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Yodiebuzz

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I'm just getting into woodworking after spending the last 15 years wishing I would since my high school shop classes.

I have decided I want to do this by hand tools only, my career has me on the road a lot and is extremely stressful. Working by hand in the shop is my time to just be and blow off steam.

I will mainly be building smaller projects, living room end tables probably being the largest project for the foreseeable future, jewelry cabinet for the wife to follow.

I currently have very little in the way of hand tools, but enough to putz around and see that this is something I want to dive in head first with.

As far as chisels, saws, measuring, marking, layout, sharpening, I'm set, either with what I have or comfortable enough to know what I need to get.

Then comes my bench planes... Currently I have a pre WWII era Stanley #4, while it does work kind of, it has shown me more what I don't want in a plane, namely to restore them, just not my thing, I work around nasty, rusty steel and iron for a living.

So, I have decided I want to purchase new, I started with a LV LA block plane that I now adore.

I have two trains of thought I would like some advice on...

I have done plenty of research on BU vs BD, I know the pros and cons as much as I can without actually buying and using each.

I am currently looking at possibly picking up the LV Bevel up smoother, jack and jointer.... Extra irons are no issue to get.

I do really like the Veritas Custom Line of planes and have been considering that route as well. I would be looking at the 4,5.5, and 7 there.

My dilemma falls in that with the other tools I need to pick up for myself ( Using a nice chunk of a well deserved bonus check) I will only be able to realistically get one plane at this time.

Maybe could swing two if I put off buying the Router plane, but I already have had and do have a need for it.

Do I go with the Jack size for only one? Jointer size more useful in the long run?

And is there enough actual quantifiable amount of added versatility to the LAJ over the BD custom?

Sorry so long winded, I've been stewing on this for a while now.

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You will get all sorts of responses that will not really settle anything. Lee Valley makes great planes, either type (bevel up or bevel down) will work great if sharp.  Unless you have a way to try out the planes, I'd suggest putting the two  names on a couple of pieces of paper, put the paper in a hat, close your eyes and pick one.  The only other advice I have is that the 7 will probably be the least used of the ones you listed. 

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If all your pieces are relative short (< 3') I'd say you can probably get by for now without a Jointer. Your jack plane will work well enough until you have the rest of your planes. The LAJ's benefits over an equivalent #5 or #5.5 is that it really shines as a shooting plane, and it's somewhat better for working end-grain (there is disagreement on that). It's also significantly cheaper ($245 LAJ, $325 LN #5, $375 LN #5.5). The price alone may be a deciding factor.

If you are planning to get the full set, I'd say skip the LAJ. It's essentially a jack plane that can stretch a little further than a traditional #5, but that only matters if you don't have the proper dedicated planes. For reference: I use my Stanley #5 with a pretty good camber as effectively a large scrub plane, and my LAJ as a jointer and smoother.

That #4 is likely to end up as your most used plane, so plan to upgrade if you have frustrations with your current model.

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The fact that it seems to be universally respected as a good shooter plane is one of the heavy factors in my decision making right now, even if I get it and don't want to finish out my set with BU planes, I will still have a great shooting plane.

I guess I know where I am truly headed before its over... BU smooth, Jack and Jointer AND #4, 5 1\2, and 7 Custom Veritas.

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I can't imagine why you'd need a full set each of BU and BD bench planes.  You'd be better off putting the money for one or the other into rabbet, plow, and router. 

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I can't imagine why you'd need a full set each of BU and BD bench planes.  You'd be better off putting the money for one or the other into rabbet, plow, and router. 

Well, that's true, I guess I'm a wishful thinker looking long term.

You are right though, joinery planes would be a better way to go. Router plane is already en route to my mailbox though.

Plough planes admittedly I have no knowledge of or why I would want/need one, I will research this.

As far as rabbet planes, I'm kind of stuck between getting a nice wooden moving fillister or the LV skew rabbet, also need some more research time there.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk

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23 minutes ago, Yodiebuzz said:

Plough planes admittedly I have no knowledge of or why I would want/need one, I will research this.

If you ever plan to do frame-and-panel, you'll want a plow plane. They are also useful for running dados or grooves near the edges of boards. 

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A rabbet and groove is a common and easy hand tool joint to pull off.  Holding the bottom on a box, for example.  My rabbet (Stanley 78) and plow (Sargent clone of Stanley 45) are vintage but I'd love to upgrade to the LV models.  You'll enjoy the LV router, I use mine all the time. 

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What your thoughts on the LV Small Plow Plane... If I got there complete plow kit with all the blades and bead and wide and t&g blades and stuff, would I still need a rabbet plane right off or could I push that plow plane into rabbet work if needed?

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10 hours ago, Yodiebuzz said:

What your thoughts on the LV Small Plow Plane..

It's the only LV plane I've wanted to buy (my preference is to LN planes). Felt good in my giant hands, and does a good job. I skipped it because I have a fantastic Stanley #45 with almost all of the blades. Side by side, the Stanley is a better tool. Not as sexy, but far more versatile. Costs less too...

 

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It is fun to shop for and purchase new tools, isn't it? I can spend hours, if not days, browsing and dreaming....

If I may make a slightly different suggestion, I suggest not purchasing any new hand tool until you have a project that can only be built using that tool. E.g., don't buy it until you absolutely need it. My thinking is twofold: first, you're doing this for you, not for a customer, so there's no time crunch. Second, there are at least two ways to do anything in woodworking, and part of the fun is learning alternative/ creative/ sneaky ways to do something with an incomplete kit.

Build a small prototype box using your handplanes and chisels. You can cut grooves, dadoes, and rabbets using chisels. You'll get a ton of experience AND learn a lot along the way. To me, that's worth more than the dollars plonked down for a new plane. I think you'll find that doing things that way will help you be a better woodworker, and give you a better feeling for which new tools are good additions to your kit.

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Don't listen to ClassAct's heretical "don't buy tools until you need them" approach.  If we only buy tools when we need them, how will Lee Valley and Lie Nielsen stay in business? Ebay will suffer!  We'll have to close the Marketplace on this forum.  Egads, ClassAct, what are you thinking?  LOL!

I actually agree to an extent with ClassAct.  You really need to spend some time woodworking before you extend your collection of tools.  You'll refine your style, approache, etc and then buy tools based on that reality.  On the other hand, if you run across a great sale on a tool you will probably use at some point - shoulder plane, router plane, etc - then go for it!  A larger collection of tools expands your capabilities.  

Just my .02

No offense intended ClassAct :)  

 

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I get the not going overboard with tools until I need them, and that is sort of where I am at. I have designed a simple end/side table that my wife is happy with for our living room. There will ultimately need to be 4 of these, I am starting with one for a proof of concept. My no.4 Stanley has had the last laugh with me, the sole is warped beyond what I care to attempt to fix, it has been sent down the road, leaving me with only the LV LA block.

These table with feature mortise and tenons, rabbetts, dovetails and basic jointing for lamination. I know I could cut the rabbet with saw and chisel and smooth the bottom with my about to arrive router plane, but I was thinking if the plow plane could cut rabbets too it might help me make then nicer plus I have so!e other uses not related to these tables that need accurate grooves cut.

Right now I'm looking at ending up with the LAJ, Router plane, small plow kit, and LA block, plus some new sharpening gear to get me away from my 2" wide stones.

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Yodie, it looks like you have a handle on where to start.  Once you get into the project you'll figure out what you can and can't live with for tables 2-4 and your other projects.  Why not start a post in the project journal section and upload pics and updates so we can see your progress!  You'll get a lot of great input and advice!

BTW, one great step to take, if you haven't already, is to make some simple jigs and fixtures. I am working through Mike Pekovich's recent FWW article as it was time to upgrade mine and I like the simplicity of his.  Just a thought.

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If you want to save money, I'd get a Stanley 78 on ebay for rabbets.  It won't do crossgrain as well as the LV but will be just fine otherwise.  They are plentiful and inexpensive, just be sure to get one that has all the parts.  Then, even if you want a new plow, you can probably skip the extra blades until you determine you need them.  Or wait for the large plow, supposedly it'll fit vintage irons so that'll be another way to save money. 

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It sounds like you have a good handle on what kind of woodworking you want to do and getting the tools you want is important. Buying and using tools is part of enjoyment that we all get out of woodworking. For most of us, this is a hobby, so it's important to get what you want. However, I would skip the custom planes, this added cost limits the number of tools you could buy. 

If you asked me this question a year ago I would have advised against the LAJ and told you just to go with a smoother and jointer instead. Honestly, I find myself using my LAJ quite a bit more than I thought I would, even after adding a smoother and a jointer. It comes in very handy when doing all your work by hand. 

Good luck!

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I think that's the route I'm going, I'm extremely grateful this year, they have recognized the work I've put in to my job and compensated me as such, looks like I'll be picking up the LAJ and BUS along with my plow plane w/kit and router plane. The fun is about to begin.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk

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43 minutes ago, Yodiebuzz said:

I think that's the route I'm going, I'm extremely grateful this year, they have recognized the work I've put in to my job and compensated me as such, looks like I'll be picking up the LAJ and BUS along with my plow plane w/kit and router plane. The fun is about to begin.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk

 

Are you going with the full Plow Plane kit?

I have the plow plane kit and like it. In the interest of full disclosure, I have only used on test pieces and not really any projects yet.  My workbench build has consumed what little shop time I have had over the past year. 

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I think I probably am going to go with the full kit, I have a couple things in mind that the tongue cutters would be a fun way to go and the wide blades could always be useful, adding those two plus the conversion kit isn't very little less than buying the whole kit even though I may never use the nearing blades.


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On 2/27/2017 at 5:06 PM, Yodiebuzz said:

I think I probably am going to go with the full kit, I have a couple things in mind that the tongue cutters would be a fun way to go and the wide blades could always be useful, adding those two plus the conversion kit isn't very little less than buying the whole kit even though I may never use the nearing blades.

 

 

That's a good call and what I have. I would suggest trying to add the skew rabbet plane whenever you have a chance, I think it will serve you better than a moving fillister. 

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Got the LAJ, BUS, router plane and small plow kit as well as some saws, veritas marking gage, and a set of DMT stones plus a couple books... I'm set for a while now, going to place a project pack order of cherry from Bell Forrest later this week and ill start my project build on here as soon as I begin! It will be a slow process with only 4-6 hours a week in the shop due to this being our busy time of year for work.

Thanks for all the help!

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