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Forum topic by Joel_B posted 04-28-2015 06:59 PM 945 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Joel_B

294 posts in 849 days


04-28-2015 06:59 PM

I have a Baily #4 plane and have tried to use it to make some boards flat.
If I just plane across the whole board it doesn’t really make it flat.
If I check with a straight edge and just plane down the high spots I can get it close to flat.
Would a #7 plane be what I need for this?

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA


27 replies so far

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1837 days


#1 posted 04-28-2015 07:50 PM

Depends on how big the board is. #4 could work on a short board, maybe 12”, but longer than that I’d reach for a #5, or #7 if longer. I assume your #4 has been properly flatted and sharpened? For a long board with slight high/low spots, the #4 is too short and will just ride the profile of the board.

I flattened my 8’x2.5’ workbench with a #5 and #4, because I don’t have a 7/8. It probably took more time/attention to the high/low spots, but was doable. Would have been nice to have something longer.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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Richard H

489 posts in 1148 days


#2 posted 04-28-2015 08:06 PM

You can flatten a panel with a block plane if you are patient enough. Mark the high spots with a pencil and knock them down until they are level with the rest of the panel and check your progress often. Only do full strokes when the panel is mostly flat. A larger plane makes your life easier as the longer bed gives you more surface to reference off of but it’s not absolutely needed. With a short plane you have to plane high spots till they are level where with a longer plane you can mostly just plane across the panel. I say mostly because you still want to spot plane really big high spots even with a long plane or you will just end up riding over them.

For small furniture sized panels I like the number 5 myself. It’s long enough to flatten a 2X3 panel pretty easily but not so large it’s tiring to use. Even on edges less than 3-4 feet long I will use a jack plane as it’s usually sitting on my bench anyways. With a little practice you can get panels that are pretty flat this way easily. But than again I don’t obsess over super flat boards either except for where joints come together. If the top of a table isn’t perfectly flat and parallel with the bottom no one will ever know unless they take calipers to it. As long as it looks good and is not a reference surface for joinery I don’t worry about it.

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Joel_B

294 posts in 849 days


#3 posted 04-28-2015 10:01 PM

The #5 sounds like a good compromise.
Could I switch the blade and chipbreaker back and forth between the #4 and #5?

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

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bondogaposis

4037 posts in 1819 days


#4 posted 04-28-2015 10:33 PM


The #5 sounds like a good compromise.
Could I switch the blade and chipbreaker back and forth between the #4 and #5?

- Joel_B

Yes, if they are Stanley’s you can switch ‘em. Can’t speak about other brands.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

13738 posts in 2086 days


#5 posted 04-28-2015 10:47 PM



The #5 sounds like a good compromise.
Could I switch the blade and chipbreaker back and forth between the #4 and #5?

- Joel_B

You could, but why would you?

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

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Joel_B

294 posts in 849 days


#6 posted 04-29-2015 03:08 PM


The #5 sounds like a good compromise.
Could I switch the blade and chipbreaker back and forth between the #4 and #5?

- JoelB

You could, but why would you?

- SmittyCabinetshop

Because I bought my #4 off Ebay and the blade it came with was in bad shape and I replaced it with a Hock blade which is a much better blade anyway. If I buy a #5 it’s also going to be from Ebay. So I would like to use the Hock blade in both.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

13738 posts in 2086 days


#7 posted 04-29-2015 03:16 PM

Roughing in material with a stock iron is totally acceptable, just sayin’. Save the uber-sharpened Hock for smoother, where it needs to be / benefits you the most.

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

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1837 days


#8 posted 04-29-2015 03:29 PM

Joel, have you checked Craigslist and local pawn/antique shops?

Don_W has a #5 for sale, $25 plus shipping, needs restoration but looks good and he’s a good guy to deal with.
https://timetestedtools.wordpress.com/tools-for-sale-2/

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3565 days


#9 posted 04-29-2015 03:43 PM

You will still probably want to get a jointer plane if you are working with a lot of rough stock… #5 is still too short. A good use for a #5 is to camber the blade and use it for rough stock removal

#5 to remove stock, #7 or #8 to flatten and then a smoother 3,4, 4 1/2 to finish

+1 on Don being a stand up guy.

On blades, the pre-war stock blades are fine and should not need replacement unless they are pitted or otherwise in bad condition.

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

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3565 days


#10 posted 04-29-2015 03:45 PM

Oh and to get a reaction a #6 to keep your canoe from floating away in the lake…

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

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JayT

4786 posts in 1679 days


#11 posted 04-29-2015 04:11 PM

Joel, a lot of the answer to your question depends on the size of stock and projects you are working with. The longer the plane, the flatter you should be able to get a board, as you have a longer reference surface. What is flat enough, however? Paul Sellers, for instance, doesn’t use anything larger than a 5-1/2.

I totally agree with Smitty about getting the #5 for work with rough stock and leave the original iron. Use the Hock in the smoother where it’ll give you the most benefit.


Oh and to get a reaction a #6 to keep your canoe from floating away in the lake…

- WayneC

Ouch! If given the choice of only having a 6, 7 or 8, I would pick the #6 every time. It’s one of the three most used planes in my shop because it’s a nice size for most jointing and flattening tasks. As a bonus, you can usually find #6’s for about half the cost of a #7.

There’s your reaction, Wayne. Satisfied?

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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Joel_B

294 posts in 849 days


#12 posted 04-29-2015 05:02 PM

Never thought about saving the Hock for just smoothing, I think that makes sense.
I didn’t even know there was a #6.
Now I have to decide between 5, 6, 7.
The #6 seems the most intriguing.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

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Joel_B

294 posts in 849 days


#13 posted 04-29-2015 05:33 PM

Is it ok if a #6 has a corrugated sole?

Paul Seller’s seems to not like them:

http://paulsellers.com/2012/10/questions-answered-on-corrugated-soles/

Some of the nicer #6 planes for sale have the corrugated sole.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

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madts

1685 posts in 1807 days


#14 posted 04-29-2015 05:34 PM

Buy a Hock or Veritas Iron and then make you own plane. It is not that difficult and much more satisfying.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

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Joel_B

294 posts in 849 days


#15 posted 04-29-2015 05:41 PM


Buy a Hock or Veritas Iron and then make you own plane. It is not that difficult and much more satisfying.

- madts

I am sure it is. Already made my own router table and fence which took about 6 months working on it a little bit at a time and numerous jigs including a David Barron dovetail jig knock off. For now I am done making things to make things. I work full time and have other interests so I need concentrate on making end products.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

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