FIRST Plane Purchase

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Thinking about buying my first hand plane. I wathed a vid on FWW.com that recommends a #4 smooth plane as a top 3 pick.
I was looking at the Veritas #4 smooth plane, but I don't know a whole heck of a lot about these things. Are they all 110V or do I need a dedicated 220V recepticle? :)
Who else other than Veritas's #4 smooth should I be considering?
Thanks.
--
www.garagewoodworks.com



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KnighttoolWorks. Steve makes a great plane.
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GarageWoodworks wrote:

Depends what you want it for. If you already have a power jointer and planer, then a smooth plane might be a good plan.
My first real plane was the Veritas low-angle jack plane. When I bought it I didn't have a power jointer or planer.
With a low-angle blade it will plane endgrain and well-behaved softwood. With a second higher-angle blade it works as an all-around plane. It's long enough to joint with, and you can tighten the mouth enough to smooth with it. I'm a pretty happy camper.
Eventually I'd like to add the bevel-up smoother and jointer to the cast (since they can all share blades), but I have other things higher up on the tool list.
Chris
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It (#4 smooth plane) was listed as one of three planes that every woodworker (newbie) should buy first. Therefore, I am taking this at face value (FWW.com) that it will be useful to me.
http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/SkillsAndTechniques/SkillsAndTechniquesArticle.aspx?id )680
Thanks.
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I'll second these opinions about the LV Low Angle Jack if you might consider a longer plane, which could be more versatile. But if you're pretty sure you want a smoother-sized plane, I also have the Bevel-Up Smoother (http://tinyurl.com/24n6xp ), and I'd recommend that VERY highly - I have nothing but good things to say about it. Well, it's a little ugly and some people think the handle is uncomfortable, but as soon as I put it to some wood, I realized it's a beautiful tool that feels great in use. I find it much easier to adjust than the standard bevel-down planes (lateral, blade projection, and mouth opening). The swappable blades make it ideal for use on a wide variety of woods. It's nice and wide with a very low center of gravity - you just have to push forward, as it feels like it's pulling itself right down against the surface of the wood - not much downward pressure is needed. And of course the plane and any blades come lapped and polished and tweaked and ready to use. (But sooner or later you'll definitely need some sharpening supplies). Order one of these planes - I think you won't be disappointed. But even if your opinions are very different from mine, you're still OK, because LV is great about returns if you're not satisfied for any reason. Good luck and have fun planing, Andy (No affiliations except as a completely satisfied customer)
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Let me clarify this question so as I can squeeze more out. I am looking for other manufactures to consider for a #4 smooth plane. Not, which other hand planes (type) should I buy.
Thanks.
--
www.garagewoodworks.com



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Lie Nielsen comes to mind. For bench planes, I prefer Veritas bevel up planes and Lie Nielsen bevel down planes. I have both makers in my block plane collection. I've never been disappointed in either. My Veritas medium shoulder plane is a winner.
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A Cessna 172 gets my vote, but then again first time even a Cessna 150 would be a good one to start with...........
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Nah, Go for a 210 Turbo and enjoy.
Max
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Tristie wrote:

I would die a happy man if I could afford a Cessna 182.
Wayne
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NoOne N Particular wrote:

I would die a confused, disoriented, spiraling, yet happy man if given the controls of an F22 raptor.
--
"Hey, yutz! Guns aren't toys.
They're for family protection, hunting dangerous or delicious animals,
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GarageWoodworks wrote:

Look for an old Stanley Bailey #4 at garage sales, flea markets, etc. They can usually be had for $8 - $10 and work fine once tuned.
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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Nova wrote:

How will someone who has never used a plane be able to tune it given that they don't know how things are "supposed" to be?
There's an interesting thread at Sawmill Creek called, "Dont do it! Why newbies should NOT start with old planes."
http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?tp466
Chris
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Chris Friesen wrote:

The internet is a wonderful place...
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=tuning+a+hand+plane&btnG=Google+Search
Tuning/sharpening a plane is a necessary skill if you plan on using hand planes. I rather practice on a plane costing $8 - $10.
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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[...snip..]

Dont do it! Why newbies should NOT start with old planes. I recently bought a #4 off eBay for $26, plus $10 shipping, and, so far, wish I had gone with a new Lee Valley instead. Here's why.
From a newbie's perspective, it takes a ton of time and significant funds to get it in good usable shape, and without a good reference piece, how do you know if its good?

I would encourage you to consider the following factors before going down this road:
1. Rust removal. Any old plane you buy will have rust. How will you remove it? Do you have the tools to do electrolysis? If not, you will have to buy a rust removal product. Budget $15-20 for chemicals, steel wool, and a wire brush. 3-4 hours of setup, soaking, labor.

2. Flattening the sole. A flat sole is critical to plane function.

I had to buy a granite plate ($30), emery paper (60, 80, 120 grit; $5), automotive sandpaper (120 grit; 2 packs $5) , Norton wet/dry sandpaper (220, 400, 600 grit; $5 each); 20+ hours so far.

3. Blade and chipbreaker. It is likely that your current blade is short and thinner than recommended by most. Replacement blade and chipbreaker ($55 + $10 shipping). Order and wait.

4. Paint. Some people dont repaint, but if a decent amount of japanning has worn off, you are going to want to remove and replace it in order to prevent rust ($5 Dremel wire wheel [hope you have a Dremel] and $5 Rustoleum. 5 hrs.

4. Potential for missing parts. As I have mentioned in another post, the yoke (part of the depth adjuster) on my plane had been modified by a previous owner, so a the chipbreaker would not seat properly. Luckily, a generous fellow creeker felt pity on me and sent a replacement. The fix cost me nothing, but I lost a good week diagnosing and replacing the faulty component.

Total cost of my #4 rehab:
$ 36 - plane $ 15 rust removal $ 60 flattening the sole $ 10 - repainting $ 65 replacement blade and chipbreaker $185
Now, these are rough numbers. You may argue about any particular figure. You may already have or have plans to buy a granite plate, for example. If you are planning to do large number of planes, you can spread the granite plate cost across the bulk of them. On the other hand, you may need more sandpaper, you may have to repair a broken handle, whatever.
For a newbie looking for a good worker to get started with, I argue they are better off going with a known ready-to-use tool.
For example, for roughly the same amount $199, a newbie could buy a brand new Lee Valley Bevel Up Smoother with an A1 steel blade. None of the rehab would be required. Simply hone a 38 degree secondary bevel on the blade (a la Derek Cohen) and boom, and youre set.

If the $ cost isnt enough to make the difference, what about time? Remember, Im a hobbyist, so I dont have all day every day. I have a few hours most weekends. To date, Ive spent at least 40 hours in research, shopping, and manual labor rehabbing my #4. That is easily 5 weekends, really more! AND THE SOLE STILL ISN'T FLAT!!

Compare that to the 30 minutes it would have taken to get up an running on a new LV. Think of all the wood I could have worked . . . Reply With Quote
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On Sun, 09 Dec 2007 10:14:13 -0800, Jim Weisgram

A GREAT point, thanks for posting.

Nice post, I totally agree.
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Either 110V or 220V will do fine as long as it's single phase. Be sure to avoid 3 phase unless you are in an industrial area and have 3 phase power available. Art

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Clifton makes good planes. So does Lie-Nielsen. And, of course, everyone should have at least one Sauer & Steiner in their (new) plane collection.
JP
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Indeed. I don't have one, and don't have any plans to do so any time soon, but ever since Lee Valley put out that stainless steel edge trimmer, I've had Sauer & Steiner on my mind. I'm a little afraid.
JP ********************
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The better ones run on 3-phase power, so you'll probably need a rotary phase converter too. ;)

Veritas/Lee Valley is an excellent choice. I have a few of their planes and they're pretty much ready to go out of the box. The only thing you might need to do is strop the blade a little. A good complement to the #4 bench would be one of their adjustable mouth block planes.
Also keep the following in mind, from someone that's also recently become enthralled with working with hand planes:
o)    To make the best use of any type of hand plane, you need a decent bench to hold your work. If you've got no way to secure the work, a hand plane is useless.
o)    If you don't all ready have a method you like for sharpening blades, start researching. Avoid getting caught up in a method that takes a lot of time. Ideally, you want to be able to sharpen the blade quickly and then get back to work.
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