Advice needed for buying a plane

Page 1 of 2  

Hello,
Long time lurker here, but brand new to actually working wood.
Have a question regarding which plane(s) to buy. I am assembling my shop, and have a 6" jointer (Jet) and a portable planer (dewalt). So far have mostly done some crude tables for the shop, and these have sufficed.
But now want to start doing what I originally got into the hobby to do: building my own furniture.
Toward that end, I figure I will probably need a hand plane or two. Money is at a premium for the time being (did I not just mention the above two power tools!), but I would rather buy high-quality stuff one tool at a time than buy lots of things quickly and sacrifice on the quality.
If you all had to buy ONE plane, which would it be?
Bench or block? What size/number? Which manufacturer?
Thanks for any help you can give!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wood snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

suggest that AND get the high angle replacement blade. It will then do double duty. Great quality. Order from Lee Valley. You can't go wrong with the Veritas line. I'm now at 4 Veritas planes/scrapers and counting...
Dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If I could only have one plane, it would be the LN Adjustable Mouth block plane, an interpretation of the venerable Stanley 9 1/2.
Dave's suggestion is a good one, because the Veritas is wider and heavier, and works not unlike an old Stanley #3, which is also a favorite plane of mine. I have the Veritas Block plane, and it's a good one, but it's not the first one I pick up, for most projects.
This notion of one plane, however, is foreign to me. Rather like working with only one species of wood, or eating only Mexican food, or only listening to Beethoven.
Buy one block plane now. Budget for a Low Angle Smoother for the near future. Expect to purchase a high angle blade for it as well.
Welcome to the quiet side, at least a little bit.
Patriarch
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A craftsman swears by his tools, a hacker swears at his tools. If you have never used a plane buy a cheap one at the hardware store. It is probably better than those used to create the wonders in the Louvre and in Williamsburg. If you inherit a fortune, by the "best" but don't expect that the plane will do the work. You will still have to learn how to use it and that takes a while. Did I forget sharpening? Thats another thing you need to learn. You cannot buy skill, it's just a matter of your being interested enough to put the time in. Keep trying! Dave
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dave W wrote:

I do NOT concur. The new planes from the hardware store, especially the ones from India/China/CZ are not worth the time to flatten. And you WILL need to flatten them. I looked at a GROZ at Woodcraft and it rocked on its corners, don't even get me started about Anants or the HF crap planes. The English Stanleys, Great Neck or the Chinese Buck Bros are nearly as bad. None have decent, or even fair, blades or chip breakers. Poor tools are usable by a craftsman, but are a lousey way to learn how to use tools. Middle level tools, like OLD Stanleys are usable, and arre probably acceptably flattened. They have usable blades and chipbreakers. You can learn on them and use them without cursing, assuming that you can sharpen. Going higher end than that to start is, in my opinion, a waste of money, as is buying a crap and then getting bummed out because it won't do the job.
The Old planes, woodies used to build things pre-Civil War work perfectly well, and some say better, than metal bodies. They have a learning curve in setting the blade and require care and feeding, but they are incomparable in their feel when gliding over wood. Hardware store planes are not at all in their class.
My tu sense, Dave in Fairfax
--
reply-to doesn't work
use: daveldr at att dot net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

No it isnt, I have some of those 18th century wooden planes and they work just fine - locally made too. They work a _lot_ better than some pressed-steel base plane from the usual DIY shops.
And what's wrong with English Stanleys? They're not great, but neither are they bad. The #92 and family was always better than the US-made version too.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wood snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote: snip

We've had this question come up repeatedly, which I'm sure you've noticed while lurking. The best advice would be to DAGS on it and read the threads. The problem is with the question. What do you want the plane to do. That is what makes all the difference in which one to get or even which tye to get. The analogy is to say, "I'm moving out of my parents house, what appliance should I buy?" I'd guess that you don't have any experience using planes, and possibly not in sharpening. Just getting some amorphous plane isn't an answer. Getting an expensive one to use as a learning experience is probably a bad idea. Get one each, block and bench planes and read up on shapening and fettling, then learn how to use them. At that point, you'll have a better idea of what plane to get. DON'T get a Buck or Great Neck or Stanley from the big box stores. Go to the antique store and buy a few old Stanleys/Sargents/Millers Falls planes. They'll be very usable if you get ones without cracks or TOO much rust. A couple of them shouldn't cost more than the replacement blade for a plane.
Dave in Fairfax
--
reply-to doesn't work
use: daveldr at att dot net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dave,
Great points, all true. In short, I have *no* experience using planes at all. I've had very little formal woodworking training at all as a matter of fact, and all of it has been on power tools. I guess I'm not even sure *what* I'll need a hand plane on...so far my machine work has been good enough to get me by. However, I'm sure that will change once I stop building crude tables out of construction pine!!
Here's a corollary question, I guess: Some people rely heavily (exclusively?) on their power tools, and some prefer the feeling of hand tools. For the first group, and particularly if you own a power planer and jointer, what DO you use your planes on mostly? I guess a little more specifically, I'm most interested in building a variety of tables, as well as bookcases and, when I get a LOT better, maybe a bed or two.
Thanks all!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The blockplane can put a bevel on an edge. It can smooth the edge of a board. It can be used to fit a board between others,
Shoulder plane is good for fitting a tenon into a mortise or a tongue into a dado. One pass at a time, it is very satisfying to have that tongue slip properly into the groove.
The Knight coffin smoother, well, smoothes the wood.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<snip>

And looks supremely cool doing it.
Patriarch, owner of several handmade Knight smoothers, still not cool, though. (101 today...)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Lee Valley Low angle block plane Next a shoulder plane or smoother. It's a toss up there depending on your project at the moment.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My two most used are, in order, block plane, #5.
wrote in message

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
That's exactly what I just ordered, the Lee Valley low-angle block. Thanks for the advice. Thanks to everyone, too.
BTW, the Lee Valley shoulder planes look nice, and the ability to trim the end-grain on tenons would be wonderful. The kinds of wood I will be working will most likely be cherry, walnut, and mahogany. Any preferences as to the LV Medium Shoulder versus the LV Bullnose?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wood snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote in

Yes. They do different things. The bullnose gets into places the shoulder plane doesn't fit. The shoulder plane takes a different type of shaving, because the mouth is tight to the blade. A much smoother cut.
I use my shoulder plane a lot. I use the chisel plane I have very little, although it is of excellent construction and quality. I have never missed having a bullnose plane.
Another shoulder plane, for larger work, might find a place in my tool cabinet. But not this week, cartainly.
The LV Medium shoulder could easily be one of the 'first 5' planes.
Patriarch
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Patriarch" wrote

to hold more planes?? <G>
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A penthouse, perhaps. Two more planes in the last 6 weeks, and neither one has had a chance to be used as yet. Ceramic tile installation in the master bath was 'interesting'.
A Steve Knight microsmoother, and one of the new Veritas Scrubs...
Perhaps this weekend, while working on the bathroom vanity project.
Patriarch
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You should gander at this site: http://www.stjamesbaytoolco.com /
--
Alex - newbie_neander in woodworking
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A fellow could spend his entire allowance with those people. ;-)
Thank you.
Patriarch
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
There's a trove of information at this link, including attempts to answer questions such as "which plane first?" and "which one plane?"
http://home.pacbell.net/paulcomi/Spectaculartrim/Woodworking/rfeeser_article_on_handplanes.htm
MY first plane (and I only have 3) was the Veritas Apron plane - an economical choice I thought for trimming/fitting. It has worked well for me in this regard.
FYI, Chris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Crap - typo! (Couldn't paste into the Google "reply" window for some reason...)
There should be an "_" (underbar) added in the middle of the word "handplanes" at the end of the link - i.e. "rfeeser_article_on_hand_planes.htm"
Sorry!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.