Plane ignorant person needs some plane advice.

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I've never used a wood plane in my life and I need to buy a few and learn to use them but I don't know what I need to buy.
I'd like to be able to Join boards for rubbed glue joints, flatten and smooth table tops.
What would you recommend as a minimum number of planes to buy for the above operations?
Next question, will stanley brand planes hold up well enough for a 2 or 3 time per month usage?
Thanks
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I've got a couple in the ~100 year old range, so yeah.
New Stanley's are generally regarded as crappy. Old Stanley's are abundantly available on *bay, flea markets, yard sales, whatever.
If you have the budget for it, Veritas (www.leevalley.com) or Lie- Nielsen make really nice ones (www.lie-nielsen.com)
Check out www.supertool.com for the canonical list of all Stanley's ever made.
Others, I'm sure, will chime in with more information ...
Regards, JT
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Zounds!
This is a whole religion to learn.
Concept 1 of buying (potentially) sharp hand tools: They probably are not sharp when purchased and even if they are, they won't be after just a little bit of use.
Planes (chisels, spoke shaves, marking knives......) require frequent sharpening to work well. Maybe just a little touch-up, but as often as 10 or 15 minutes of use. Therefore, it is useless to buy these tools without a sharpening strategy. I'm not going to get into a debate over water stone vs. oil stone vs. scarysharp vs grinder but I will say that developing a some modest sharpening skills is actually more important that actual plane technique (because a poorly tuned hand plane simply will not perform well even in talented hands).
As to how many planes ... at least 2. Something like 7 (jointer) for flattening and a 4 for smoothing. But there are lots of specialty planes in between and for other functions.
DAGS.... there's lots of info out there.
Good luck.

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Start with a block plane. Look in Fine Woodworking September/October 2004 #172 for some great info on setting up and using planes.
Yes a Stanley will be fine but you'll need to tune it up first. Read the article, very very excellent.
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Modat22 wrote:

There are a LOT of assumptions here. The 1st question is, "You don't need to be able to do this by, say, Thursday, do you?" 2nd, "How much money do you want/are willing to spend. 3rd"Do you have experience sharpening things like chisels, or just kitchen knives?"
Assuming that you can sharpen to razor edgeness, and that you are willing to spend a couple of hundred bucks, yes OLD Stanleys wil do the job and more. New Stanleys will take a lot of tune-up before they'll work acceptably, and even then you'll nprobably need to buy after-market blades for them. Old Stanleys will have acceptable blades if they are the original blades. You will need a shooting board and a flat bench, #s 3 or 4, 5 and 6/7/8 (choose one depending on size of table). You *might* be able to do it with just a #4 and a #6 or 7, but it will take a lot of practice to get it done properly with fewer planes. Others will, no doubt have different views on this. If you want to spend a bit more money, than antique Stanleys, Lee Valley has *nice* planes. If you've got deep pockets LN makes pretty ones.
Enjoy the slippery slope, Just my, way more than, $0.02 Dave in Fairfax
--
reply-to doesn't work
use:
daveldr at att dot net
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We would be remiss if we didn't also mention Steve Knight (who lurks on this group) and the more than pretty planes he makes. I'm sure he's just waiting for the right opportunity to jump in here without appearing too opportunistic. Try http://www.knight-toolworks.com if you want to see some worthwhile planes. I love the padauk smoothing plane my wife got me for Christmas last year.
Gary in KC

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Well, if Steve doesn't jump in, some of his customers will. ;-)
Steve's planes are beautiful, well crafted, and very reasonably priced. The notion of a wooden plane is intimidating to some, but it needn't be, really. That's the kind of plane my greatgrandfather used, and beautiful pieces were made with those tools.
And if you happen to order when he puts things on sale, as he does from time to time, you can get even more for your dollar.
That said, a Knight smoother, a Knight jack or jointer, and a metal block plane (Veritas or Lie Nielsen) would make a nice basic kit.
Patriarch, way down the slope, at over two dozen...
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All of the advice so far covers just about everything but something I forgot about (and still haven't resolved so my planes mostly collect dust) is that you'll need a decent bench to hold the wood for you while you plane it. That can be a $200-300 if you build it yourself, $500 or more if you buy one.
My next project is to build my bench (finally) and I can't wait. So don't let all of these things (multiple planes, sharpening system, bench) stop you, just spend, spend, spend and you'll be really happy!!
Mike
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Well, there are options besides a fancy bench. Don't let the lack of a bench stop you.
A repaired WorkMutt is reported to have been successfully used by a wRecker in SoCal, according to the ancient archives...
Patriarch
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give me a email I will give you a deal to get started. but as it was posted you have to have the tools to sharpen these tools. that was some very good advice by the way.
--
Knight-Toolworks & Custom Planes
Custom made wooden planes at reasonable prices
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Hmm. A not very fancy bench can be built for a /lot/ less than that. I'm still using one built from two 2x12x12' and some 2x4 scraps a couple of years ago. Construction time was about 45 minutes and total cost was somewhere in the $25-30 range, although the total cost did go up when I later added a patternmaker's vise. I did, of course, hand plane the top flat and smooth.
-- Morris
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I use the stanley bailey # 4 as my primary (and only) bench smoother and all around shop plane. It may not be the most precise in the world, but it will definetly handle any abuse thrown at it. Just make sure to keep the steel oiled, I put it in a box in my garage for less than a month and it came out covered in a thin layer of rust. Fortunately it came off easily with steel wool. Also, do you have a good way of sharpening? I have a norton crystolon/india oilstone and a 1000/6000 grit japanese waterstone. I use the crystolon as an alternative to a bench grinder (which I don't have) and the waterstone for final honing.
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OK...
1 low angle block plane such as a Stanley '60 1/2' for end grain shaving 1 Stanley #4 smoother as for initial use (about 10" long, 2" wide cutter) 1 Stanley #6 fore plane for the next stage (18" long, 2-3/8" wide cutter) 1 of either #7 (22" long, 2-3/8" wide cutter) or #8 (24" long , 2-5/8" wide cutter) for final jointing. At the minimum. #8 is much more desirable.
MY NUMBAH *8* is a MONOLITH OF POWAAAAAHHHH!!!!!
... HAA-HAAAAA!!!!! (cough)
There are MANY Stanley planes out there, of a great number of models and model numbers: http://www.supertool.com/index.htm "Blood and Gore".
A fence, such as a Stanley 386 (eBay) or the Veritas jointer fence (They fit on the side of the plane, for edge jointing). New ones are also available here: http://www.stjamesbaytoolco.com /
Read-up on scraping for smoothness of the wood too.
Any kind of bench to work on, which will clamp your lumber on top flat and on it's front standing up on it's side, and some kind of "stop" for the other end of your lumber. Also called a "bench dog".
A classic woodworking bench is the best way to go, the entire design is all about clamping wood in different ways, and it is cost effective to build your own. If you buy a new "Sjoberg" bench, you don't get much for the money.
Sharpening waterstones and a basic honing guide. I bought the set of dual grit Norton water stones (on 06/01/05 actually, don't have them yet).
Or, a thick piece of glass and about four or five, six grits of abrasive papers, a can of 3M super 77, all known as the "Scary Sharp" method (search to learn) (this is not a joke), it works extremely well and is quite cost effective. 220, 400-420, 800, 1200, 1500 grits, of waterproof black aluminum oxide or silicon carbide. You might find the deal on a piece of glass at a junk shop like I did, I paid $10 for a piece 18"x18"x3/4" thick. Highly expensive new!
Used old and new Stanleys have to be "tuned" to become accurate. That is another "search to learn" subject, but easy to find. It is a lot of hard work (for me at least but I will do it).
New Veritas planes do not need tuning and they are highly precision machined and ready to use, except the blade will need a final honing. http://www.leevalley.com/

When planing, make sure it is in the direction that is along with the grain "traveling up", and away from you, never "into" the grain as it points toward you or the cutting edge, or you will get bad tear-out.

As above. Four at the least. Used smallest first to the largest last.

Not a problem, they will last you all your life, but they need to be tuned. They also have the glorious advantage of plastic totes and knobs. They are "un-precision" made in England. But the old U.S. ones are worth buying and fixing up, if in decent condition in the first place.
Thanks
Sure. And get back to us all!
--
Alex - newbie_neander in woodworking
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
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I need to buy a few and

To learn how to set a wooden bench plane, try my web site - Planing Notes - Adjusting A Wooden Plane.
This might encourage you to think about a decent metal plane - Record, for example.
Jeff G
--
Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
email : Username is amgron
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wrote:

I'm having a bit of sticker shock at the moment, But after reading as much as I can find on the net I can understand why quality planes are expensive.
Last week I ordered a combination lathe mill from smithy and bought a new P/C plunge router (favorite tool), and built a functional wood table using my radial arm saw with a planer head to make it as flat as I could get it. Needless to say I'm going to be poor for about a month but perhaps my wife can buy me a tool or two on our anniversary in July.
I do like those knight planes though, they scare me a bit though, I'm afraid I'd mess one up through inexperience.
Right at the moment I think ebay is my best option.
On sharpening, I'm good with sharpening chisels and knives, but I think I'll need something that will help me maintain the proper cut angle until my hands get used to doing it. Currently my hands seem preprogrammed to do a 25 to 30 degree angle that I use on my knives.
Thanks for all the advice, its all welcome and I'm following all the links listed.
Sam
Custer, KY
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Old Stanleys off eBay
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My 2 cents :-)
For edge joining & flattening something biggish, like a table top, I'd say the two planes you need are a #5 jack and a #7 (or #8). A smoother, like a #3 or #4, isn't really ideal for a big surface.
In metal planes, your choices are pretty much either an older Stanley (*) or a new plane from Lee Valley or Lie-Nielsen. If you have the funds, get them all from Lie-Nielsen (**). If you need to be more discrete with your money, then choose older Stanleys for some or all of them. It is easiest to make an old #5 work well, and hardest to make an old smoother work. So if you can only afford one new plane, make it a smoother, and look for a jack & jointer at the flea market/ebay/etc. If you can afford two new ones, make them the smoother & jointer, and get an old jack.
(* there's other old brands which are good - Miller's Falls for example. My #5 is "Revonoc" brand, it's actually a better plane than a Stanley)
(** Lee Valley's are very nice. Lie-Nielsen's are, in my opinion, a tad better, so if money's no object that's the way to go. Others here have the opposite opinion)
John
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Modat22 says...

I doubt it. Pictures don't do them justice. They're big beastly things made from the hardest woods, and they have big, thick irons. Adjustments are trivial. A few minutes of practice and you'll have it down. A plane hammer is nice, but not absolutely necessary. You can get one from Steve Knight's site that is a work of art, or a somewhat cheaper one from Lee Valley.
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A further note, of all the Stanley planes out there, two types to avoid are with plastic tote and knob, and ones that are maroon colored, very shabby build quality. Blue and black Stanleys are fine. Sargent and Winchester planes are good and acceptable too.
--
Alex - newbie_neander in woodworking
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
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