-25-2014 03:26 AM



Man, that s cool Kevin.

- Loren

Very cool. A MF 14 (Stanley #5 size) is one of my favorites.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View MissouriOutdoors88's profile

MissouriOutdoors88

334 posts in 797 days


#14 posted 10-25-2014 03:33 AM

I’d really like to see a pic. Now, I’ve sharpened Knives on stones using mineral oil but never paid much attention to the number. Can you use the same practice with plane blades?

You guys have once again proven to be the most amazing resource on the internet, especially for a newbie like myself. I learn more and more every day. It’s a little overwhelming, but I enjoy the learning process.

As for some of my boards, they have some pretty rough old sawmill marks in them. I’m torn between pursuing a 4 or 5 still at this point. I’ll read back over some of the responses.

-- I'm an aspiring woodworker with a degree in Biology.

View lateralus819's profile

lateralus819

2236 posts in 1349 days


#15 posted 10-25-2014 03:37 AM

If they’re pretty flat and straight, no warp or twist a #4 will work.

If they have any sort of that a #5 will be needed.

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