Hartville Tool - 6 Plane Set - Opinions?


Hello,
Does anyone in the group have any thoughts on the following set of planes that Hartville Tool is selling for $159.00?
<http://www.hartvilletool.com/product/12203
Would this be a good beginner's set? How good of an assortment is it?
It seems to me that one could learn how to use and tune them up without the fear of ruining an expensive set of (Brand name) planes?
Thanks in advance to those who post a reply.
Peter.
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I don't know anything about that particular set, but given the price and lack of a brand name, I'd say they're definitely not top-quality planes, and cheaply-made planes CAN be frusterating to use. As a beginner, I'd also hesitate to put money towards a large set of planes - instead, I'd look for a good-quality used smooth or jack plane and spend some quality time with that. It would probably be better quality than a new made-in-china-special, and once you get used to it, you can decide whether you want to spend more money on better quality planes, what sizes/types you'll probably use most, etc. There are a couple dealers of good used planes - search the archives here for names. From my limited knowledge, Stanley planes made before WWII are good quality and can be had for not too much money. (Maybe $50-80 for a smoother in good shape?) Or you can try eBay if you want to take your chances there. That might give you a cheaper plane, but a dedicated dealer would be able to tell you a lot more about a plane and how much work ("fettling") would be required to get it in good working order. For an alternative to metal planes, Steve Knight is a regular poster here who hand-makes excellent-quality wood planes. He posted a little while ago about a sale on his planes, and you might be able to talk him into giving you a discount on your first one. He's also good about answering questions about use and care of his planes. Hope this helps, Andy
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Andy wrote:

You can probably ask Hartville who makes those planes.
My guess would be Anant, an Indian company. Their planes have a reputation for being rough in regards to fit and finish but relatively robust, which makes them salvagable with sufficient fettling and the substitution of a good cutting iron. Planes that are lightweight in construction are simply not salvagable.
The exception may be the block plane. If the adjustable mouth is not machined well it may be beyond fixing.
Offhand I recommend buying old Stanley, Sargent, Union, Millers Falls, etc one at a time. Typically the totes will be better (more comfortable) than on any new planes, especially the Type 11 and earlier Stanleys (and maybe a few later types as well.)
--

FF


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On 17 Apr 2006 09:48:52 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:

They are Anant planes, I just bought th #7 jointer and #4 smoother from them as experimental tools. After sharpening the irons scary sharp they do make light fluffy curls, beyond that I have not played much with them.
Mark (sixoneeight) = 618
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There is nothing more frustrating than using a poor quality or "average" quality hand plane. You will frustrate yourself. Don't take the lure that you can tune, fettle, flatten, and whip these into decent planes. This type of tuneup can be a lot of work. Spend $69 on a Lee Valley apron plane and amaze yourself at how such a tiny thing can do so much so well. This will give you the taste of how useful a hand plane can be. Then save your coins to buy a smoother or a jack or start watching for used old stanleys.
I'd rather have 1 or 2 really useful good planes than a boatload of cheap "beginner's" planes.
Bob
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Peter Bogiatzidis wrote:

By the time you get through fixing them all just right, you'll be an expert. :)
Check out Jeff Gorman's pages on planes if you do this:
<URL:http://www.amgron.clara.net/planingpoints/planefettling/fettling.htm
er
--
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I would never buy that set ... they're not even Anants. No doubt Chinese.... what are those boats called?
See the chromed lever cap? The Anant ones say 'Anant' on them. And I might buy an Anant. If you need to spend less like I do, just buy the old Stanleys on the bay. I got several beauties from there at really decent prices. You'll want to learn to tune them, lessons for that are many on the 'net. Then there's new blades to consider.
--
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
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Thread drift: I've never found much use for a number four. Anything smaller than number 5 size, I use a block plane for.
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CW wrote:

Have you tried a 2 or 3? Very nice sized planes.
R
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No, I haven't but would like to. Don't really see how they would be any better than my block plane but would be interesting.

smaller
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CW wrote:

Block planes are incredibly, ahem, handy, but the way you have to hold them isn't necessarily the optimum. Have you seen Patrick Leach's block plane handle? http://www.supertool.com/bphandle.htm This, from that page, sums it up well: "Let's face it, there are times when we all would like to use a plane that's normally gripped with one hand in a two-handed manner, but find that the plane's size just won't permit a comfortable grip, nor a grip that affords any real control of the tool."
Similarly a 2 or 3 lets you handle a small plane with two hands for greater control. The tote allows you to keep your hand square behind the plane in a much more ergonomic and comfortable position. Most of the time it's not the skew angle of the plane, but the tilt and/or downward pressure that is the primary concern. The tote is far superior for the first and the two handles help with the second.
R
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RicodJour wrote:

Lee Valley sells a similar handle for Veritas planes.
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I have that, and the front knob. Problem is.. it becomes next to impossible to adjust the blade nice and accurately with it on there, and a serious pain to remove it and put it and put it back on again just for that purpose. It can get rediculous.
--
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
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On Mon, 17 Apr 2006 14:13:42 GMT, "Peter Bogiatzidis"

Why would a beginner want 6 planes?
Three planes - #4, #5 and a block. A budget of $50 each lets me walk into my local high street antique tool dealer and buy each of these as top quality old Stanley Sweethearts in "hone and go" condition.
$10 each gets me an eBay bottom-feeder that's perfectly usable after a couple of evenings' fettling.
$150 for 6 is a good deal by bulk, but "$150 to start out" could be spent far better than this.
If they're Anant or equivalent, run a mile.
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