LumberJocks

Starting a hand plane collection... a question for fellow lumberjocks.

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by ArnH posted 02-16-2015 07:02 PM 1324 views 1 time favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ArnH's profile

ArnH

2 posts in 657 days


02-16-2015 07:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip plane

Hello lumberjocks!

I’m new to the forums but I’ve been reading various posts and project pages for a while now. I’ve recently been growing in my interest of woodworking with hand tools and last fall I found a Stanley Defiance smoother from WWII at an antique shop (It doesn’t have an adjustable frog or adjustment lever is just over 9” long and has a 2” wide iron). I’m looking to growing my collection and am not sure where to go next. I know I need a scrub/jack but I’m small in stature (5’4”) and have read in a few books that some of the larger planes are harder to manage. Is this true?

I suppose my main question is whether or not to buy a second iron and convert it to a scrub blade and just switch them out when needed, convert my defiance to a scrub plane and buy another smoother, or try my hand at finding a jack plane?

What are you thoughts? I appreciate any input!


14 replies so far

View ksSlim's profile

ksSlim

1204 posts in 2352 days


#1 posted 02-16-2015 08:57 PM

Both, 2 irons for the defiance and more planes.
Welcome to the slippery slope.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View exelectrician's profile

exelectrician

2327 posts in 1889 days


#2 posted 02-16-2015 11:03 PM

A Stanley Bailey No 5 smooth bottom plane should be you next plane….

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

3663 posts in 1727 days


#3 posted 02-17-2015 02:05 AM

You’ve been hit by the bug! Your now hooked and a plane junkie! Which do you need next, Hell man you need them all!!!

View MikeUT's profile

MikeUT

123 posts in 821 days


#4 posted 02-17-2015 03:37 AM

I’m with BurlyBob, the next one you need is the next one you can find for a decent price. I use jack planes most often so a no 5 would be a good choice. I have a 7 and a few 8’s and I prefer the heft of the 8’s. If you have a lot of work to do the size might become an issue but if you are close to flat it isn’t too bad. Once you get a big plane moving it is much easier to keep it going.

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

6565 posts in 1612 days


#5 posted 02-17-2015 03:44 AM

A jack would be a good plane to get next. You could also buy a jointer plane. If you are concerned about size, then a #6 would be a good jointer. That’s what I currently use, but I’ve got a #8 that needs restoring as well.

It’s my understanding that the defiance planes weren’t really that great, so maybe pick up a #4 and use that for smoothing, and just use your defiance for rough work.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View ArnH's profile

ArnH

2 posts in 657 days


#6 posted 02-17-2015 04:57 PM

Thanks guys for all of your input. I’ll keep an eye out for a #5. My wife hinted that she wants to get me a plane for our anniversary coming up so this will be fun.

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

6565 posts in 1612 days


#7 posted 02-17-2015 06:07 PM

Hell if it’s for an anniversary present, go all out and get a Lee Valley Low-Angle Jack.

http://www.leevalley.com/US/Wood/page.aspx?p=49708&cat=1,41182,52515

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View HarvMade2's profile

HarvMade2

9 posts in 653 days


#8 posted 02-22-2015 11:55 PM

ArnH,

I’m a small guy too. At 5’-6” and 135Lbs, I can relate. First, a brief history lesson in Stanley Hand Planes:

The Stanley hand planes from the early 1900’s are the best. Look for Stanley Bailey with one or more patent dates on the sole just in front of the rear handle. Stanley Bedrocks are very desirable too. Keep in mind Stanley made a lot of junk, so stick to the Bailey’s with one or more patent dates, or the Bedrocks. You can not go wrong with either one.

Also, a Stanley #4 and a #5 share the same size cutting iron. A Stanley #6 and #7 share the same size cutting iron. Knowing this will save you a lot of time, money and effort. There really is no reason to own numbers 1, 2, 3, or 8, unless you want to collect them. Anything smaller than a #4, you are better off using a Card Scraper.

Unless you plan on flattening boards by hand, you won’t need a scrub plane, #5, or #6.

A #4 is all you need to get started if you are using pre dimensioned lumber from the home center or lumber yard.

A #7 should be the second plane you purchase.

After that grow your collection as the need arises.

I built the step stool in my picture by hand. Hand cut dove tails and mortise and tenon joints. I only used a #4 and a Card scraper to smooth the surfaces. Learn to build the 90% of what you need/want/desire, with only 80% of the basic tools, and you will never regret learning how to use them properly. As a bonus, those 80% of tools fit in a tote about the size of what Roy Underhill carries around while the theme song to his TV show is playing.

-- HarvMade

View HarvMade2's profile

HarvMade2

9 posts in 653 days


#9 posted 02-22-2015 11:59 PM

ArnH,

I’m a small guy too. At 5’-6” and 135Lbs, I can relate. First, a brief history lesson in Stanley Hand Planes:

The Stanley hand planes from the early 1900’s are the best. Look for Stanley Bailey with one or more patent dates on the sole just in front of the rear handle. Stanley Bedrocks are very desirable too. Keep in mind Stanley made a lot of junk, so stick to the Bailey’s with one or more patent dates, or the Bedrocks. You can not go wrong with either one.

Also, a Stanley #4 and a #5 share the same size cutting iron. A Stanley #6 and #7 share the same size cutting iron. Knowing this will save you a lot of time, money and effort. There really is no reason to own numbers 1, 2, 3, or 8, unless you want to collect them. Anything smaller than a #4, you are better off using a Card Scraper.

Unless you plan on flattening boards by hand, you won’t need a scrub plane, #5, or #6.

A #4 is all you need to get started if you are using pre dimensioned lumber from the home center or lumber yard.

A #7 should be the second plane you purchase.

After that grow your collection as the need arises.

I built the step stool in my picture by hand. Hand cut dove tails and mortise and tenon joints. I only used a #4 and a Card scraper to smooth the surfaces. Learn to build the 90% of what you need/want/desire, with only 80% of the basic tools, and you will never regret learning how to use them properly. As a bonus, those 80% of tools fit in a tote about the size of what Roy Underhill carries around while the theme song to his TV show is playing.

-- HarvMade

View HarvMade2's profile

HarvMade2

9 posts in 653 days


#10 posted 02-23-2015 12:00 AM

Oops, I posted twice.

Sorry

-- HarvMade

View OxBaker's profile

OxBaker

11 posts in 652 days


#11 posted 02-25-2015 06:37 AM

Low angle block plane is a nice edition.

-- Tracer rounds work both ways, amigo.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2190 posts in 943 days


#12 posted 02-25-2015 04:04 PM

I think a good starter set would be these:

1. #4 or #4 1/2 (my preference).
2. #6,
3. Low angle block plane with adjustable mouth.

If you’re planning on doing without a jointer and planer then add:
4. A jointer
5. Scrub plane

P.S. You don’t need every plane from #1 -8 unless your collecting for the sake of collecting.

That old Defiant is such poor quality I wouldn’t even use it. I would either convert it to a scrub plane or scrap it.

If you’re going to get into the old Stanleys, make sure the sole is flat before you ever try to use it. This is extremely important. If you find a good one, consider upgrading the blade and cap iron. I have a Lee Valley set on a Record #4 and that combo is pretty sweet.

In my experience (especially with a #6 or bigger) that you should be prepared for the possibility of ALOT of work to get an old vintage plane working correctly. Not always, but often, the soles are not flat and not square to the sides (important if using for shooting). I’ve had a couple I just had to give up on because they needed to go to a machine shop to be put right.

If you’re doing much mortise and tenon work, you need a shoulder plane, and here I would really recommend leaving the vintage planes alone and buying a new modern one. I think LeeValley makes very nice shoulder planes.

My “go to” plane right now is a #6 Wood River. Tuned up correctly it gives me as good a surface as a smoother. I think its a very good quality for the price. I also have a Lie Nielsen LA Jack (VERY sweet) which I mainly use as a shooting plane and for endgrain.

In the end, for me, I gave up on the old planes and will just save up my money. Next up for me will probably be a LV filister plane and then a bronze Lie Nielsen smoother.

Good Luck!

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

14559 posts in 2145 days


#13 posted 02-25-2015 05:46 PM

Might need a place to store them, as well

This is a decent starter set of planes. From a #6 small jointer plane down to a few block planes. Most are older than I am. And, most will shave a piece of wood and leave a shaving you can see through. Other than the two scrub planes, they will throw out a lot of thick chips.

There was two distinct versions of the Stanley Defiance planes, I have had both. There was one model that the frog was cast as part of the base, there other was a Handyman version. I like the older one better.

Lately, I have been using Millers Falls brand of planes. Darn good planes, and just a might cheaper to buy on the FeeBay.

Had a WR #4 V3 for about a year. It would take see through shavings, but was a pita to keep adjusted. Nice thin shavings….takes FOREVER to smooth a panel.

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

View sikrap's profile

sikrap

1121 posts in 2821 days


#14 posted 02-28-2015 03:48 AM

Look for a decent #4 smoother and a low angle block, like the Stanley 60 1/2. You can buy a well tuned vintage Stanley for no more than $50 and a 60 1/2 will run $30-$40. I would recommend buying from established sellers around here like DonW, Bandit or a few others whose names escape me at the moment, rather than taking your chances on ebay. I also rehab and sell tools, so if you get desperate, you can even contact me :) If money isn’t an issue, the Lie Nielsen 60 1/2 is a fantastic plane, but it will run you about $150. Lee Valley also sells very high quality tools at much more reasonable prices, but the Lie Nielsens are copies of the old Stanleys and are guaranteed forever whereas the Lee Valleys are more innovative in design. The Lie Nielsens are also made here in the USA. Good Luck!!

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com