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Grizzly 6" Jointer (G0654) or Set of Hand Planes

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Forum topic by Mugsy posted 02-17-2015 05:48 PM 1942 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mugsy

46 posts in 796 days


02-17-2015 05:48 PM

Topic tags/keywords: planes jointer hand vs power

I have reached the point where I feel I need more precision to join and straighten boards in my hobby. I have looked at some forums and reviews on jointers/planers and had settled on the Green to start off. This is actually a couple hundred higher than I was initially going to spend, but I didn’t want to settle on a bench top version. After a lot of thinking (and a few prayers), today it hit me that I could get a nice set of Stanley hand planes for the same cost. I wanted to get the LJ’s opinions without starting a hand vs power tool war. :)

I’ll be using them to flatten, joint and…reduce thickness (is that the right term?).

Pros for Grizzly:
Time spent is much lower
Smaller learning curve
Not as much back pain from standing in my garage exerting manual effort

Pros for Hand Planes:
No sawdust (I’m asthmatic, and yes I wear a mask)
Experience with hand tools
Noise level
Space taken up in the “shop”

I was thinking of going with a block plane, jack plane and finishing plane if I got the hand tools. I have used one with pretty good results. It is a very old plane that belonged to my grandfather and is in dire need of tuning.

Thanks for your help! If there is any info that helps, just ask and I’ll be happy to give it.

-- Matt, San Antonio


32 replies so far

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7214 posts in 2840 days


#1 posted 02-17-2015 06:13 PM

A jointer is a whole lot less work, and is very effective. A jointer doesn’t really produce much dust….more like a neat pile of larger chips.

Jointing by hand might be fun once….

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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jmartel

6572 posts in 1614 days


#2 posted 02-17-2015 06:20 PM

Replace the block plane on your list with a jointer plane. A block plane won’t do anything for flattening or jointing boards.

With the Grizzly, you are limited in the width of a board you can flatten. With hand planes you are not.

However, as was said, it is a lot of manual labor to flatten boards. I currently don’t own a power jointer, so I’m restricted to just using hand planes. Usually I have to do this over a few days to spread it out.

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

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1145 days


#3 posted 02-17-2015 06:22 PM

It’s amazing how many times you will find a 6” jointer is to small for face jointing. They work great of edges as long as the bed is fairly long but are just to small for faces beyond face frame or rail and stile sized parts. I hardly use mine as it’s buried behind things and I have to dig it out and connect the dust collector hose every time I need it. Usually it’s just easier to hand joint the piece to close enough to true up with a bandsaw/tablesaw for edges and planner for faces.

Now if you could step up to a 8” or 12” jointer it becomes a lot more useful overall. I guess what I’m saying is unless you are strictly working on smaller projects you are going to need at least a couple hand planes anyways to deal with those pieces that don’t fit on a 6” jointer.

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pintodeluxe

4856 posts in 2277 days


#4 posted 02-17-2015 06:39 PM

It all comes down to the length of straight reference surface your tool gives you. A long hand plane might give you a 12” reference surface. A small power jointer will be 55-60” long.
To me there is no comparison. My jointer is 76” long and easily handles long boards.
Do I ever hand plane things? Sure. But I don’t mill all my rough stock with a hand plane.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View firefighterontheside's profile (online now)

firefighterontheside

13483 posts in 1321 days


#5 posted 02-17-2015 06:47 PM

I’ve had a 6” jointer for about 2 years. Now I don’t know how I got along without it. I rarely use anything wider than 6” that I need to have perfectly flat. Most stuff that I do is well served by the 6” jointer. As already said, there’s not much actual dust that’s made, but shavings. It does take up space and that’s the only drawback of mine, I wish I had more room for it. For me, planes are out of the question. I don’t have the time and no one wants to pay me hours to do something I can do in minutes.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

6572 posts in 1614 days


#6 posted 02-17-2015 06:52 PM


It all comes down to the length of straight reference surface your tool gives you. A long hand plane might give you a 12” reference surface. A small power jointer will be 55-60” long.
To me there is no comparison. My jointer is 76” long and easily handles long boards.
Do I ever hand plane things? Sure. But I don t mill all my rough stock with a hand plane.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

- pintodeluxe

To be fair, a #8 is 24” long, and a #7 is 22” long. So, not just 12”. But that is correct. That being said, the hand plane will still get it just as flat, it just requires a bit of effort.

I want to pick up a jointer, but no space or money at the moment. And I’m going to be waiting until I can get at least an 8”.

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

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4169 posts in 3206 days


#7 posted 02-17-2015 07:03 PM

well the hand plane will joint ANY size board.

I would go power, depending on what I was straigtening.
Squaring up table legs goes quick on the jointer.

The table top will need hand planes to level out.

I find the planer and jointer generate a lot more ‘Chips’ than fine dust, but my jointer is connected to the Dust collector with a fine filter bag, so I don’t wear a mask, except for sanding.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View daddywoofdawg's profile

daddywoofdawg

1010 posts in 1039 days


#8 posted 02-17-2015 08:31 PM

get you a couple used planes,tune them up,use them see if that’s the route you want to go;Some people love the Roy underhill style of woodworking, some say to hell with that I want to build.and save then hit auctions like the IRS auctions,flea bay doesn’t have the bargains they once did.

View Mugsy's profile

Mugsy

46 posts in 796 days


#9 posted 02-18-2015 04:40 AM

Wow! Thank you for all of the replies. I wasn’t able to log on earlier and reply.

Knotscott – I don’t know if that was intended to be humorous, but I did get a chuckle from the last line. And honestly, that thought crossed my mind.

Jmartel and Richard – I’ll look into the jointer plane as well. Most of the wood that I buy is around 5-1/2” wide. And the 8 or 12” planer would just be out of my range and space in the garage right now. I have built smaller projects so far (small book cases, end tables, a mirror) and a whole bunch of really small things like crosses and picture frames. I do wan to start on some bedroom furniture though.

Pintodeluxe and jmartel – the lumber I buy is surfaced. There is NO way I would use a hand plane on rough cut lumber. :)

Firefighterontheside – I think the time part is making me lean toward the Grizzly. Particularly since people have asked me if I would build things for them and they would pay me. Getting to be more than a hobby, which is great by me!

DrDirt – I may end up with both sooner than later. I have to say that I love the sound of a plane on a surface. I wear a mask at all times just because of my asthma. Even if it’s just one quick cut on the table saw.

Daddywoofdawg – first, kudos on the name! That may be a good way to go. I would be much more comfortable buying used hand tools than power tools. And that is just because I am not knowledgable enough about power tools to know what could be wrong with it or what to look for.

This is all of the stuff that I was hoping to get from the forum…a lot of ideas and pros and cons. I really appreciate all of the time y’all have taken! I am leaning toward the Grizzly still and that seems to be the majority opinion. I guess the safety, space and learning curve were the reasons hand planes jumped into my head.

-- Matt, San Antonio

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7174 posts in 2041 days


#10 posted 02-18-2015 01:20 PM

A Grizzly jointer, block plane and Jack plane and you’re good to go.

Maybe not all at once just a little at a time.

If you’re buying used and have questions please ask, we’ll help.

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3187 posts in 2241 days


#11 posted 02-18-2015 03:50 PM

I would add a low angle jointer plane to the mix. When working with end grain and busy grains, this is a blessing.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1145 days


#12 posted 02-18-2015 04:17 PM

Mugsy, While I wouldn’t buy a 6” jointer again it isn’t a bad place to start as long as your aware of it’s limited capacity on faces. I don’t use mine very often because it’s buried in a corner of my garage covered with lumber right now and the dust collector is on the other side of the garage. If it was setup in a spot where it didn’t take 20 minutes to dig out and setup I would probably use it a lot more than I do.

A 6” jointer will cover some of your needs but probably not all of them. Even a 12” one won’t cover all your needs just a lot more than a 6” jointer does. The question than becomes what do you do with the pieces that don’t fit on the jointer? I have found that using a block plane and jack plane to take the high spots off one face of the board so you can run it though a power planer isn’t that difficult or time consuming. You really don’t need to get the piece dead flat just flat enough that it registers on the planner bed than let the power planer do all the hard work. Your not making a finish ready surface here with hand tools rather just a reference surface to run on the planer bed than flip it over and clean up the other face. Because of this you don’t really need a plane longer than about a Jack unless you are working on giant slabs.

An alternative is to dimension, flatten and smooth it all with hand tools which is a lot of work but also very satisfying the first time you do it. After that it’s nice to keep the skills current from time to time but I’m not the kind of person who does it for everything I create. Some other people love it.

View Mugsy's profile

Mugsy

46 posts in 796 days


#13 posted 02-18-2015 04:54 PM

waho6o9 – thank you very much. I will definitely take you up on that.

Dbray45 – my list of hand tools grows! Thank you for the suggestion.

Richard – I really wish I could go with an 8” or 12” model. The extra $400 just isn’t in my budget. I actually went up to the $455 model from a bench top jointer I had initially planned on. After reading some reviews, I realized that just wouldn’t cut it so I decided to spend a little more so I’d be happy with it. I don’t think I have used many pieces that are > 6” so far. The lumber yard I go to seems to have a lot of 4-5” boards and I really don’t mind edge gluing to make larger panels. Eventually I plan on having a planer as well, so I know that will help.

I know price isn’t everything, but would you recommend a higher priced block and Jack plane to compliment the jointer – like the Stanley Sweetheart series? Or would something more economical suffice like the Bailey series? I am not glued to the idea of Stanley, but I have read good this about them. Or would you go the route hat daddywoofdawg suggested and try to find some good used planes?

Thanks again to everyone. This is definitely more information than I have gotten by looking at Google search results on the subject.

-- Matt, San Antonio

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

6572 posts in 1614 days


#14 posted 02-18-2015 05:04 PM

Don’t buy new Stanley hand planes. The quality is way way down. If you are going to buy new, the cheapest I would go is the Woodriver planes, but even then they will need a bit of work. Lie-Nielsen and Lee Valley planes are the ones to get if you are buying new, but that will easily go over your budget if you buy more than 2.

I would buy old used Stanleys older than WWII vintage, and tune them up. That’s what I did, and I only recently just bought a new Lee Valley smoother.

If buying new, these are what I’d get:

http://www.leevalley.com/US/Wood/page.aspx?p=52414&cat=1,41182,52515
http://www.leevalley.com/US/Wood/page.aspx?p=49708&cat=1,41182,52515

But, you’re over $500 at that point. Woodriver is the same price at these sizes, so you’re better off to just buy the ones from Lee Valley.

If buying used, you should get a #5 and a #7 or a #8. As was said, if you have a planer, you only need to get it flat enough.

For things like tabletops, though, you will need to learn how to use them to get it flat. And, if you don’t want to use sandpaper, then you will need a smoother in a #3 or #4 size as well.

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

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1145 days


#15 posted 02-18-2015 05:17 PM

Understandable. There are always ways around these problems they just take time. When time is money buying these bigger tools makes a lot of sense but when it’s for a hobby or just starting out you do what you can with what you have. The nice thing about woodworking is there is almost always a less expensive but more time consuming alternative to the big machines. Even something like a planer sled with a bunch of screws you adjust to make the board sit flat works if you are willing to spend the time to adjust all the screws right.

My go to planes are a old roughly WWIII era Stanley 60 1/2 block plane and a Lie-Nielsen Low Angle jack that recently pretty much replaced my Stanley antique Number 5. I love the size and shape of the 60 1/2 and find it a lot lighter and easier to use than most of the more modern block planes. Even the new Lie-Nielsen 60 1/2 weights considerably more than the antiques in my hands. The debate between low angle jack vs bevel down is a long one with no real right or wrong answer. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a good number 5 bevel down plane and I actually think bevel down planes with their higher center of gravity are easier to learn on than bevel up planes.

New I tend to stay away from the Stanley stuff as it seems a bit to hit and miss for my tastes. I would either go pre 1950’s Stanley (which can also be hit and miss I admit) or go with one of the higher end modern manufactures like Veritas or Lie-Nielsen. Woodriver is another brand I have had ok luck with (my first 2 “real” planes where Woodriver) but some others have had issues with those as well so I think they fall into the hit or miss category to.

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