New to hand tools


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I have a shop that's pretty well outfitted with power tools, but only have a cheap flush trim saw in terms of hand tools. I'd like to get into them, and I primarily see myself using them to fine tune joints and fits off of my power tools. 

 

Seeing so many flea market finds on here and other forums, I thought I'd spend my Sunday at a couple local ones. My goal was to find a low angle block plane for end grain work, a #4 smoother, and a shoulder and/or rabbet plane for tuning tenons. I only found around six -- most of which were block planes in way too bad of shape and missing parts. There was one I skipped over that still haunts my thoughts. An old Stanley 78 in pretty good condition.

 

There's a larger flea market not too far from here but it's only open on Mondays. So I've pretty much given up on the used route.

 

Do you feel my plane selection is a good start for what I'd like to use them for or would you recommend something else?

 

As I understand it, there's a few price options. I can get a new Stanley low angle block plane for $80, a Veritas for $160, a LN for $175. A #4 smoother from Stanley $50, Veritas $210, $325 LN. The shoulder plane comes in at $90 for Stanley, $200 for Veritas & LN. 

 

Prices aren't much different between Veritas and LN, but there's quite a jump between them and Stanley. What do I get for the money, and do you think it's worth it in my scenario where I'll be using them as I've described? 

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I broke my vintage Stanley block plane a few years back so I bought a new Stanley to replace it, one of the good low angle new ones. Lasted about a year and it wasn't as good as the old one.

Bought a LV low angle block and it is awesome! Exceeds my expectations . Ease of adjustments is simple.

My Old Record rabbet plane does the job for me, don't know if they are available any more.

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I have an older Record 778 rabbet plane and it is really good. They are still in production and are called the Irwin Record rabbet (or rebate in the UK) plane. They are based upon the Stanley 78 which also is still in production.

You can get them from Amazon.

If you want a block plane or fRankly any bench planes and don't want to buy old or preused both the LV and LN planes are awesome. But also consider the Wood River planes too, cheaper to buy but great quality. They are also known as Quansheng planes and rebadged for Wood River.

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Then, if you're still interested in the older planes, there's always Ebay. I've been very lucky there, I picked up a #78 for $30 complete, and a 4 1/2 Stanley for $27...  I've found the best time to buy from Ebay is the middle of the week.

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Although I have found good user Stanley hand planes at tag and garage sales but it was hit or miss (mostly miss) and it took a long time to build up a few good ones. I found my best bet was ebay. You can find what you want relatively easily but will pay more than from a local sale. All of my planes are Stanley except for a Shopfox bull nose which converts to a chisel plane. With mostly minor cleanup, tuning and sharpening I couldn't be happier using them.

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... called the Irwin Record rabbet (or rebate in the UK) plane.

 

Interesting fact. The terms rabbet and rebate have the same derivation. Rabbet is the older term but both come from the French  rabattre meaning to beat back or beat down.

 

John

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I love old tools, but I'm surprised no one mentioned Wood River planes by Woodcraft. I don't own any, but they seem nice and well reviewed.

 

The M-WTCA has been a great resource for old tools for me. My local meet was just last weekend, and I picked up things like a Starrett 9" combination square for $9 and a Stanley 4 1/2 bench plane (in rusty shape) for $25. I'll have to give the plane some TLC, but it beats paying $325 + shipping and tax to Lie-Nielsen. 

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For a new hand plane user I would always recommend new not vintage.  I've heard many stores of folks getting frustrated with old tools and never learning the benefit of using an excellent hand tool that works perfectly right out of the box.

 

IMO, the WoodRiver planes are an excellent place to get started AND there is a big sale coming up.

 

miw

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I love old tools, but I'm surprised no one mentioned Wood River planes by Woodcraft. I don't own any, but they seem nice and well reviewed.

 

I bought a Woodriver # 5 as a starter because, with my experience, buying a more expensive one would be like buying a race car and driving it in a school zone. But I sharpened it the best I knew how and it gives me great wood....shavings every time I use it!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks all for the feedback. Due to the recommendations for the WoodRiver planes and it being my first experience with handtools, I've decided to go with them.  I've got to pull the trigger on something soon as I need a plane to roughly flatten the bottom of my roubo build slabs before running it through the planer. Marc used a #5 in his videos so I'm looking at the WoodRiver #5 as one of my first planes. I've got a shiny 10% off coupon for Woodcraft so I may head over this weekend and pickup a couple planes. Anyone have any experience with their low angle block plane for end grain work and their shoulder/rabbet planes? 

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Anyone have any experience with their low angle block plane for end grain work and their shoulder/rabbet planes? 

 

You need a shoulder plane or a rabbeting plane. The regular end grain block plane does not make a good job inside rabbets because the blade does not extend to the full width of the plane.

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Sorry -- that's what I meant. I'd like up to three planes to get started. The #5, a low angle block plain for end grain work, and a shoulder or rabbet plane for tenon & rabbet cleanup. Just wondering if anyone here can recommend the WoodRiver ones for those, or if the good experience stops at the bench planes.

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Check out the low angle rabbeting block plane from LN (1-60-1-2R-N).  This could fit the bill for both your shoulder and rabbet work.

 

The shoulder planes are fairly new at WC but I am sure the quality is fine.

 

I would stay away the Stanley line of shoulder planes, especially the non-sweetheart ones. 

 

miw

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