Hand planes and the cost


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Nice.

 

And these results would have been commonplace with professionals and reasonably accomplished amateurs of the day.  The amount of quality woodworking and carpentry/joinery done with these planes is inestimable.

 

For under $250 one can get a jointer, jack, and smoother -- everything needed to bring boards to a state ready for furnituremaking.  You don't need two of each (unless you have shop help), all you need are one of each and you're good to go.

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Let's all remember that for some (many?), the price point of entry can make or break the decision to take up this fine craft. If someone wants to plane a board, and doesn't have the funds to drop on L

Wow, that got outta hand real quick. Carus, did you say "pissing", dude you were fired up . Nice to see log getting a mention too!   You know this is a tricky tightrope to walk, the crosswinds that

Reading this thread reminds me of why I reduced my participation in forums over the past few years.    My own experience lead me to brands like Lie-Nielsen and I've happily stayed there. I started

I've planed hickory and it wasn't a problem.  If you were under the impression that you had to go boutique to plane hickory you were duped.

 

Do you think nobody every planed hickory successfully until Lie Nielsen came along?  It's absurd on its face.

 

There isn't a cabinetmaking wood in the world that has not been planed successfully with Stanley/Record and earlier planes.  This goes for tropicals, everything you'd find in Australia and New Zealand, etc.

 

Visits to museums with decorative arts collections need to be in your very near future.  You need a serious, and I mean serious, reality check.

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Kind of humorous. I don't care how fine a shaving you can take. This is not a shaving competition. How can your BD do with Hickory? My LN BU planes Hickory against the grain. Like the advertisement, it is a large format block plane. Cannot seem to source a vintage. Nothing to do with flashy, all to do with function. Function makes this an apples oranges discussion. All this to say smoother to smoother may be a flash issue, but lumping all of a manufacturers planes into this single discussion is foolish.

 

Well, Stanley made a #62, BU, problem is they are generally collector's items.  But I was making reference to the performance of a comparable LN/LV plane to that of a well tuned Stanley, and a bevel up plane, a you correctly point out, is quite a different animal.  But a BU jack or smoother is not the only plane you can use to successfully smooth hickory.  Adapting standard BD bench planes to function in difficult grain is a question of iron preparation, combining bevel angle and microbevel, along with a careful, extreme forward placement of the chipbreaker; an adaptation that literally takes a few minutes.  It can and has been done successfully for a long time. You can also use a toothed iron followed by a card scraper for even more difficult grain.  And I would continue to suggest that in the end it always comes down to shavings, which in turn produce the surface we all lust for.

 

That being said, I have a LV BU jack, precisely because I couldn't get a vintage one reasonably (actually new is cheaper than vintage in this particular case) and it can be wondrous in certain situations, such as stringy hickory, which is not my choice of wood for the work I do, predominately furniture (too unstable for my taste).  But it is certainly not the plane for all types of smoothing, and it is my shop experience that you certainly don't have to have one to handle difficult grain.

 

YMMV

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Read the original post.

 

Money is relevant, it's the whole point of the gentleman's post -- is quality accessible for less than several hundred dollars per plane.  It absolutely is, history makes it painfully obvious that woodworking was done well, well before Lie-Nielsen and the tools used to do it are available for less than several hundred dollars per.  It's just that simple.  Arguing with history, especially one with as rich a history as woodworking, is a fool's errand.

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I don't have any old planes right now, as I sold them so I could make woodies. However planing against the grain is easy even with an old plane, assuming it's set up properly.

1. The chip breaker has to be set really close to the edge

2. The mouth has to be closed down (this is what makes it seem easier in the new BU planes)

3. a back bevel may or may not be needed depending on how gnarly the grain is.

old vs new comes down to how you want to pay for your high end tool, either you pay someone else to do the work, or you do the work (assuming you have all the tools needed).

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I don't have any old planes right now, as I sold them so I could make woodies. However planing against the grain is easy even with an old plane, assuming it's set up properly.

1. The chip breaker has to be set really close to the edge

2. The mouth has to be closed down (this is what makes it seem easier in the new BU planes)

3. a back bevel may or may not be needed depending on how gnarly the grain is.

old vs new comes down to how you want to pay for your high end tool, either you pay someone else to do the work, or you do the work (assuming you have all the tools needed).

 

Yep, some old hands have been saying this for years.  Graham Blackburn comes immediately to mind.

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Deals can be still found to get started.  I bought all my bench planes for $115 CDN and the guy threw in the sweetheart marking guage.  They all needed a bit of TLC to get them up and running but I get good use out of them.  In hindsight, I use the #6 and #3 the least and could do without them.  In all I got a block plane, a 3,4,5,6,7, and the marking guage.

 

DSC_4541.jpg

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Crown tenon saw, 1980s Marples Blue Chip chisels, Spear and Jackson coping saw, Record hand planes, no problem:

 

https://picasaweb.google.com/108023499017467061609/October22014?authkey=Gv1sRgCPmh1eio-7elaw

 

Click the photo once it opens for an enlarged image.

 

Everything that you see in this photo was completely hand wrought from rough lumber other than the drawer pull which was turned on a 1970s era Delta Homecraft lathe using an old set of Great Neck high carbon steel turning tools (ten bucks! and they get wicked sharp); mortise and tenon and dovetail joinery, the side rail a haunched mortise and tenon.

 

I actually think I used a No. 06 for everything though I have a couple different cutters with different profiles for it.  I might have taken a nip and tuck here and there with an 04 but not much at all.  I plan project finished thicknesses around the roughsawn lumber.  4/4 will usually come as bare 4/4 or full 4/4.  If full, I try to move finished thicknesses to 7/8ths to avoid having to hog off a whole lot of material.  If 4/4 bare then 3/4" if it will work aesthetically.  This is how you design and plan to not have to kill yourself unnecessarily and to save time at the milling stage.  Sometimes it can't be avoided but you do whenever you can.  You also start with enough raw material so that you can lay out parts and not cause yourself undue trouble later by trying to salvage warped boards for long parts and things like that.

 

I promise that I didn't wail and cry and wish for 'better' tools at any point during the build.  I did wish I were twenty years younger but I wish that a lot anyway. :o

 

The table building strategy is from Will Neptune's article in FW "How to Engineer a Table with Drawers."  Unparalleled.

 

Including the lathe and every single hand tool used in this project represents an investment of about $300, squares, gauges, the whole bit.

 

To the OP:  you can work wood without spending a fortune on tools.  Wood, however, is another matter.  Better save some money for it.  Don't fill your shop up with expensive fine tools and then only be able to afford to build with lumberyard pine.  People see your finished projects, not your tools.

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 Let's face it, 90% of the battle of planes, saws, chisels etc is sharp.

 

That's so true it needs saying again.

 

The most important tools for a beginner to master is a sharpening system. Otherwise even the swankiest tools will perform poorly.

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I am looking into getting a couple hand planes for jointing, smoothing and flattening.

I am debating if the cost of 3 planes for just getting a used jointer and planer ....

Do get nice quality without spending $500 a plane ... Is that even possible? If I go with the cheaper plane will the quality be crap and not worth the hassle?

If it's worth looking into ... What brands/models should I be looking into to start with that will keep me happy?

 

If you prefer new planes rather than used Stanley or Record stuff I'd strongly suggest E.C. Emmerich planes.  They're wooden.  If the soles are a little out of true you can sand them flat.  They come at several price points depending on the adjustment mechanism and whether they have an adjustable mouth or not.

 

Here's a link to the Emmerich catalog:

 

http://ecemmerich.com/

 

They've been around forever (since 1852) and the quality doesn't seem to have wavered a bit.  I have a friend who uses them almost exclusively and thinks iron bench planes are idiotic.  He's probably right.

 

Wooden planes can be kept in fettle with woodworking skills and tools rather than machinist's tools, surface plates, etc.  There is certainly something to be said for this and it's hard to argue with history:

 

This was made in the mid-1700s:

 

http://www.ronaldphillipsantiques.com/GEORGE-MAHOGANY-CHEST-DRAWERS-DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=6&tabindex=5&OBJECTID=427627

 

This doesn't appear to me to be work done by craftsmen hampered by their tools, rather it looks like work done by craftsmen totally at one with their kit.  Maybe that's the real issue?  Get reasonably decent tools and then learn how to use them ---- ahhhsooo you say, lot harder to do that than it is to be on a constant comparison shopping spree, which of course is true.

 

Maybe my outlook will change when I start knocking out exquisite Georgian reproductions on a commercially viable basis.  Lucifer, is it getting cold down there yet?

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I am looking into getting a couple hand planes for jointing, smoothing and flattening.

I am debating if the cost of 3 planes for just getting a used jointer and planer ....

Do get nice quality without spending $500 a plane ... Is that even possible? If I go with the cheaper plane will the quality be crap and not worth the hassle?

If it's worth looking into ... What brands/models should I be looking into to start with that will keep me happy?

 

This is really more straight forward since you are just starting out with handplanes - begin with what is freely available, inexpensive, and reliable. Stanley offers a lot here. I'd get a #3 or 4 for smoothing (depending on what size you feel more comfortable with), a #5 jack plane for roughing out (ensure that you use a blade with something in the region of an 8" camber), and a #7 jointer. These planes are relatively cheap, and I have little doubt that you could put together a working set for under $200 the lot. Do not purchase any planes that are rusty or need anything more than mild tuning. I would not purchase expensive handplanes at your stage - you will appreciate them all the better later when you have sufficient experience, if you decide they are a desired step up.

 

Decide what you will use to sharpen the blades - a sharp blade is more important than the plane itself. If you really want to keep down costs, then look at this: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/WoodworkTechniques/The%2010%20Cent%20Sharpening%20System.html

 

Rarely do tools make a woodworker. I have watched woodworkers in Bali carving intricate designs with homemade chisels and sharpening on just the single oilstone, using the ground for a bench and a leg hooked over the work piece for a clamp. At the same time, I have held a smoother by Karl Holtey or Konrad Sauer (no, not mine) and marvelled at the workmanship, imagining how much pleasure it would be to use this in building a piece of furniture. I could not work to the level of the Bali carvers using their tools, and the Sauer smoother will stutter and fail if the blade is dull. One must not equate quality of tools alone with quality of woodwork. 

Is vintage cast steel better than modern PM steel? It all depends. It depends on what wood you work (how abrasive it is). It depends on what you use to hone your blades. Vintage steels look great to those using only oilstones, who would hate resistant steels like HSS. PM steel is fantastic for those working hard, abrasive woods. 

Is a vintage Stanley outclassed by a modern Sauer? It all depends. There is little doubt that the Sauer will be better finished and easier to adjust. Sometimes the advantages of quality are not apparent, and may never become so when the circumstances do not permit them. Which plane works best depends on the wood you are working (straight grained vs interlocked) and your experience in working with it, plus your knowledge and experience in getting the best out of each. For example, I have a Marcou smoother that planes anything and everything thrown at it. At the same time I am capable of setting a chip breaker on a Stanley to do the same. And this does not mean that I use the Marcou a lot. Or that I prefer a Stanley. 

Regards from Perth

Derek

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I  agree that to start out getting a smoother (#3 or 4) and fore plane (#5) and a jointer (#7) is the way to start without spending a fortune.  A block plane is also handy and not too pricey.  

 

There are a lot of sites that will give you instructions on refurbishing old planes, and probably more on different methods of sharpening.  Pick a method that catches your fancy and go from there.  

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There's nothing I like more than having to clean up a post on a saturday morning. :) Just a reminder that if you can't express your opinion in a way that doesn't set others on edge by insulting them, you will be moderated and eventually asked to leave.

I feel kinda special that Marc posted in a thread I made. Even if it was to do his favorite thing on Saturday mornings :)

Kinda like Christmas haha

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I feel kinda special that Marc posted in a thread I made. Even if it was to do his favorite thing on Saturday mornings :)

Kinda like Christmas haha

 

After seeing your question over on the power tool forum about diagnosing a runout problem on your Tormek I feel kind of stupid trying to help you find a low cost entre' into hand tool woodworking.  You almost have more invested in a grinder than I do my entire kit of hand tools.   I think we're on a completely different trajectory.  You have a Tormek but no planer, jointer or their hand tool equivalents?  I'm a little confused I don't mind saying.

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