Keggers

What Planes To Buy?

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I started out with a low angle block, an old Stanley no.2 and no.4 that I tuned up and they have done fine by me. Shannon seems to be on to something in regards to your current large surfacing equipment. Maybe you should look into a nice low angle block or rabbit block (60 1/2 or 60 1/2R) a nice med. shoulder plane and a no 4 or 4 1/2, bevel up or down could work and maybe adding a nice router plane later on. Of course the most important thing to have of all of these tools is the ability to sharpen and tune them.;)

Cheers

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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 ;)

So much could be said in your search for planes. A close relative to this subject is get good advice on sharpening equipment. I've included Paul-Marcel's post above because I am more and more coming to the opinion that the Veritas (or Lie-Nielsen product, your preference) low angle SKEW block plane is one of the more versatile planes in my arsenal. Under-appreciated, this little gem can do the work of rabbet planes, shoulder planes, and more. If you take the time to explore it's abilities I am sure anyone will come away quite amazed how this plane handles and falls to your hand for so many tasks.

I just wanted to endorse Paul's recommendation he made. The regular low angle Veritas block plane is sweet, absolutely, and anyone would do well to have one in their shop. The SKEW version is another stratosphere above that.

On the subject of a smoother, I went with this one from Lee Valley http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?p=45864&cat=1,41182,48944 because you can also turn it on it's side for shooting, very versatile.

Let us know which ones you end up buying. Thanks for reading.

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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

I would suggest you might want planes that do things impractical to do with power tools. A scraper plane. Shoulder planes A side cutting rabbet plane. LN has a chisel plane that I use quite a bit. Stanley's #90 and 92, I use quite a bit. A router plane will get used more often than you would at first think, mostly for letting in hinges.

I would think about what I was doing when I first wished I had a plane. A scrub plane is handy if you want to put a face on a log before going to the jointer.

When you start getting used to having them, they are like magic sometimes, and when they aren't they will just make you wish for that one that would be right now.

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My "go to" planes are the Veritas 5 1/4 Jack, low angle block and their remake of the Stanley No. 80 cabinet scraper. Although, I use it less often. I'd die before I gave up my Veritas router plane. It makes dadoes possible in situations that would be a PITA on a power tool.

I forgot my Veritas Medium Shoulder Plane. You'll need one of these or one of the other planes that can get right up to a shoulder.

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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

Hi Kent,

Here're my suggestions and what use them for to help you decide:

  1. Smooth plane (#4 or #4-1/2) - for final smoothing, after jointer/planer
  2. Shoulder Plane - for tuning joints, especially rabbets, tenons
  3. Low Angle Jack - for shooting to get precise angles and lengths (make a shooting board)
  4. Card scraper - for final smoothing of gnarly woods. These cost about $5 each

As the others have noted, you need to know how to sharpen them to make them functional. You'll need a burnisher and a mill file for the scraper.

I have a bad habit of "friction-fitting" joints, so the Side Rabbet Plane is one of my most used tools (unfortunately?).

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I hope that I don't regret this, bit I don't quite understand the attraction with low angle planes. Aren't all low angle planes bevel up?

If that's the case, then the cutting angle will be somewhere around 37° - 45°, right?

I don't have one so I haven't experienced the difference in end grain cutting, but I can see that being a benefit.

I find the 45° angle of the bevel down adequate for general smoothing and shooting.

Where I’ve seen motivation is to sharpen a blade to a higher angle for reducing tear-out, something like 52° - 58°.

I don’t like sanding as a milling method. I think that it fills the pores and changes the look of the wood, sometimes affecting how evenly stains are absorbed.

I know, I know. I’m kinda stirring the pot, but I like learning where I can.

I lightly restored my #5 Stanley (bought used off eBay 4 years ago), and I bought a Hock blade for my #4 Record, (bought it new in 1985). That gave me 2 regular 2” blades and the thicker Hock. I sharpened 1 blade with a slight camber at 45° and the other at about 52° - 56° to reduce tear-out for the #5. The Hock blade is sharpened at 45° for smoothing.

Most of my projects are small or of limited production. I try to do as much as possible without the power tools anymore.

I think that the hand tool allure is the quiet in the shop.

Thanks for listening.

later,

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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.

Marc seems to get me into a lot of "trouble" too! :) What I mean to say is Marc has had a way of influencing me to try new things.

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Marc seems to get me into a lot of "trouble" too! :) What I mean to say is Marc has had a way of influencing me to try new things.

Ha Ha! I think you have a misspelling there... It's buy not try ;)

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Guys,

There are some of us who mostly hang out in other forums and like me, do not know a lot about hand tools. I'm wanting to learn more about planes and anticipating a trip to Woodcraft in January, I may make a plane purchase. This information may be very basic for many of you but for a neanderthal newbie like me, it helps w/o having to track it down. Thanks for pinning it....at least for a while.

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My father taught me to use his planes 60yrs ago. I still have and use two of his favorites. I also have two planes from Lee Valley I have their 4 1/2 smoothing plane and their standard block plane.

I highly recommend their Veritas MK11 sharpening system. Works on plane blades like a dream.

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From Lee Valley:

1. Low angle Jack plane buy the toothed blade and a high angle ground blade, as well

2. Low angle block plane

3. Medium Shoulder plane.

The three blades for the low angle (bevel up) Jack cover coarse, medium and fine work. Like three planes for (nearly) the price of 1.

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I've been using my regular Stanley #s 4,5,6,7 for many years now and been content in their use tuning, upgrading irons and chipbreakers as I learned. I just bought the LN #62 Low angle Jack plane and just with the basic iron have been blown away with this much more capable tool. This is my first "premium" plane. I've put off getting one because I already have a jack plane and the custom handle makes it my favorite and most used so why get annother. I even had a little buyers remorse on the ride home from Maine getting it, not anymore.

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Stanley #4 from eBay. Tune it up and it will do probably most of the work you would need a plane to do... especially as you're getting your feet wet.

They Stanley 60 1/2 block plane is excellent as well for a block plane. They come a bit rough, but with some tuning they work great.

Chris Gochnour has an excellent video on tuning up a plane on FW site.

I love the L-N and Veritas planes... ridiculously pretty (and functional), but used vintage Stanley's can go toe-to-toe.

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While I'm not a hand-plane expert, I can give you and future readers of this thread this little bit of advice.  Make sure you have good sharpening equipement and know how to use it.  No matter if that's a really good set of waterstones and a way to flatten them or a Tormek system (or both).  Like you, I've spent most of my time with power tools.  I think a big part of my frustration and problems with hand tools was that they just weren't sharp.  I recently bought a Tormek T-7 system and OH GOD LORD the difference in my chisels.  They are a pleasure to use now.  As a result, I actually order my first hand plane today.  A LN low angle block! :)

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Hi Free,

 

+1 on keeping tools sharp. We have the tormek system at work and until recently all my chisels and planes were done with one hollow ground bevel and then honed on the wheel with the paste and I have always been really pleased. However I have recently purchased some diamond plates and I am now free hand sharpening like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6ykVzL2VAM. I have posted about this before and it is really liberating doing a quick freehand hone.

However, like you say, find a system that works for you and gets great results.

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OK...you've got a whole bunch of tailed tools and want to get into hand planes, more specifically to buy three new ones?  The choice is basically 'twixt LN, Veritas and Clifton but if you want to go down the Veritas route, the the low angle jack is a no brainer, together with a Veritas low angle smoother...get them with the PM V-11 blades which is far superior to A2 or the standard O1 steel.  For the final choice I'd go for a LN low angle block plane.  Be warned though, staring a plane collection...

 

DSC_0002_zps0c3063b6.jpg

 

...can  be a slippery slope.  There's an original signed Krenov on that table - Rob

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There's an original signed Krenov on that table - Rob

 

Awesome.  Second to the right, behind the shoulder plane?  How on earth did you get that?  Totally jealous.

 

 

 

 

This thread proves how unhelpful the "which tool should I get next" question is.  Every single response has been different...none of them right, none of them wrong.

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Awesome.  Second to the right, behind the shoulder plane?  How on earth did you get that?  Totally jealous.

 

 

 

 

This thread proves how unhelpful the "which tool should I get next" question is.  Every single response has been different...none of them right, none of them wrong.

 

Yep, absolutely right Eric.  The only solution that I've ever offered is to 'try before you buy', either at a mate's 'shop who's got a few or at one of the shows.  In the UK that's not too difficult but in the US, being just a mite bigger (!) that could be a problem.

 

I acquired the JK plane when Jim was making them in the last few years of his life.  My pal Phil Edwards (Phillyplanes) got hold of one and said that if you email Jim, he'll make one for you...as simple as that.  So I did and around six weeks later there was a knock at the door from the postie with a parcel which had a San Fransisco postmark.  I paid around £120 (I think, but could be waaaaay out) for the plane which was a ridiculous price, considering who made it...probably worth a lot more than that now, bearing in mind it's provenance - Rob

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I was recently very impressed witrh the Wood River line of planes (specifically the No. 5) at Woodcraft.  They had a demo model sitting out and a piece of maple to try it out on.  I tried it and then my wife gave it a shot and we were both impressed.  My issue is the origin of where it was made, but the guys assured me that they blade is some super strong/hard Canadian steel.  Seeing was believing. 

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Okay, everyone else has chimed in here, so here's my 2 cents.

Firstly, I'm a dyed in the wool Normite who has only recently learned to use and love hand tools.

The three planes I reach for most often in order are:

 

1. Veritas Low angle block plane. (I don't think it can be beat... sorry LN lovers. I also buy American made stuff when ever I can but I just like the LV better in this case.) I'm not sure how I lived before I had this plane.

2. Veritas medium shoulder plane. (Again, I love LN, but the LV is just plane (get the pun?) better). Yes, I've tried both.

3. A #4 or #4-1/2 smoother. I have a #4 LN and a #4-1/2 LV smoother. I could get away with either one, but I love having both.

4. A jointer plane. I have a #8 LN. It is a thing of beauty. In truth a lot of times I wish it was a #7, but I got it for such a good deal I don't complain. With the leg vise fully operational on my Roubo, I argue the Jointer plane is faster, quieter and more fun than the 6" jointer in my shop.

 

I have a few others and there are of course others I would like to own. But these are my 4 go-to planes. I also think that even for a guy who has grown up with nothing but flowing electrons to do all of my woodworking, all of these are easy to incorporate into your repertoire.

 

After you get the above, you are a couple of dovetail saws and a set of chisels away from being an official "Hybrid" woodworker.
 

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