Planes

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Hi,
I have an awful plane, which just scratches the surface (already mentioned in "Cheap Tools") and I would like to be able to take off a layer of wood in curls (as in
http://www.skpromotions.co.uk/images/plane.jpg ) Any recommendations? Prices types etc...
Cheers,
Sam
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On Tue, 16 Nov 2004 20:13:35 -0000, "Sam Berlyn"

two things.
1) your awful plane may be able to be made into a useable one. it'll be a bit of work, but won't cost you anything and will teach you a lot about how planes work.
2) planes that you can go out and buy that work right away fall into two categories.
    A)expensive new ones like: Lie-Nielsen http://www.lie-nielsen.com / or veritas <http://www.leevalley.com/home/search.asp?SID=&ccurrency=&pageGroup=1> or knight http://www.knight-toolworks.com / or other such yummy stuffs.
    B)old planes. these come from wherever second hand tools are found in your part of the world (which I hear rumored is rich hunting grounds) and are often very high quality at very reasonable prices.
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Well, maybe not full silk possible, but try;
http://www.amgron.clara.net /

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To add a 3) to Bridger's response:
3) Get a copy of "The Handplane Book" by Garrett Hack, ISBN 1-56158-155-0 or 1-56158-317-0. Lots of How-to's, Why's, and Wherefore's to be found in that book.
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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With due respect, do you know how to sharpen and adjust your plane? Even the most expensive plane in the world will not work well, if not sharp and set up properly. I bet your crappy plane could be made to work decently, or perhaps superbly, with a proper tuning and blade sharpening.
Bob
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Bob,
I have several old Stanley planes, rummage-sale purchases and the like. They're all in pretty random condition but complete. Some little, some big, and a nice 22" or so Joiner plane that would probably be great if I had the thing in workable condition.
I don't really consider myself much of a neander-type guy, but here's the question. Should I fix 'em up (lap the soles, smooth the blade, what else?), or should I sell 'em to someone who would appreciate them more? If I want to fix these things up, how much investment in time might it be, and where should I start?
Dave Hinz
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I'm honored that you asked me the questions. I'm not all the experienced but I learn quickly and perhaps have had some experiences that will help you draw your own conclusions, so let me give a few anecdotes.
My first hand plane encounter was building a wood plane kit. I wanted to get into it without spending $400 on a Lie Neilson. The kit was $65 and I learned a lot by building and using it. It took about fours hours to build it and two hours to carve the mouth to fit. I almost gave up when I realized I had to carve the mouth. When I finished I was less than satisfied with what it looked like but determined to push through to the end. Then I had to hone the blade. It was a Hock blade that came ground but needed final sharpening. I'd never done this before. This lead me to the land of sharpening religions. Hey just spend $700 on a Tormek and all the jigs and you're done right? No way! I ended up buying a combination waterstone (1000/8000 grit) and a Veritas sharpening guide. When I finished, the blade was decently sharp and appeared shaped right. I put the plane together and tried it. Groan! What a flop. I read some more and decided the mouth of the plane did not fit right. Three days later I picked it up and sat at my desk in the house creating a mess, as I carved away at the incredibly tough Goncolo Alves woodend sole. I made another attempt at setting the blade correctly. I clamped a piece of wood in my rusty old workmate and started. Ahhhh!!!!! Wow! Whoosh, whoosh whoosh! I wasn't making anything, but I was planing, man! At night I before I went to bed, I would sneak out to the shop and pick up the "Bob Davis hand crafted" wooden plane and just admire it.
Fast rewind through several experiences to the last one. I bought a Stanley #8 Jointer plane. It got dropped in shipping and arrived with a cracked casting and bent blade angle adjustment thingy. I sent pictures to the dealer, who filed a claim with the shipper and told me to just keep the plane with a full refund. So here I sat with a free busted, ugly-as-sin plane. Hmmm. The crack was ugly but the subtantial casting on this plane still seemed straight to me. I stop-drilled the crack to prevent further spread. I straightened the bent piece in my vice and put it altogether. The blade was not ground square enough for my taste. The previous owner had obviously whipped it by hand it was more of a half moon contour edge. Well let me tell this butt-ugly half-ass sharpened plane was amazing. I took the twist out of some planks and flattened some 6" stock in no time. I could not believe it. So I got serious and re-ground the edge and honed it (2 hours time). I took the plane apart and cleaned everything so that it worked properly, including the cast iron frog (another 2 hours). Now I have an oiled, aligned, sharp butt-ugly plane. The performance is stunning. I'm now considering buying a replacement wood tote for it to get that missing top piece that helps support your hand.
So minimum care to get it working - clean it and oil the parts and sharpen the blade - about 4 hours work. If you want do get into the restoration business to make it pretty, that's more time and not really much more money.
But first you should send pictures of your old planes to me so I can offer to buy them from you! Its addicting to take a piece of junk and make it useful again.
Bob's minimalist sharpening kit: Jeff Gorman style homemade jig $3.00 + 1 hour Combination waterstone $39.95 Old Hand grinder bought on ebay $3.99 + $10 shipping New grinding wheel $22 Bronze bushing to adapt new grinding wheel to old hand grinder $1.70 Vertitas grinding tool rest and jig $62 (local retail store)
Bob
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On Wed, 17 Nov 2004 18:10:18 GMT, "Bob"

get that crack brazed up right.
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Yes sir! Hmmm, guess I'll look in the yellow pages for someone that advertises repairs to cast iron and "no job too small".
Bob
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Dave Hinz wrote:

Sorry Dave, they're in much worse shape than you think. I'll give you $10 for them all, plus shipping, sight unseen. %-) How much work depends on the condition each plane is in. I can't remember, where are you? Take a look at Jeff Gorman's website, fettling, and if you need more help write me. It's important to do the work right or you can "fix" a good plane into being a paper weight.
Dave in Fairfax
--
Dave Leader
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Dave Hinz wrote:

You've gotten good advice from a couple of other folks on this subject, but let me toss in one little tidbit: You don't necessarily need to spend your time flattening the sole of your plane. Once you sharpen the iron, fit the cap-iron properly, check the frog, etc., give the plane a test-drive. If it works well, don't worry about lapping the sole. If it doesn't work well (i.e., it either digs or doesn't take a shaving at all; there doesn't seem to be any middle ground), then you may want to consider lapping it.
The sole does not have to be totally flat; it basically needs to be co-planar. As long as there is no major depression right in front of the mouth, you'll probably be OK.
For example, my trusty type 17 #6 (my favorite plane until recently) has never been lapped. I took it out of the box, sharpened the iron, tweaked the cap-iron, adjusted the frog and started making shavings. I guess I could have lapped the sole for cosmetic reasons, but it sure didn't need it in order to work.
Chuck Vance
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So, there's a site out there to identify these old Stanley planes. I think the next step is figure out what I have, find out if they're super-desirable to someone who would appreciate them more than me, and if not, to at least get the blades into decent shape. I do have access to a Tormek (my father-in-law's shop), which I think I'm seeing is acceptable?
Dave
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Dave Hinz wrote:

Lots of sites, start with: WWW.supertool.com, committ it to memory in its entirety. After that we'll start talking plane studies. %-) Dave in Fairfax
--
Dave Leader
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<snip>
Hey! Long time no see! Welcome back!
Patriarch
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Look for a good recent article by David Charlesworth on tuning up a less than perfect handplane of recent manufacture. I think it was in Fine Woodworking, within the last several issues. The principles and techniques are appropriate to many of the metal-bodied planes made over the last 75 years or more.
And then sharpen it well. Google "Scary sharp"
Patriarch
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patriarch < wrote:

FWW #172 (October 2004) p.36 - the one with the bar clamps on the cover
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On Tue, 16 Nov 2004 20:13:35 -0000, "Sam Berlyn"

Read Jeff Gorman's web site
Buy some sharpening equipment ("Scary Sharp" can be your first port of call)
Find a Stanley #4 (in modern cities, you're never more than 100 yards from an old Stanley #4. Try to find them nesting under old benches, abandoned in sheds or junk shops) If you're really stuck, try eBay. There's one view that says you should never buy a #4, because they will naturally appear anyway. You might learn to do electrolytic derusting too.
Get an old one, because it costs nothing and they're better made than the new ones. They'll both need tuning. There are no usable, affordable bench planes being made new at present. Avoid Anant, Rolson and BlackSpur! Stanley and Record are better, but still not good. Clifton and L-N are excellent, but expensive. Lee Valley / Veritas are excellent (and not so expensive), but you have to buy them mail order from Canada.
If you do have the money to buy a brand shiny new plane, spend it on the Lee Valley low-angle block plane. This is a truly excellent piece of work. It's also easier to find and restore a usable bench plane than it is to do this with a block plane.
Fairly soon you should try to get two or three planes:
- A block plane. An old Stanley, ideally a low-angle (or the L-V). You will use this more than any other plane, especially if you're mainly jigsawing and routing.
- A smoothing plane (a #4, a #3 or a #4 1/2) The #3 is best, if you have small hands. Set this up so that it barely cuts, but leaves a good finish behind.
- A jack plane. A #5 is nearly as easy to find as a #4, but a better length. Set this one up with a more aggressive cut and do your finishing with the smoother.
Remember that planing uses two tools; a plane and a bench. Trying to plane on a Workmate is most frustrating.
--
Smert' spamionam

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"Andy Dingley" wrote in message

Agreed. If I had to give up all but one of my planes, this would be the one I kept.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 11/06/04
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<snip of good stuff>

And pretty much negates most of the plane tuning that you might have done. The work HAS to remain steady for the plane to do it's job.
Unless you pull the plane, in the Asian style. But that's another story.
Benches needn't be pretty, expensive, or of heirloom quality (not that it hurts), but they do need to be rigid. And mass helps.
Patriarch
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Alex
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