2 Books on wooden planes

Making Traditional Wooden Planes, by John Whelan Making and Mastering Wooden Planes (Rev. Ed.), by David Finck
Wooden planes, aka "a study of man's ingenuity" are interesting. I'm currently on the second of Garrett Hack's two books "Handplanes" and "Classic Hand Tools".
Can anyone provide a short comparison or review of the 2 wooden hand plane books I mentioned at the top?
Bill
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The Finck book is exclusively Krenov style planes. Whelan goes farther a field. Of the two, a newcomer would be more likely to get a finished product using Finck.
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That makes my decision easy. Thanks!
Bill
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Oops, I read that too fast, it doesn't make my decision easy...it sounds like I may eventually want both! ; ) Thanks.
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It would not hurt to have both, each book has merit, I think either would offer enough info to make a nice plane....I have made a couple of nice smoothers over the years, and I used techniques from both books....also there was a fellow here ( Steve Knight of Knight Toolworks) that sold me a couple of awesome cutters..and offered advice on planemaking and tuning as well...
All in all it takes a time or two making and tuning, but once you get over the learning curve...you may find the smoothers you made will plane as well as a Clifton....or maybe a Lie Nielson...I did...it's a slipery slope...
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The more time that I spend here, the more slippery that it gets! Folks put ideas in my head! ; )
Bill
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I have both books. As someone already mentioned, the Finck book stresses Krenov style planes. The author assumes the reader does have a great deal of expertise with hand planes, and covers all the fundamentals that apply to both metal and wooden planes There is a lot of background info provided as it takes until page 72 to start discussing building a plane and wraps it up in 50 pages. The last 50ish pages are devoted to plane and scraper techniques.
There are a lot of illustrations and photos, some in color. I personally don't care for the esthetics of the Krenov style plane, however, they work well and that is the important point to most people. The book does devote a good amount of space to tuning and tweaking a wooden plane, and also discussing technique. It also has a chapter on sharpening and using scrapers. I have not done a good job reading this book since I only have an electronic copy picked up from one of the alt groups, and I don't really like electronic books for serious study The book is out of print and is listed used on Amazon ranging from $65 to $141 plus shipping.
However, I have been working on catching up with unread messages, and recently saw a post from a Galoot on another list to alert us that Dave Finck has apparently self published a new edition of the book. You can buy it directly from him for $25. I need to order a hard copy myself. His blades are supposed to be very good too, but I have no first hand experience with them. Good site to browse while you're buying the book.
http://www.davidfinck.com/book.htm
I stumbled across the Whelan book in the library of the local WW club ( www.wwch.org if you're in the Houston area - meeting this Saturday at 9am) last fall. We have a large enough membership to support a small splinter group of hand tool aficionados. Anyway, I was quite pleased with the book, but one of the other splinter members saw me with it and I was forced to return it on time so he could check it out of the library. I recently bought my own copy from Amazon at a cost of $18.76, but eligible for free shipping. I needed some other stuff anyway, so got the free shipping and my order arrived exactly a week later. I am still perusing this book.
The Whelan book is not nearly as fancy as the Finck book. No glossy photos, no color, no slick paper. But it does have about 130 pages of good, solid instruction about plane making. The author assumes you are no beginner to woodworking and know something of the care and feeding of wood planes. The only introductory material consists of a few pages to make sure the reader is aware of the terminology,history and materials used by the old-timers. A whopping four and a half pages are devoted to tuning a wooden plane.
Page 17 starts with making a laminated (Krenov) style plane. Page 22 begins a two piece Jack plane, and the rest of the book is devoted to traditional plane making methods for another 17 or so different planes. Additional types discussed are smoother, jointer, bullnose, boxmaker, various edge treatment planes, dado and various plow planes plus fences. The instructions and drawings are not particularly detailed. However, if you have a copy of the plane you want to recreate in front of you for reference, the discussion in the book is pretty clear. The author states in the summary that he hopes people will be creative, and not just copy, which is why there are not detailed dimensions,
If you're interested in building just one or two block or bench planes in your life, you will not need the Whelan book. However, if you are a Galoot at heart, you will want, nay, need it. Then you need to buy some more tools like floats and planemaker's saws and chisels, which like clamps, are always insufficiently inventoried.
Check out the following site for some beautiful hand made tools, including planes. Derek is extremely talented and energetic. Going through his site is a joy, especially when you keep in mind this is just his hobby, and only does this in his spare time. I don't think he sleeps. Go to the "Shopmade Tools" heading to see his planes. Check out the mesquite jack plane way down at the bottom of the list. Love the razee style.
http://www.inthewoodshop.com/index.html
Crap, I didn't mean to blather on. Buy both books. It's only money and another couple steps down that slope. There's a bunch of us already part way down the hill waiting on you.
Regards, Roy
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wrote:

Roy, Great reviews! I copied your post to my desktop. As far as that slippery slope, I bought about 10 packages of sandpaper today (for sharpening planes and chisels), and picked up a set of (3 cabinet) scrapers while I was at it. Thus, according to your review, I need David Finck's book! I've already requested it from my local library. As you suggest, having both books would be nice...I have plenty on my plate... :) What gets me is you can get both books for about the price of a new Hock plane iron--which seems crazy!
Take care, Bill
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Nope, for sharpening, you need Leonard Lee's book, "The Complete Guide to Sharpening". Best book written on the subject I have seen. Available from Lee Valley (of course) and Amazon.
I'm a scarey sharper myself. My local True Value stocks wet/dry packs up to 1500 grit for $1.89 for 3 sheets. Thin paper, but it works fine glued to a piece of glass. 2-4 strokes on 600, 1000, 1500 grit is all that is needed to restore the edge. Just remember to sharpen on the pull stroke, not the push.
That's a straight line if I ever heard one.
Regards, Roy
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Thank you for your suggestions. Hopefully the chisels won't give me too much trouble. But, as you well know, on a plane there are more parts to think about than just the plane iron. I should review what Mr. Hack wrote about it--or re-examine Lee's book. I borrowed it from the library a few years ago.
Suppose you wish to sharpen a blade in a curved manner (like that of a scrub plane--to be used for the same purpose). I watched someone from Lie Valley/Veritas using a blade shaped like that at the Woodworking Show. He was using a low-angle plane (I hope that is not an issue; I don't expect it to be--it just occurred to me. Is there a reasonable approach that doesn't involve a grinder (like using a file or 50 grit)? I'm more afraid of burning up a new iron than I am of buying a grinding wheel.
Bill
Bill
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Thanks for the tip!
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