On my list of remaining tools to buy are some planes. I've been mainly
a normite up until now, but inheirited a jackplane which has gotten me
interested in hand tools. So much so, I bought a tormek which has made
all the difference in the world for my chisels. After watching Roy
Underhill and much thought, I've decided to add a few specialty planes
to the collection.
So I guess I have two questions. What planes would you recommend, and
who is a good source for specialty planes, since I can't seem to find
For example, I think I need a smoothing plane, spoke shave, and a
cabinet scraper. I think I could probably pass on the planes designed
for smoothing rough lumber since I'm most likely to use the jointer and
planer, then switch to the planes for finer work. Basically, I'd like
to avoid sanding while using planes in situations where it's not much
slower than setting up a machine. For example, using a jointer plane
to edge-joint two boards. I'm also liking the veritas shoulder planes.
For the specialty planes, I see lee valley has a router plane that
looks nice. I'd like to find a good (and probably expensive)
combination plane. I can see cutting grooves in rails shaker style
rails and styles with this rather than setting up the router. Maybe a
plough plane. Something for making dados, or even sliding dovetails.
A bunch of planes for making details like beads and coves, although the
combination could probably do this. Then roy was demonstrating a
matched set of tongue and groove planes. Anyway, where do I get this
stuff? Who still makes them?
I REALLY like Veritas (Lee Valley) for feature & quality to value
I don't know why you couldn't find good planes online <G>!
Veritas, Lie Nielsen, Clifton, Knight, ECE, etc... are sold all over
Just to name a few places...
I dimension with machines, just like you, and use the following hand
planes the most:
Veritas low angle block
Veritas medium and large shoulder planes
Old Stanley #4 with a Hock iron.
The Stanley #4 with a Hock iron took a lot of fettling to get right.
If I was doing it again, I'd just buy the Veritas and spend the time
working wood. Like fettling? Get old planes.
I also have and use on a regular basis, but not in the top three, and
in no particular order:
Stanley #5 w/ Hock (see the #4 comment)
Veritas apron plane
Cheapie standard block
Card scrapers (Straight & Shaped)
Veritas cabinet scraper
GOOD rasps (not planes, but underrated and REALLY handy!)
I actually use the #6 and apron plane most often in finish carpentry.
Tasks like trimming door edges, molding fits, and miter tuning come to
Not used by me on a regular basis, but very necessary when needed:
(I'd buy them when needed for the first time for a project)
Veritas spoke shaves
Good, or to some folks, possibly better alternatives to what I've got:
LN Rabbet Block
Clifton medium shoulder
LN large shoulder
LN, Veritas, or Clifton #4
I can't stress the overall _value_ of Veritas planes enough. LN are
fan-freakin' tastic, but expensive. In different schools, I've had
the valuable opportunity to use LN, Clifton, Veritas, and well cared
for old Stanley stuff on an extended basis, so I was able to get some
good understanding of the differences. ALL of them _worked_ great
when sharpened and tuned properly. I think none of them would
I haven't done very much with router planes, scratch stocks, wooden
planes, etc... so I shouldn't comment on them.
The most important thing I have related to hand tools is my sharpening
tools and the proper instruction I received to sharpen them. All of
my hand tools are useless junk if they're dull.
Got good chisels yet? Did I mention how well a quality rasp can
I mean I can't find the specialty stuff. I've seen all the sites you
mention. Everyone has jack planes, jointer planes, smoothing planes
and the like. But where can I get a combination plane? I mean, other
than ebay. Or the tongue and groove planes similar to the antiques
that roy underhill was using?
For new T&G planes I agree with Lowell's mentioning, you would have to talk
to them. There is also the Clifton multi-plane made by Clico tooling in England
but no one stocks it anymore because it was far too expensive, to the tune of
$869.xx -aroos...you know. But any company that used to stock it should be able
to order one. http://www.tools-for-woodworking.com/ Is Highland Hardware,
they had it. Any Clifton dealer can get it.
There is also Anant multi-planes made in India and no doubt utter garbage, which
would take massive amounts of fettling and tuning to make it work properly.
Anant is also sold by HH.
That's about it. Otherwise it's the bay or online old tool sellers, local junk
antique malls and yard sales. That's where it's at.
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
YES but that is a *plow plane*, pertinent to the OP request, there is a big
difference. Unless it is viable to get into grinding and hardening blades of
other shapes that will fit it...or paying extra for them. Could work.
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
I think at this point, the thing to do would be maybe to pick up a
combination plane somewhere with all the extra cutters. That would
suffice for the mouldings I think. Then a plough and dado plane in
addition to all the "normal" planes. I guess I need to start
garage-saling looking for some old planes.
Do you really Need a combination plane? Do you really think you will use
'all the extra cutters'? Are you really going to cut your own moulding? If
so, how much? Hundreds of feet per year or just a few? Picture doing
hundreds of feet by hand. Picture paying several hundred dollars to do a
few feet per year. Then think about a decent router and some bits.
Molding planes were a specialty item even when they were the only option.
Accounts for their relative rarity, and their relatively good condition when
found. They were a cabinetmaker's necessity, and a significant expense.
The rest of the world just chamfered or rounded things over.
Oh yes, they also worked lousy in wood with any but the straightest grain,
which was much more commonly available then.
By a dust mask and go mechanical.
I've found a few of the planes from the links everyone's provided.
thanks. I'm a bit annoyed by the prices of some. Steve Knight seems
to have good prices, but $869 for a plane? That's just ridiculous.
One site had a set of moulding planes for around $2000. Mabye I should
go into the specialty plane making business. :-)
Yep, you're sure to save as much money making planes (or make as much if
you are selling them) as you save making your own furniture. ;-)
If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough
Nothin' wrong with eBay. I've bought 2 really nice Stanley 45's there in
the past while for less than $200 each. One was complete (well, except
for the nosing tool and the hollows and rounds, which were always
optional extras), one was missing a couple of parts that I was easily
able to find and buy inexpensively, also on eBay. (Before you ask,
they're not for sale; one's mine and the second was for my sin-in-law).
You just have to be patient and watch the sellers' feedback, and ask
lots of questions. You can quickly get a sense of who's honest. Just for
fun I dragged out my old LV catalogues the other night. Back in '81/82 a
Record 405 (Stanley 45 equiv.) sold new for $400 CDN. If you want to
spend less for a 45, look for a Record 050C. Not as 'nice', but I used
one for years until I decided to get a 45. Still have it. Still use it.
You should be able to find a good one for $50-60.
I have to disagree with the "nothing wrong with Ebay comment."
Back when I was buyin on Ebay lot of sellers put the words "complete
and undamaged" into their descritptions even though they were
selling planes that were incomplete or damaged. In some cases
that was probably ignorance, some sellers perhaps do not know that
a #78 is supposed to have a depth stop and fillister. Certainly there
were a near equal number of seelers apologizing for the 'missing'
front blade on their #78s.
However a significant number were just plain careless, and some
were outright frauds.
I used to compare the descriptions to the pictures and when there
was a a discrepency I would send a_polite_ email pointing this out
to the buyer. E.g. a plane with a big chunk broken out of the cheek
described as 'undamaged'. About a third of the time there was no
reply from the seller. The two thirds that did reply were about
evenly dividen between "Thanks, we didn't notice/know and have
revised the description" and "Piss off, if you don't like it don't bid
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