Zach Turner

Hand tools on a budget?

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I'm looking for recommendations for some hand tools just starting out I don't have a lot of money to spend on tools. I have to sell some projects and do refinished in order to acquire tool money. So I know I'd be better off buying a good name brand but for now that's not really in the budget yet. And the vintage tool market has gotten to be a little ridiculous if you ask me most planes if restored are well over $150 and at that I might as well spend another 100 for a veritas.

I'm specifically looking for help with milling tool like scrub or #6 fore planes. Right now my milling process is flattening with a kobalt #4 smoothing plane I picked up at Lowe's for the 25 or $30. And then my lunch box thicknesses planer and it defiantly works but is incredibly slow... So I need something that will at least be and improvement from this. Until I can sell a few jobs and afford to buy a good jointer or good set of hand planes.

Thanks for any information! Or if you think I'm wasting my time with this and need to bite the bullet and buy a veritas #6. Fore or scrub?

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Mine have come from estate and downsizing sales. There are often some bargains to be had if you're patient.

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3 hours ago, pkinneb said:

I like the wood river planes for the money my #5 is still one of my favorite planes. 

I've looked at those as well and the price difference really just isnt there anymore because the brand has gotten so popular. They are running only a few dollars lower than Veritas now. And I'd much rather buy something not from China if the price difference is some slim.

I think I'm just going to push through this project with my #4 and then buy a veritas #6 fore or a scrub plane.

I'm using like I said mostly because I can't afford the 1,000 for a used 8" jointer yet. So I need something for roughing out boards with. But would a number #6 also give me some ability for jointing?

Thoughts?

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I’d never buy a scrub new. They are dead simple. In order to use one, you just need to be able to camber and sharpen. Two cents. 

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Some folks do great at finding good Stanley planes at a good price in the used market.  Today the used Stanley market seems over-inflated; that's just my opinion.  Millers Falls are not so lusted after but, are certainly the equal of Stanleys in many respects.  I have a couple of No. 9's (MF numbers reflect approximate inches of length so these are Stanley No. 4 equivalents) and a No. 14 (read Stanley No.5).  IIRC they were $30 to $35 pretty much ready to go.

58a4818d5d45e_MFNo9(3).jpg.af08c44ca29257a5f80cde5530cf88cc.jpg

It may be that the inflation in used Stanleys has driven folks to other quality names from the past.  You will want to know the difference between a No 9, a 90 and a 900 and so forth.  Good info here: https://oldtoolheaven.com/bench/benchtable.htm  Yikes! I notice that MF planes that I bought for $30 to $35 are now fetching $50 to $100.  Sorry if this was a bum steer.

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Just now, Tpt life said:

I’d never buy a scrub new. They are dead simple. In order to use one, you just need to be able to camber and sharpen. Two cents. 

I'm actually pretty good at sharpening so ill look for one of them on eBay.

Used to sharpen things for extra cash in high school.

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2 hours ago, collinb said:

Mine have come from estate and downsizing sales. There are often some bargains to be had if you're patient.

Ill be on the lookout in the future to build my collection I'm not too far from northern NC. Witch is where a lot of the "fine and mid grade" furniture used to come from in America. So lots of old power and hand tools down that way all the time.

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16 minutes ago, Zach Turner said:

Ill be on the lookout in the future to build my collection I'm not too far from northern NC. Witch is where a lot of the "fine and mid grade" furniture used to come from in America. So lots of old power and hand tools down that way all the time.

Reach out to duck kisser.  He is a member here and he got a couple of old planes and mentioned he may sell.  Maybe you can make a deal.

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Dont sell the WoodRiver planes short just because they are made in China or wherever. They are very nice planes. Sucks the price went up so bad. Its almost hard to not justify spending a little bit extra for a Lie-Nielsen.

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Wow they did go up I think I only pd $139 for my #5 on sale, now its $233 :o

Having said that it is still one of my favorites but would definitely make me pause and think about a LN or Veritas

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My $0.02: Keep on scrubbing with the #4. Scrubbing boards 'flat enough' to finish with a thickness planer doesn't require much of a plane. Save for a more powerful planer first. Doing this for money means saving time, which a new hand plane won't really help with. If you like hand tools for the joy of it, that's a different story.

Want to share what else you have available? Might give us a better starting point for suggested upgrades.

For reference, I own a vintage Stanley #7, an old 'Keen Kutter' that equates (roughly) to a #4 1/2C, a new Sweetheart #4, and a couple of cheap HF planes about #3 size. The HF units are good scrubbers. The 4 1/5 is a nice size, but the blade is paper-thin and hard to make cut smoothly. The #7 is just too big for most jobs. The Sweetheart #4 is my go-to plane, it fits my hands comfortably, and has a good, thick A2 steel blade that wears a long time.

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I guess i disagree on Stanley vintage prices on ebay. I feel they are about the same now as they were 5-6 years ago but you have to be diligent. There are plenty that are trying to sell their planes for a premium but when you check recently sold those absurd prices don't show up as much. You should be able to get a decent vintage #5 for 50 including shipping. It will require some cleaning and tuning work.

Others have mentioned a hand plane made by grizzly as being a good scrub plane. But i think you are off a bit on wanting a #6. Unless you are jointing boards over 2.5-3 times the length of the sole of the plane you don't really need to go longer. A #5 is 14". a #4 is 9.5-10?

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14 hours ago, woodbutcher said:

Don't sell the WoodRiver planes short just because they are made in China or wherever. They are very nice planes. Sucks the price went up so bad. Its almost hard to not justify spending a little bit extra for a Lie-Nielsen.

A couple years ago I picked up a lightly-used WR 62 low angle smoothing plane. It's nice.

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I just spent about 30 minutes on ebay looking at price for Stanley hand planes.  There are a few that are very proud of what they are selling, but overall, there are plenty in a decent price range that would require a little effort on your part. But you could make a very decent tool for a little monetary expense and some experience in learning about how to make a plane do what it's supposed to do, Shave wood.  Your choice, spend money and get a good tool outa the box, or buy a decent tool and get some knowledge about a tool you rebuilt to fit your needs.

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22 hours ago, Zach Turner said:

I'm looking for recommendations for some hand tools just starting out I don't have a lot of money to spend on tools. I have to sell some projects and do refinished in order to acquire tool money. So I know I'd be better off buying a good name brand but for now that's not really in the budget yet. And the vintage tool market has gotten to be a little ridiculous if you ask me most planes if restored are well over $150 and at that I might as well spend another 100 for a veritas.

I'm specifically looking for help with milling tool like scrub or #6 fore planes. Right now my milling process is flattening with a kobalt #4 smoothing plane I picked up at Lowe's for the 25 or $30. And then my lunch box thicknesses planer and it defiantly works but is incredibly slow... So I need something that will at least be and improvement from this. Until I can sell a few jobs and afford to buy a good jointer or good set of hand planes.

Thanks for any information! Or if you think I'm wasting my time with this and need to bite the bullet and buy a veritas #6. Fore or scrub?

Zack, you need three planes: a jack (Stanley #5), a jointer (you can use the Veritas #6, but a Stanley #7 would be better), and a smoother (get a Stanley #4 and turn the Kobalt into a scrub plane or doorstop). Actually, you do not need a scrub plane - the jack with a 10-12" radius blade will do the job. Get these on eBay and just be particular what you bid on. Pre-WW II are better than post-WW II.

Do your research on cleaning and tuning planes. 

Regards from Perth

Derek

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In the episode of WoodTalk released last week "Rehydrated Toast", Shannon mentioned he's working with someone to develop a starter kit of hand tools for a reasonable price.

https://woodtalkshow.com/episodes/460-rehydrated-toast/

The person putting this together: https://grandpaslittlefarm.com/

I think the things he mentioned were handsaws... they're looking at Garlick saws and finding good stuff for not much.  But also hand planes, and it looks like they have those for sale on his site.   But they've sourced something from a company called Rider and fairly inexpensive.   They look decent from the pictures, but I have no direct experience with these.   He has some information on them on his website.

https://grandpaslittlefarm.com/planes.shtml

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I was going to post the same thing as @Minnesota Steve but I have no experience with them. Owning no hand planes besides a cheap Craftsman that's never been sharpened I would have nothing to compare it too if I did buy something. 

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Rockler's Bench Dog planes are 20% off in March.  I have no personal experience, but I'd expect them to be decent.

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