Block vs Bench plane

OK...
Im looking into getting a (Hand) Plane... but I've seen block and bench planes. Which one would be the way to go for a first timer? What's the difference in the two? Im gonna be doing hand dovetail/box jointery as well as some 'common' woodworking projects.
Thanks, Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snip "Mike W." wrote:

I'm afraid that "Block or Bench" isn't the question. You need to go to www.supertool.com and read your way through the website. Then do it again until you have a basic understanding of the types of planes. A VERY basic start in planes would be a #5 and a #110 or #220. That won't, by any means, solve all your problems, but it will solve many of them. If you add a #3 and a #7 you will have solved the majority of the ones that you will run into in the beginning. If you are going to be doing dovetails, you will need good chisels and a good dovetail saw as well. And a mallet. Chisels don't get struck with a claw hammer. I'm assuming that you already know how to sharpen your tools, because without that ability your planes and chisels will never work properly. I know that wasn't in your question, but I hope that it helps, 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

Mike,
If you're asking what type of plane will be more useful in joinery tasks, I'd say a block plane over a bench plane. But you really need to describe in more detail the tools that you already have and the types of functions you expect to get out of the plane. And, as another poster mentioned, you'll need to get set up for sharpening. It may seem daunting at first but you'll "get it" eventually if you keep learning and keep trying.
Cheers, Another Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
half snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Mike) wrote in message

I think I should add that a bench plane will serve you better if the type of joinery you envision is gluing up boards for panels.
Cheers, Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
For the first-timer? I'd recommend a good low-angle block plane with an adjustable throat. My Stanley 60-1/2 gets used more than any other plane in my shop; that's the one I'd go for. Highland Hardware has new ones for $29 (that's about as low as you will find them), but the older Stanleys from the 1950's or earlier are better. You can probably find a good one on eBay for $25 or so.
If you're willing to spend a little more, the Veritas low-angle block plane from Lee Valley is a work of art; it will be one of your proudest and most useful possessions.
Mike W. wrote:

--
To reply, change the chemical designation to its common name.


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

You need one of each. There's a huge range of planes, and "need" is relative. But if you have a workbench, and you expect to "plane some timber flat" then you'll be wanting a bench plane.
Everyone needs a block plane. Many people who wear shop aprons keep it in the pocket, they're that handy. I use mine all the time, trimming, chamfering, and even planing surfaces when I can't be bothered to reach for a bench plane.
So for "starting out DIY", then get a block plane. For woodworking, get both.

Good ones. Most modern planes are extremely badly made, and they're just horrible to setup and use.
Fortunately there's a ready market in good, usable, old planes, coming off eBay (and there's always the toolshop / yard sale route). If you get a recognisable Stanley design, with no obvious missing bits and a brass adjusting wheel, then you won't go far wrong. Restoration to user status isn't hard (Google for it - electrolysis and "scary sharp" are probably useful too). Old eBay Stanleys with good irons are an excellent combination - good irons come from Stanley (but only the pre-war "Sweetheart" irons), Samurai, Clifton (may need some work to fit them) or Hock (will need sharpening)
Any bozo can use a plane. Adjusting it is the tricky bit. Even when I've got kids in the workshop, I set the planes up and let them use them, and they have no trouble at all. OTOH, my first plane when I was of similar age was a Stanley 102. This is a cheap block plane with an absolutely minimal adjuster (just a clamp) It took me about 30 years before I could use the damned thing ! This is one reason why I like the Lee Valley / Veritas range - they have really smooth and easy to use adjusters with no backlash. So, for your first planes, look for types with easy and accurate adjustments.
Assuming you have a "serious" budget, then go out and buy the following pair:
Lee Valley low angle block plane.
Lee Valley #5, or thereabouts.
These are both excellent planes, where the best of traditional design features has been shamelessly picked over and combined with new innovations. They're also beautifully made, arrive in good tune already, and have excellent irons. Price is pretty reasonable too.
This pair will do most of your "making stuff" bench carpentry.
Then when you need a smoother, look at one of Steve Knight's wooden planes. These are another excellent plane that works really well (if you truly need a good bench smoother - don't keep them in the toolbag for scraping paint). Woodies have a bad reputation for being awkward to adjust, and Steve's are no different. However he also delivers them sharp and ready-tuned, so you'll have at least one honing's worth of experience with them running properly before you have to re-set them yourself. And with Steve's irons, that's a long time. To re-set a wooden plane, you need a small hammer (light taps are the trick) and practice. FWW also did a useful article on Japanese wooden planes a while back, which has some relevance.
Don't buy a #4. The #5 is a better size for general bench work. #4s are also the most common size of S/H plane and you'll soon find them growing on trees and under workbenches. There's no need to spend money encouraging them.
A #92 is a useful plane for rebate work, and as a cheap substitute to a shoulder plane (even though it's not quite as good). It's also one of the few modern Stanleys that's worth buying quality-wise (UK production anyway).
#80 and #271 are others that are cheap and surprisingly useful.
If you work with rough timber, get a scrub plane. Either an old #40 (a bit hard to find), a modern Steve Knight (I've not used one, but would like to) or a converted cheap #4 (search this ng).
Buy weird planes as you need them, or as you see one that looks useful. There's no need to go crazy with a Lie-Nielsen catalogue on day #1.

OK, now you're sounding serious.
-- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'll attest to wanting to own a Steve Knight wooden plane. I have his coffin smoother (and will be getting his scrub for Christmas). I was a little nervous about how it would perform (only read reviews -- but they were all positive) and very nervous about setting it up, it looked like voodoo magic.
BUT, once I got it (I couldn't believe how little -- and I mean LITTLE -- of the blade was sticking out the bottom) it was so slick to use and in one complete pass of some semi rough wood I had laying around (birch I think) the wood felt like glass!! I mean, I didn't get that smooth on my last project without going through 2 grits on my ROS (for about 30 min) and then fine sanding with 320 (end grain so it wouldn't take as much stain). Holy cow!! I was converted instantly.
Now, what about adjusting the iron? Well, again I was a bit nervous. So I bought a Veritas sharpening setup and did some Scary sharp on the iron and got set to put it all back together. I followed Steve's instructions and I would say it was about 30 minutes before I was planing thin enough shavings. Hmmm...not as fast as I wanted, but after about 3 days of practicing I was able to get the plane put back together and plane fluffy shavings in about 3 minutes :) Yeah, baby, yeah! So, don't worry, piece of cake once you get the hang of it.
Have fun, Mike
[snip]

[snip]
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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.