Keggers

What Planes To Buy?

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This question is to all you hand tool experts. To be exact - hand plane experts. I've decided to buy three new hand planes. The sky is the limit as to price, but I am planning on buying them from Lee Valley. I've never used a hand plane, but I decided if I was going to learn how to use them, I'd buy the best that I could. So, the question is, which three should I buy. I'm limiting it to three because I really don't want four. Well...maybe four. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

I should mention, that I do have a shop full of power tools. 12" table saw, 12" jointer, 15" planer, mortiser, bandsaw, router table, 5 different routers ( I like routers). So I have a complete shop and am now wanting to learn to use hand tools. I like to build furniture and clocks and have had instances where a hand plane would have been very handy.

Kent

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So are we to assume you have no hand planes? Not even a block plane? Just curious for the suggestion list.

From Lee-Valley, they have nice bevel-up planes from Veritas. I love the bevel-up Jack and use it likely the most, often even for smoothing. Second would be the Veritas bevel-up smoother. And if you don't have a block plane, that's ridiculously useful and Veritas has several nice models. Mine is a LN rabbet block and I'd recommend finding a rabbet block so you can use it as a shoulder plane as well (until you buy one of those, too :)) Though I don't have it and haven't used it before, I'd consider the .

The smoother I referenced isn't my model; I have a previous model that uses a different blade. The one referenced above is part of a family of bevel-up planes that all take the same size blade so you could buy or grind blades to different angles for different woods and swap them around planes when necessary. That said, though, the is very nice.

Veritas has many nice specialty planes, too, that help in sooo many ways. So... when you get ready for the next three planes, let us know ;)

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Hey Keggers wheh I decided to buy hand tools, my choice is Lie-Nielsen. They are top quality and American Made. Not all my tools are American, my power tools ... that would be out of contest.

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Kent,

I would say giving you a list of three or four planes out of thin air is hard unless we know what you want to do with them. Do you have power tools and want to begin to incorporate handtools or do you want to start down the route to the dark side and go hand tools only? So here are my two answers.

Power Tool and incorporate handplanes:

1. Block Plane (Make sure this is low angle block)

2. Smoother

3. Bevel-Up Jack (aka Low Angle Jack)

4. Shoulder Plane (Large Size)

Welcome to the Dark Side:

1. Jointer (the veritas bevel up of LN #7 or #8)

2. Bevel-Up Jack (aka Low Angle Jack)

3. Smoother

4. Block Plane (low angle)

I really like Lie-Nielsen planes probably because I started with the Stanley planes before I could afford the nice ones. I really only appreciate the bevel-up or low angle jack. I don't get along with bevel up smoothers. Now Marc makes his LN bevel up smoother work wonderfully, so it may fit your cup of tea. The Veritas planes are every bit as nice as the Lie-Nielsen planes I just don't like the way their handle feels (personal preference). Its one of those, "its me not you" type moments or I would probably own quite a few. I do have the Veritas small plow, side rabbet, skew rabbet and router planes, so I am by no means LN snob. However, those speciality planes come later get the basics first. Best of luck and ask questions.

Reminder: You are also going to need a sharpening set up once you take the plane and chisel dive. We can help with that as well.

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id say shoulder plane, block plane, smoother and jack. i would say try getting low angle block smoother and jack. if you need a fourth get a jointer.

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Good luck stopping at three or four. . . You'll understand soon

#1 jack plane or no 5

#2 smoothing or no 4

#3 joiner or no 7

If four then a block plane

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This question is to all you hand tool experts. To be exact - hand plane experts. I've decided to buy three new hand planes.

Before accepting any list of 'must have' planes, ask yourself what you want to do with handplanes. Are you buying handplanes to replace the functionality of a jointer and/or thickness planer? Or are you a power tool guy who wants to refine parts coming off the power tools?

If you're going to be jointing and surfacing wood, you need a jack plane (#5) and/or a jointer/try plane (#7). Regardless of what you're doing I can't imagine anyone creating furniture pieces without a low-angle block plane. But if you're jointing and surfacing by machine, and happy with the results, consider some of the specialty planes. I use my low-angle block plane constantly but I also use jack and jointer planes on nearly every project because I don't own or want to own a power jointer.

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the real question is why has this post been pinned?

I would suggest you first read a few articles or books like "Hand Tool Essentials" to learn about the different planes, figure out what you need the planes for, then decide what you want to buy. I wouldn't want to go spending the coin on three Veritas planes before knowing that I would actually get some use out of them. It would all depend on what tools you already have and what kind of woodworking you plan to do. It's possible to do 90% of all your plane work with a low angle smoother and a shoulder plane... not that I would want to trim end grain or chamfer with a low angle smoother, but it can be done.

so, there you go. Get the low angle smoother and pick up the 38 and 50 degree irons with it to cover all your smoothing, block, low angle block, and shooting board needs. Then, the Medium shoulder plane to get into the edges and grooves. And when you realize that using your smoother as a block plane is less than fun, then you'll want a low angle block with a spare iron honed to 33 degrees or so to handle the chamfering and trimming with the grain.

I guess that's a start.

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the real question is why has this post been pinned?

Yeah, I wondered that, too, as it got pinned after just a couple replies. hmm. I'll check who did it and maybe unpin it.

One thing I noticed last night while catching up on this thread were a lot of #7s sometimes before blocks. Even for a hand-tool guy, wouldn't a block plane be far more useful than a #7? It would seem your jack would work fine for places you need a #7 unless you are working really long stock. Keggers' (the OP) said he's finally breaking down to get planes so to me he has power tools and is now adding planes; likely for finesse. Not questioning the utility of a #7, just its appearance in the top 3.

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Before accepting any list of 'must have' planes, ask yourself what you want to do with handplanes. Are you buying handplanes to replace the functionality of a jointer and/or thickness planer? Or are you a power tool guy who wants to refine parts coming off the power tools?

If you're going to be jointing and surfacing wood, you need a jack plane (#5) and/or a jointer/try plane (#7). Regardless of what you're doing I can't imagine anyone creating furniture pieces without a low-angle block plane. But if you're jointing and surfacing by machine, and happy with the results, consider some of the specialty planes. I use my low-angle block plane constantly but I also use jack and jointer planes on nearly every project because I don't own or want to own a power jointer.

I'm more of a power tool guy who is wanting to expand his woodworking knowledge with hand tools. I've used card scrapers, but with arthritis in both thumbs, I find using them difficult.

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Yeah, I wondered that, too, as it got pinned after just a couple replies. hmm. I'll check who did it and maybe unpin it.

One thing I noticed last night while catching up on this thread were a lot of #7s sometimes before blocks. Even for a hand-tool guy, wouldn't a block plane be far more useful than a #7? It would seem your jack would work fine for places you need a #7 unless you are working really long stock. Keggers' (the OP) said he's finally breaking down to get planes so to me he has power tools and is now adding planes; likely for finesse. Not questioning the utility of a #7, just its appearance in the top 3.

What does it mean when a post is "pinned?"

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S

What does it mean when a post is "pinned?"

Simply means it will always appear at the top of the subforum even if it is 'read'. So from the main forum page, click on the 'Neanderthal Village' subforum and you'll see pinned topics at the top before others even if the other (non-pinned) topics have more recent activity. A good example is Sac's posting in the help subforum about posting pictures. That's a FAQ so by pinning it, the hope is people will see it right away in the subforum before asking.

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so, it seems like you edited the initial post to include what you have in your shop. knowing what tools you have helps, but it doesn't change my initial suggestion. I would stick with the Low angle smoother, a shoulder plane, and a low angle block to start. If you like scraping but hate what it does to your hands, then you could get a scraping plane. With a 12 inch jointer and 15 inch planer you don't have much need for jack or jointer planes - although the extra weight in a jack would help when shooting wide miters if you think you plan to make a shooting board. But, I suspect with the big machines that you have you also have a decent CMS.

one thing to keep in mind - the low angle planes have smooth, milled sides that work better with shooting boards as opposed to the bevel up planes that have irregular sides. Something to consider if your planning to build a shooting board.

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One thing I noticed last night while catching up on this thread were a lot of #7s sometimes before blocks. Even for a hand-tool guy, wouldn't a block plane be far more useful than a #7?

This may sound like heresy, but the only reason I use a block plane is when I need to bring a small plane somewhere. For planing end grain, I'd rather use a full size low angle plane. For breaking a corner, I can do that as quickly with a smoother. If I had to pick between a block plane and a #7, the #7 wins for me every time.

Going back to the original question, I agree with everyone who has said that instead of picking out three planes to buy, pick out the task that you need to accomplish with planes and buy the ones that you need.

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Very funny. Mine is a LN Nbr. 7. Since I never used a low angle, I can't say yes or no. My venture into handplanes started with Marc showing how a plane can clean up a joint, and then it went from there.

I would say I am 70% plugged. But the 30% makes everything look 100% better.

My low angle jack from Lee Valley is my favorite inanimate object.

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1. Adjustable Mouth Block Plane – Low Angle (60-1/2)

2. Jack Plane – Low Angle (62)

3. Smooth Plane – Bench or Low Angle (4 or 4 ½)

4. Shoulder Plane or Rabbet Block Plane

You need some kind of sharpening system to keep your blades sharp. The system is not important but sharp blades are very important.

I also recommend:

You watch the videos from David Charlesworth and Christopher Schwarz on hand planes.

Build or buy a shooting board.

I am a big Lie-Nielsen fan but Lee Valley also makes very good planes. Both are top notch.

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1. Adjustable Mouth Block Plane – Low Angle (60-1/2)

2. Jack Plane – Low Angle (62)

3. Smooth Plane – Bench or Low Angle (4 or 4 ½)

4. Shoulder Plane or Rabbet Block Plane

You need some kind of sharpening system to keep your blades sharp. The system is not important but sharp blades are very important.

I also recommend:

You watch the videos from David Charlesworth and Christopher Schwarz on hand planes.

Build or buy a shooting board.

I am a big Lie-Nielsen fan but Lee Valley also makes very good planes. Both are top notch.

If you need the tech support and are starting from ground zero with planes perhaps the Lie-Neilsen planes really are a bargain?

After spending well over an hour on the phone with them today and having them answer a ton of my questions, as well as finding out that they do seminars all over the country for free, I'm beginning to think they actually are very reasonably priced.

Jon Banquer

San Diego,CA

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Based on Keggers' info and replies, I would say spend your money on joinery planes. With a wide jointer and planer, it is probably safe to assume you won't be milling lumber by hand to no need for the jacks, fores, or even the jointers. A smoothing plane is always a good idea because it can be set up many different ways to surface and clean up. Add to that a Router plane for trimming tenon cheeks, flattening dados, grooves, etc. Finally I would get a medium or large shoulder plane. This will be invaluable to clean up shoulders on all joints. If you like you could substitute a rabbet block plane for the shoulder plane as that can be a little more versatile.

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I'm a hand/power tool guy who started into hand tools much as you did. The first plane I got was a low angle rabbet block plane (L-N 60.5R). It was great at trimming and helping fit all kind of joints and surfaces. In a pinch it can be a shoulder plane, surface block, or end grain block. Next I got was a #4 smoother (L-N 4B), but almost any smoother would do. This let me move up to bigger surfaces, and maybe dial back on the power and hand sanding, as well as giving me a pretty close to finish-ready surface on some woods that don't respond to sandpaper well. My third plane and forth planes were probably bought around the same time, as I embarked on a bench project, so I got a jointer (L-N 7) and a small shoulder plane (L-N 41).

Now I'm up to: 4, 5, 7 (Bench Planes), 9.5 (Block), 41 (Shoulder), 48 (T&G), 60.5R, 60.5 (Block), 62 (LA Jack), 71 (Router), 271 (Small Router).

'tis a slippery slope. Tread carefully...

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I know this an older thread but after going to WIA this last weekend I'm convinced that a small and a large router plane are about two of the most important tools in the shop even if you are a power tool user. A well tuned smoother will make you fall in love with planes but a router plane is a work horse. You can make perfectly centered tenons with one, clean out dados and rabbits and a mall one is way better than an electric router for fitting hinges.

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I recommend checking the Lie-Nielson site to see if they are doing a tool show in your area any time soon. The shows are free and you can play with their entire line of hand tools--planes, saws, chisels, etc. They will demo the equipment, show you how to set it up, etc. Also, they have their own youtube channel where you can see their different tools demo'd...might be useful to get an idea of the different uses for each of the planes...

I too am new to the hand plane world (as well as most aspects of woodworking). The LN team at the show I attended his past spring suggested starting with the low angle Jack plane since it can handle a variety of tasks...it has been a good intro for me, but in line with many of the suggestions above, the adjustable open mouth block plane, the #4 smoother, and the shoulder plane are all on my wish list.

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I seen a video on youtube - it was by.....erm....it's comming..... Rob Cosman, he took an old stanley no4 and said that it will perform as well as a top quality plane with a slight modification - that being a top quality blade - he used a much thicker blade. i guess this was more of a blade recommdation than a plane recommendation!

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I'm a power tool guy and i've recently acquired a few planes that help me with my projects. I got a #4 Smoother, a low angle block plane and a rabbet plane to help with cleaning up tenons.

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