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Wayne Jolly
04-12-2012, 5:11 PM
Hi all,

I know I am in "Neanderthal Haven" and I am a "Normite" loving my power tools. But I would like to add a couple of hand planes to my list of tools. I have a small block plane and a "Bench plane" that I bought from the Borg a number of years ago ( I think the brand name is Buck), but I would like to move up some. Lee Nielson's are WAY out of my league, but I would still like to buy some reasonably good planes.

I have two big problems and one of them is that I don't really know what to get. A better block plane might be a good place to start, but what else? #4, #4 1/2, #5 . . . . Jack, bench, smoother, low-angle . . . my head is already spinning just typing that much and I haven't even asked which brands to look for and which to avoid.

You may also be wondering what I would be using them for. Well, so do I and that is the second big problem. I have been using my block plane more lately for removing sharp edges on projects, etc. The bench plane I have not used in several years and I think a lot of the reason for that is because it is a crappy plane. At least the iron is crap. I dragged it out just the other day and sharpened it up. I tried planing a sample of Brazillian Cherry and after just about 10 passes the blade was chipped. I have been watching some woodworking shows on tv lately and see where it looks like they would be good for jointing small pieces, flushing dovetail and box joints, etc. If I had a reasonably good plane I could probably find all sorts of other uses too. I will definitely NOT be using planes to joint larger boards, or flatten any sizeable pieces so I don't think I would have much use for . . . say . . . #7's or #8's (Although I do intend to build a nice workbench and it will need to be smoothed and flattened, I can't see spending gobs of money for a plane to use for one job).

So with that in mind, which two or maybe three should I be looking for, where should I look, and what do I look for, what brands should I look for and which should I avoid? I have started looking at Craigslist and ebay, but I don't really know what I am looking for or at. There are a lot of Stanley/Bailey planes, but from what I have been reading there is a wide range of quality even in those.

You can probably tell that I am totally lost by the way I have been rambling here. Please help.

Thanks,

Wayne

Jim Belair
04-12-2012, 5:22 PM
I would suggest contacting Walt Q at brasscityrecords and he can set you up with vintage Stanley or similar #4 and low angle block planes. You could get higher end blades for Lee Valley for these and be good to go (or the original blades are OK too). Oh, and get Leonard Lee's or Ron Hock's book on sharpening. Being able to sharpen properly is probably at least as important as what plane you have.

David Weaver
04-12-2012, 5:23 PM
Start with a smoother. A #4 is fine, but if you are a beginner, I would probably - in your shoes - try to find one that is actually in use rather than a vintage yardsale flip. There are a lot of yardsale flippers who toot about the greatness of a plane they've found, leaving you with a plane that's got a line of pitting between the chipbreaker and iron, and a chipbreaker that cannot be brough back to the condition one needs to be in to actually work on a smoother.

I don't have anything to fence off to you or I would offer something up cheap. That is where you want to start, though.

I don't know what iron is in your buck brothers plane, but the couple that I've gotten from HD (the irons themselves) have been quite competent. It may be that the iron is crap in your plane (the plane itself is), and it may be just that it's too shallow of a bevel.

Start with medium hardwoods. Use your block plane, and understand smoothing wood before you get into dimensioning it. If you find you lose interest in using a plane after you have a good working smoother, then you're done and you don't need to buy the rest of them.

Jim Neeley
04-12-2012, 5:36 PM
My first recommendation is to post where in the world you are located and with a little luck, someone here who has a number of well-performing planes and will invite you to come by and try theirs to give you a feel of what they should be like and what all they can do.

Beyond that, asking what brand to buy is a kind of a Ford-Chevy-Dodge-Mercedes-Honda issue. In broad-brush strokes, assuming you're looking a metal Stanley/Bailey types, there's four approaches:

* buy a premium line (Lie-Neilsen, etc.) that requires limited fettling. This is big-money, little time investment that has little risk.
* buy a vintage plane, likely replacing the stock blade with a premium blade. Lacking someone knowledgeable to guide you through this, it involves reading up on the topic of what to look for. If you purchase from "the auction site that shall not be named here" you may run into a shyster although many here are successful with this approach. Then you will need to invest some number of hours fettling, depending on the condition of the plane.
* buy a good "tier two" plane new (such as the Wood River V3's) that, while expensive, are far less so than the top-tier planes yet should require little fettling.
* buy a new budget plane, repeat the steps from the vintage plane above, and still end up with an inferior product. I don't recommend this approach. :)

Just my $0.02, YMMV.

I expect others will extoll the virtues of each of these options, so I'll leave that exercise for them.

Jim

Jim

Jim Koepke
04-12-2012, 5:59 PM
Wayne,

I am with Jim on suggesting you list your location in your member profile. There are many here who would be happy to let you test drive some of their planes.

The Buck planes available at the Borgs and other stores are not worthy of being called planes. The blades sold with the Buck name may be from a different source than what is in the planes. I bought one for $3 and it seems fine.

If you just want to remove saw marks from the edge of boards, then a #4 or #5 Stanley/Bailey should be a good start. Both of them are very common and can be found for small money at yard sales, flea markets and Craigs List all the time. You do have to get there early as many people are out looking for these to resell on ebay.

My opinion is only that, but in my opinion I wouldn't buy a Stanley/Bailey plane made after WW II. Personally, my preference is for the ones made before the 1930s.

In the Sticky: Neanderthal wisdom/FAQs section are various posts on many subjects including information about hand planes. It is worth giving a good read.

jtk

Peter Aeschliman
04-12-2012, 6:07 PM
Disclaimer: I'm not a big hand tool guy.

One of the things I've heard Marc (the wood whisperer) say is that, since he's primarily a power tool guy, he gets the most use out of specialty planes... they perform operations that machinery can't replicate very effectively and/or efficiently. He said he found that he doesn't use bench planes all that much.

From memory, he said he frequently uses the following:

-Block plane
-Shoulder plane
-Router plane for evening out the bottoms of grooves and dadoes

I think a smoother would also be really helpful for removing milling marks.

Just my $.02

Jim R Edwards
04-12-2012, 6:09 PM
I would get a Lee Valley bevel up jack. It is one of the best all around planes you can own. It cost around 230 dollars but the good thing is you can sell it in a matter of hours for almost the same price you paid for it. The price only hurts once and after you use it you will think of it more as a bargin than an expense.

Jerome Hanby
04-12-2012, 7:48 PM
You could also haunt your local area(s) CraigsListings. I got lucky and got a pretty good set of older Record planes that were still "new" in box (and oil paper) that had never touched wood.

Carl Beckett
04-13-2012, 10:51 AM
I would get a Lee Valley bevel up jack. It is one of the best all around planes you can own. It cost around 230 dollars but the good thing is you can sell it in a matter of hours for almost the same price you paid for it. The price only hurts once and after you use it you will think of it more as a bargin than an expense.

Im just going to second this advice. Since you dont have anything specific in mind, a high quality multiuse plane like this will allow you to have a pretty good experience doing a number of things.

I dont recommend going the rebuild route. Its much cheaper, but its a learning curve and the biggest problem I had was I didnt know what I didnt know. And since new to hand tools/planes - didnt have direct experience on what it 'should' be like.

Connecting with another member here to try some out and play is the best approach....

paul cottingham
04-13-2012, 11:44 AM
I'll third this. If I only had one plane, it would be a bevel up jack for sure, and I prefer the Lee Valley one. You can use it for everything except maybe jointing long stock. Eventually buy two extra blades at higher angles, and maybe a toothed blade for gnarly wood and bobs your uncle.

Prashun Patel
04-13-2012, 11:54 AM
If you are happy flattening and smoothing your work with sandpaper and power tools, then I suggest getting the following 3 planes:

1) adjustable mouth block plane. The Veritas might be the right one for you. It's on the larger size for block planes. It can be fitted with a knob and tote, so it becomes a small #2 smoother. This will make it very versatile and good for the uses you mentioned below.

2) A router plane. This allows you to fine tune mortises and tenons pretty easily vs any kind of power tool.

3) a good set of chisels. I know these are not planes, but I think they will add a lot of versatility to your arsenal of power tools.

IMHO, the above 3 are great 'tweaking' tools. They make fast work of tasks that would otherwise require a lot of painstaking machine set up.

I'm assuming you have a good method for sharpening. If not, that'd be #4.

- p

Terry Beadle
04-13-2012, 12:35 PM
IMO, the first plane you should get is a #5 or #6 Stanley with a Hock blade. Even the stock Stanley blade will do but be prepared to sharpen more often.
Second plane to get is a jointer. With your experience with the first plane, you should be able to buy a Hock blade and make your own jointer out of some stable maple or purple heart or beech or etc. In fact if you are short on good hardwood scraps, then use some cherry or even pine for the main body, and put a 3/8ths thick sole on it out of purple heart...very cheap with good results. Look to Steve Knight's planes for inspiration for adjustable mouth piece.

This project shouldn't cost you much money, certainly less than $75 and will serve you well when you build that bench. A Krenov design is very straight forward to build and will last for years and years. Dereck Cohen has a massive jointer that you can look at too. Very well done and extremely low investment, just time, a bit of glue and a good blade.

Even your Buck Bros plane can be fettled and put to service but it will not do as well as a $20 #4. A Stanley or a Record #4 would complete the set.

Re your Buck plane: Have you set a 35 degree micro bevel on the blade with a David Charlesworth curved cutting edge sharpening? Also have you made a honing board out of some fine grained hardwood or even some MDF and put some green rouge on it? I'll bet if you do, you'll think that Buck is worth every bit of the $3 it's worth...er... well it'll probably work much better...hoot!

Above all, enjoy the process. Invest in it and the payback will be pleasant.

Stew Hagerty
04-13-2012, 1:35 PM
Wayne,
I would never consider myself to be an expert on handplanes, but I was a stranger to the world of handplanes just like you not too long ago and do know what I learned and what I like. I now have acquired several vintage Stanley Bailey planes and I am still enjoying the process of restoring them. However, I wouldn't recommend one that has not been restored as your first step into Neander Land. In deference to Jim Koepke's comment: "I wouldn't buy a Stanley/Bailey plane made after WW II", my first planes were the new premium (for Stanley) line of Sweetheart planes. I purchased the #4 Smoothing Plane and the #62 Low Angle Jack and learned to love working wood by hand. You can buy these several places of course, but I know that on Amazon the #4 sells for $109 and the #62 runs $115.50. They are even Amazon Prime eligible so you can get free shipping if you are a member. In my humble opinion, these are very well made planes for the money. They are much heavier than their older, vintage brothers, and include a 1/8" A2 steel blade just like LN and Veritas do. It sounds like you are headed down the same path I traveled and I'd be happy to discuss my journey and my thoughts with you anytime. Below are a photos of some of my planes, including the Sweethearts.


229400229401229402229403229404

So drop a PM and we can chat.

Stew Hagerty
04-13-2012, 1:45 PM
Hi all,
I tried planing a sample of Brazillian Cherry and after just about 10 passes the blade was chipped.

By the way... Brazilian Cherry or Jatoba is freakin hard. I made a fair sized project out of it and had to flip over the planer blades in my DW735 half way through. Granted, they weren't fresh new blades when I started, but the were sharp enough that they cut species such as oak just fine.

Just an FYI. You might want to start out with something much softer like poplar or butternut.

Wayne Jolly
04-13-2012, 1:55 PM
Thanks for all the advice. After reading all of it I had to re-read what I wrote. I guess I was concentrated on the #4 style Stanley planes and didn't mention that a shoulder plane and a router plane were two that I was definitely interested in.

So for now, the hunt is on for a Stanley #4 or #5 or similar, a shoulder plane, and a router plane. I am "watch"ing a few on that (ugh) auction site just to see what they finally sell for. I am watching a couple of #7's and a #8 too just for ducks. I am also watching craigslist but not finding much in my area which is Northern California, East Contra Costa County, city of Oakley. For those not familiar with California, leave San Francisco and go east about 60-65 miles. Depending on day-of-week and time of day that could be anywhere from a 1.5 hour drive to about 5 hours.

I do have a decent set of chisels. Not the greatest perhaps but decent. Marples to be exact. For sharpening I have a 12" diamond stone which is a 750 grit equivalent, and two water stones. I'm not sure what the grits are but I would guess 1000 and 4000. I got the water stones with a PM66 table saw I bought. One of them came in a box but all of the writing was in Japanese so, of course, I don't have any idea what it says. Problem is, I have misplaced it and the nagura stone. CRAP!

One more question if I may. A couple of you have mentioned replacing the blades. Is there a "standard" size or type? By that I mean do all #4 sized planes use the same blade? Or are you good to go as long as you get the right width blade?

Lastly, a couple of you mentioned the Lee Valley bevel-up Jack plane. Is this it?:
http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?p=49708&cat=1,41182,41186,49708

Thanks again,

Wayne

Don Jarvie
04-13-2012, 3:07 PM
Don't discount Miller Falls Planes. The #3 Stanley == MF #8, Stanley 4 = MF 9. Very good planes. When you looking around make sure all the parts are there, especially on the auction site, nothing is broken . If the blade is shot you can get a replacement.

A good spot to find planes are antique stores (not the ones where they think everything is gold) and flea market/yard sales. Don't worry about the condition because this will give you a chance to fix it up and use it.

I am mainly a power tool guy but I have a MF 8 (#3), MF 9 (#4), Stanley #5, Fulton, #5, MF 24 (#7) and C-Man rabbit plan. Only thing I want is a Stanley 71 (router plane).

Jim Belair
04-13-2012, 7:19 PM
Unless you really know what to look for you run the risk of getting a dud of a plane from antique stores, craigslist, yard sales and above all the auction site. A reputable old tool dealer is a much better choice for someone new to older tools.

Jim Matthews
04-13-2012, 8:42 PM
I'm not a fan of rebuilding old tools, if it's your first handplane. That's a recipe for frustration. The previous suggestions of a fresh Lie Nielsen of Veritas hand plane are sound.
Those products work well, out of the box. There are other modern makers, but the fit and finish are not to the same standard.

The block plane is an inexpensive place to start, but it has very limited utility.
I use mine on rare occasion, to set chamfers on end grain. Most everything else is better handled by a larger plane.

I would suggest the Veritas Low Angle Jack plane as your first. It's not to large to handle, and its size leads to a flat surface.
It is a very simple design, without a chip breaker. Christian Becksvoort wrote an article in FWW #217 (http://www.finewoodworking.com/ToolGuide/ToolGuidePDF.aspx?id=33799)that details the versatility of this plane.

If it doesn't suit you, it will be easy to sell for near what you've paid.
That can't be said for just any garage sale find.

Jim Koepke
04-13-2012, 9:02 PM
In deference to Jim Koepke's comment: "I wouldn't buy a Stanley/Bailey plane made after WW II", my first planes were the new premium (for Stanley) line of Sweetheart planes.

There are some Stanley/Bailey planes made after WW II that are just fine. There are too many of them that are not that well made. So unless I have a chance to check it out first, I wouldn't be interested.

EDIT: I should make it clear that I mean the Bailey style plane manufactured by Stanley. Not necessarily all Stanley planes.

I have not had a chance to try the new premium planes.

In the first post of this thread, Wayne commented:
Lee Nielson's are WAY out of my league, but I would still like to buy some reasonably good planes.

That is why my suggestion for a #4 or #5 bench plane as a first acquisition. They are common enough from a time period before WW II that they can be found at pawn shops and such at a low enough cost to be not taking much of a chance. With the blade from his Buck plane or a new blade from the Home Depot he could have a good plane to learn on.

One could spend a little more and purchase from Walt at Brasscity or other vendors being assured they will have something to use without a lot of fuss.

Of course, since it isn't my money it would be easy to suggest a Veritas or LN off the bat, but Wayne doesn't want to spend so much to start.

Shoulder planes and router planes are models that are more worthy of spending more on to start out.

jtk

Joshua Pierce
04-13-2012, 9:19 PM
Another thing you might want to check out, Wayne, if there's not a Creeker nearby who'd like to help you out, is if there is a class or show nearby you to try some planes out. I know you said LN planes are outside of your budget, and that's understandable, but if you got a chance to go to one of their "hand tool events", or swing by a Lee Valley store, or go to a class at a store or school or something, getting a chance to use a very nice, well tuned handplane could at least get you a feel for what it's "supposed" to feel like, and what you should be shooting for.

Tuning up an old plane can be a wildcard; but if you've got no idea how it's supposed to work, you can fool yourself into thinking it's working when you've got a long way to go. I know for the longest time I was amazed by my handplanes, ( a buck brothers jack plane and a cheap, modern stanley 102 style block plane ) until I finally got my hands on one that actually worked - once I realized what sharp really was, (that was the big one) and what a mouth opening less than a 1/2" could add, and how a reasonably flat sole helped things, I everything "clicked" and I became much more efficient with my tools. I look back at some of the things I struggled to make my planes do and just sort of chuckle.

paul cottingham
04-13-2012, 9:31 PM
Thanks for all the advice. After reading all of it I had to re-read what I wrote. I guess I was concentrated on the #4 style Stanley planes and didn't mention that a shoulder plane and a router plane were two that I was definitely interested in.

So for now, the hunt is on for a Stanley #4 or #5 or similar, a shoulder plane, and a router plane. I am "watch"ing a few on that (ugh) auction site just to see what they finally sell for. I am watching a couple of #7's and a #8 too just for ducks. I am also watching craigslist but not finding much in my area which is Northern California, East Contra Costa County, city of Oakley. For those not familiar with California, leave San Francisco and go east about 60-65 miles. Depending on day-of-week and time of day that could be anywhere from a 1.5 hour drive to about 5 hours.

I do have a decent set of chisels. Not the greatest perhaps but decent. Marples to be exact. For sharpening I have a 12" diamond stone which is a 750 grit equivalent, and two water stones. I'm not sure what the grits are but I would guess 1000 and 4000. I got the water stones with a PM66 table saw I bought. One of them came in a box but all of the writing was in Japanese so, of course, I don't have any idea what it says. Problem is, I have misplaced it and the nagura stone. CRAP!

One more question if I may. A couple of you have mentioned replacing the blades. Is there a "standard" size or type? By that I mean do all #4 sized planes use the same blade? Or are you good to go as long as you get the right width blade?

Lastly, a couple of you mentioned the Lee Valley bevel-up Jack plane. Is this it?:
http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?p=49708&cat=1,41182,41186,49708

Thanks again,

Wayne
That is the plane. It could be the only plane you ever buy. (but don't count on it!)

Brian Kent
04-13-2012, 9:52 PM
I mostly agree with what others have said. I started our with the Buck Brothers Home Depot Plane-Shaped-Objects. After using a real plane I threw these in the trash rather than sell them at a grage sale, so that no one else would be fooled. I do not think these are worth any more effort.

I was advised to get the smallest Lie Nielsen - a small block plane for $95 - to see what a properly built and tuned plane is supposed to be like. http://www.craftsmanstudio.com/html_p/A221.htm

I think a good used Stanley #4 or #5 is excellent advise, but either refurbished or with the help of an experienced woodworker, books or videos.

The real surprise that is almost in your area is Japan Woodworker in Alameda. Wonderful store but a little hard to find. The really inexpensive and surprising finds there are the rosewood Smoothing Plane ($33) Jack Plane ($39) and especially the High Angle Rosewood Polish Plane ($56). (http://www.japanwoodworker.com/dept.asp?s=JapanWoodworker&dept_id=13602) Avoid the rabbet plane. The 3 recommended are as cheap as their blades would be alone, and work amazingly. They are even pretty.

I also agree with the Lee Valley Bevel Up Jack recommendation if it is affordable.

Brian

Jim Koepke
04-14-2012, 3:06 AM
I think there is a woodworker tool and supply store in Pacheco that is a lot closer.

It has been a few years since I was even in California, so things may have changed.

There was also a Woodcrafters in Dublin.

jtk

Roy Lindberry
04-14-2012, 12:24 PM
Given that you are by no means a full fledged, sold out Neanderthal...I would advise against buying something vintage for a couple of reasons. Number one, as you noted, vintage planes can range from very good to very bad in quality. The amount of research it would take to learn a lot of the ins and outs would be better spent learning to sharpen really well. Number 2, even if you find a good quality one, it will probably require at least a few hours (some of mine took several) of fettling, which includes lapping the sole to a reasonable flatness, making sure the blade and chipbreaker are in good condition (you could by replacements, but that just adds to the cost), cleaning all of the nooks and crannies, removing rust, making sure your frog and bed are smooth and mating properly, etc. If that interests you, then a vintage plane is a good choice. If not then I suggest plan B.

Since Lie-Neilsen are a bit on the pricier side (as are Lee Valley) and you seem to be looking for something more affordable, then you might try the Wood River v.3 line of planes from Woodcraft, which last I checked, were about half the price of the premium planes. I've heard very good reviews about them. Also, the new Stanley Sweethearts are supposed to be pretty good as well.

As far as what kinds, a good block plane is essential. A shoulder plane is also essential, though I still don't have one (but I am constantly reminded of why I need to get one). A #4 or #4 1/2 would be a great choice for smoothing out final surfaces. If you are not looking to avoid sandpaper, then you may not want to go this route (though there is a lot that can be done with a smoother, such as raised panels (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAezwdKjN2Y&list=UUc3EpWncNq5QL0QhwUNQb7w&index=2&feature=plcp) and roundovers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcYqPz6LPcA&list=UUc3EpWncNq5QL0QhwUNQb7w&index=10&feature=plcp)). A router plane would be good as well (again, I still haven't obtained one, but I hope to build one in the next year base on Derek Cohen's design). I would also recommend a spokeshave which, while not technically a plane, is a great way to augment power tool work by doing small bits of shaping and refining. One final suggestion that I would make, and which requires a very limited investment, is a set of card scrapers. Again, not technically a plane, but very useful and handy. You may find yourself never reaching for sandpaper again...

Finally, remember that sharpening is the key to making any plane (or a card scraper) really sing. I have a piece of junk block plane in the shop which when the blade was properly sharpened is capable of doing some pretty fine work. I also have some great planes that do nothing but tear the wood up when the blade us dull. Sharpening is easy. Sharpening well takes a bit more practice - and it is easily 80% of whether your planing experience will be good or bad. There are many methods out there and many threads on this site to help you out.

Prashun Patel
04-14-2012, 5:11 PM
I think Roys suggestions about the Woodriver v3 planes is a good one.

Jerome Hanby
04-14-2012, 9:05 PM
If you want to spend all your money on planes, watch Saint Roy's show. If you want some left to buy wood, avoid it at all cost. He's got me lusting after a nickel plated Stanley 45 now!

Stew Hagerty
04-15-2012, 12:48 PM
Also, the new Stanley Sweethearts are supposed to be pretty good as well.

You're right about the Sweethearts, I love mine. See my post above.

Stew Hagerty
04-15-2012, 1:04 PM
There are some Stanley/Bailey planes made after WW II that are just fine. There are too many of them that are not that well made. So unless I have a chance to check it out first, I wouldn't be interested.

EDIT: I should make it clear that I mean the Bailey style plane manufactured by Stanley. Not necessarily all Stanley planes.

I have not had a chance to try the new premium planes. jtk

You should try them out sometime. They impressed me and they've been rated "Best Value" in tests more than once. Like I said, I have since bought, restored, and used many vintage Stanleys and my Sweethearts are much better, although no doubt largely due to the 1/8" A2 blade. I have also test driven several LN and Veritas planes, and while they are truely wonderful tools, at the moment my Sweethearts are performing as well my overall skill level needs.

I know I must sounds like an advertisement. But actually, I'm just a hugh fan. Let me know if you try them out, I'd love to know your opinion.

Jim Koepke
04-15-2012, 1:55 PM
You should try them out sometime. They impressed me and they've been rated "Best Value" in tests more than once. Like I said, I have since bought, restored, and used many vintage Stanleys and my Sweethearts are much better, although no doubt largely due to the 1/8" A2 blade. I have also test driven several LN and Veritas planes, and while they are truely wonderful tools, at the moment my Sweethearts are performing as well my overall skill level needs.

I know I must sounds like an advertisement. But actually, I'm just a hugh fan. Let me know if you try them out, I'd love to know your opinion.

It is great to hear Stanley has solved some of their early production problems on their new premium line of woodworking tools.

It would be enjoyable and informative for me to give them a test drive. I don't know if there is any one near me who will be offering such an opportunity.

In my own shop, all but one of the bench planes are of Stanley Bailey manufacture. I have owned Bedrock planes. The real difference in my experience is the Bedrock dampens the feel of the wood a bit more. The end result on the wood's surface is pretty much the same.

After trying and commenting on his blades, Ron Hock said to me, "people aren't really buying the blades, they are buying that," and pointed to the finished surface left by the blade.

My point is that we have some amazing modern made planes available to us on the market. Veritas has some great innovations and LV has perfected the manufacture of the Bedrock design. They are great planes and superior to my old workhorses. At the end of the day, my planes will leave just as nice a surface as theirs in most cases. When it comes to gnarly wood and switching grain, a high angle frog or blade may save the day. A card scraper may also do the job.

My set of Bailey planes (from #3 to #8 plus my #10-1/2) set me back less than a couple of LN or LV planes. Of course, the two other planes, #1 & #2) cost as much as LN planes since one of them is an LN.

In my learning hand planes, the biggest obstacle was learning about sharpening. Once "what is sharp" was learned, everything else was easy.

Getting an old plane and making it work can be a challenge, but the process will educate a person in many ways that can not be learned with an open the box and go experience.

If someone has more time than money, I will always advocate buying low and fixing it up. If they have more money than time, then buying new is a valid approach. Then there are all the in between possibilities.

jtk

Stew Hagerty
04-16-2012, 1:02 PM
In my own shop, all but one of the bench planes are of Stanley Bailey manufacture. I have owned Bedrock planes. The real difference in my experience is the Bedrock dampens the feel of the wood a bit more. The end result on the wood's surface is pretty much the same.


My set of Bailey planes (from #3 to #8 plus my #10-1/2) set me back less than a couple of LN or LV planes. Of course, the two other planes, #1 & #2) cost as much as LN planes since one of them is an LN.

In my learning hand planes, the biggest obstacle was learning about sharpening. Once "what is sharp" was learned, everything else was easy.

Getting an old plane and making it work can be a challenge, but the process will educate a person in many ways that can not be learned with an open the box and go experience.

If someone has more time than money, I will always advocate buying low and fixing it up. If they have more money than time, then buying new is a valid approach. Then there are all the in between possibilities.

jtk

Jim, you're welcome to hop in your car and stop by anytime. I think I'm only about 2300 miles away. Ok, so you might need to stop once or twice for coffee on the way over.

In addition to the new Premium #'s 4, 62, & 92. I have Bailey planes 3-8 (like you, no Bedrock), many of which have Corrugated soles. I also have a 12 1/2, a 45, a 78, and a collection of about 40-50 woodies; that number inludes a few Stanley Transitionals.

I've got 8 different spokeshaves, a couple of Drawknives, an Inshave, and about a dozen vintage saws of various sizes and types. I think its a decent collection, and it continues to grow all the time.

I started out as a tried and true Normite with a little bit of Tim Taylor mixed in (Hey,I had been a General Contractor my whole life so give me a break). Then I bought the Sweethearts just in case I needed them sometime, and it turned out that I enjoyed them. Having never sharpened before, I bought a Worksharp which, I believe, dramatically shortened the learning curve. And I was hooked. Now, granted, I still use my shop full of power tools all the time, but I also do plent of handwork on each project as well.

Jim Koepke
04-16-2012, 1:39 PM
Jim, you're welcome to hop in your car and stop by anytime. I think I'm only about 2300 miles away. Ok, so you might need to stop once or twice for coffee on the way over.

In addition to the new Premium #'s 4, 62, & 92. I have Bailey planes 3-8 (like you, no Bedrock), many of which have Corrugated soles. I also have a 12 1/2, a 45, a 78, and a collection of about 40-50 woodies; that number inludes a few Stanley Transitionals.

I've got 8 different spokeshaves, a couple of Drawknives, an Inshave, and about a dozen vintage saws of various sizes and types. I think its a decent collection, and it continues to grow all the time.

I started out as a tried and true Normite with a little bit of Tim Taylor mixed in (Hey,I had been a General Contractor my whole life so give me a break). Then I bought the Sweethearts just in case I needed them sometime, and it turned out that I enjoyed them. Having never sharpened before, I bought a Worksharp which, I believe, dramatically shortened the learning curve. And I was hooked. Now, granted, I still use my shop full of power tools all the time, but I also do plent of handwork on each project as well.

Stew,

Thanks for the invite, but I kind of like staying in my own yard. I even try to avoid going to town more than once a week or so.

I only have a couple of corrugated sole planes, a #4 & #5. Also there are a few wooden bodied planes. I hope to fill that out one day with some hollows and rounds.

I also have accumulated a few specialty planes. Almost all are enjoyable to use for their purpose.

Kind of got hooked on woodworking when I wanted some chairs in my backyard. Next was shelves in the home office.

jtk

Stew Hagerty
04-17-2012, 11:45 AM
Kind of got hooked on woodworking when I wanted some chairs in my backyard. Next was shelves in the home office.jtk

Jim,
My first projects were some cabinets and fixtures for my shop. Nothing fancy, just 3/4" and 1/2" Sandply put together mostly with dadoes and rabbets. Then I started off with a few smaller things for the wife, my mom, and my grandfather (95). My first major project was a rocking horse for my grandaughter for her second Christmas.


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The body is 10/4 Mohogany planed to a full 2", the legs are 5/4 planed to 1", and the rockers are 1" Hard Maple. The rest of the horse is:
Bridle & Saddle Strap inlays ---------- Kentucky Coffee Tree
Mane & Tail accents ------------------- Bazillian Cherry (Jatoba)
Saddle --------------------------------- Butternut (hand carved from a single block)
Hoofs ---------------------------------- Highly Figured Walnut
Eyes ----------------------------------- Holly, Carupay, & Ebony
Handle & Saddle Horn ---------------- Quilted Big Leaf Maple
Finished with a mix of Mineral Sprits, Beeswax, Carnuba Wax, BLO, and lots of love.

Wow, I guess I wandered pretty far off topic now...LOL

Jim Koepke
04-17-2012, 12:47 PM
Wow, that is sure to be an heirloom cherished by your grandchildren.

jtk

Wayne Jolly
04-21-2012, 2:23 PM
It's been a while but I have put a few planes on the watchlist on the auction site just to see where prices go. Nothing of much interest seems to show up on Craigslist in my area. So far I am looking at mainly Stanley's like the #4, #5, #6, and even a #7 or two. Oh, and a #71. Now I just need to find out what the differences are between all the different types. Scrub, fore, jack, bench, smoother . . . . Sheez. Then there is also type?? I have seen references to type 11 and type 19. Great! Juuuust great! :confused:

Wayne

Jim Matthews
04-21-2012, 5:01 PM
Don't over think this, or buy planes because of price.

Phil Lowe (http://www.finewoodworking.com/SkillsAndTechniques/SkillsAndTechniquesArticle.aspx?id=29680) recommends a #4 smoother, #7 Jointer and Rabbet plane.
His take on block planes is that he didn't like waiting for the carpenter to come down the ladder in order to use it.

All of these planes are intended to be used on work that is held by a vise.

I prefer wooden body planes, as they don't rust in my shop.
I again refer you to Chris Becksvoort's article, "One bench plane can do it all" to combine the functions of a jointer and smoother.

Matt Lau
06-03-2012, 3:00 PM
Dude, I'm surprised that nobody mentioned this:

Get a factory second Lee Valley apron plane.
A good small block plane is super useful.

-Matt