what for #4

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I recently read an article that stated every serious woodworker must have a #4 plane...bias aside, what are my fellow woodworkers using there #4 planes for. Your responses will be appreciated.
don
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Not "must have", just "will inevitably collect". They're the wire coathanger of woodwork - leave a dark cupboard alone for long enough and they'll spontaneously breed in there.

As I posted just last week, one hangs outdoors on a string and pulls a gate shut.
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Planing 4x4s?
#5 for planing 5x5s etc.
The #18 is ludicrously heavy and takes four to six grown men to use. The curlies are used to make Shaker boxes and. if the wood's really nice, veneer.
Did I take all the mystery out of bench planes for you? So obvious isn't it?
Of course the specialty plane numbering system is still a mystery to me though I've got a 45, 47, 71 and a few others. Steve Knight should start lettering his planes - using the Greek alphabet - just to be different. Is your marketing director listening Steve?
charlie b
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wrote:

I use one set low for surfacing small bits of wood, and set a bit deeper for doing edge bevels. I like the size and feel. "Chacun a son gout."
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Everything. I only have a stanley bailey #4. I hope to get a stanley block or lo angle block soon. Maybe even a 10" jointer
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HEH!... everybody jokes because that plane is the most common on Earth and is still being made by four or five companies, 6? 7?
Lie-Nielson, US (excellent) Lee Valley's Veritas brand, Canada (excellent) Clifton, England (excellent) Stanley, England (so-so) Anant, India (who knows) Groz, India (who knows) True Values "Master Mechanic" garbage brand, China and probably Great Neck's garbage brand, China
And wooden bodied smoothers made by HNT Gordon in Australia and Steve Knight of Knight toolworks, US. And several Japanese makers.
The Stanleys and other less known brands in that size are practically a_dime_a_ dozen on eBay. You could get a fairly decent looking one there for very little, I have two #4 Stanleys, one of which I paid $7.99 (+ S/H) on eBay.
The "smooth plane" #'s 3 and 4 are for initial work, use them to take down the highest hills on the surface, then a longer plane, #6 to level the hills to the valleys, then the longest jointer plane, #'s 7 and 8, for final work, and a perfect surface.
This is what electric jointer and planer/thicknesser machines do these days.
Of course, just to remove matrial on a small piece, the #4 is perfect for that too. One must have a "stop" on a bench, for the wood to go up against on one end, it is also desirable to have it fully clamped. Good luck!
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Alex - newbie_neander in woodworking
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...or a good wood vice. I came across a great one for $5 at a house sale.
...or a shooting board, or other form of guide.
I have to admit that although I do like it, I came across mine at a yard sale for $2, rusted, but no deep pits. So I spent a day cleaning it up, and repainting the metal, and she's again a tool. Came across an old Sargent No 3415 the other day, and just finished cleaning that one, and trimming the 15" x 2 3/4" wooden base slightly to get rid of some scratches. Still some work to do, but it's got to go on the back burner for a day or two. Damn, I love yard sales, flea markets and junk shops [sometimes called antique stores].
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AAvK wrote: snip

snip
Sorry, the longer planes take the tops off "waves" in the boards. The shorter ones are then used to finish the work.
Dave in Fairfax
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Well, that's how I did it, I can see how what_you_say would work, but I cannot see how a 2" smoother would go for doing the finishing work, at that size. But I will work it your way next time. My way worked great. I was seeing the jointer and 'the jointing work' as a final process. I cannot see a smoother as doing the final jointing work. I thought that was common sense. Any reciprocation on that?
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You _must_ flatten before smoothing. You can smooth a flat board, but you can't flatten a smooth board without throwing away the work you've already done.
To smooth with a narrow plane then you have to have the iron sharpened correctly. It needs to be flat, not crowned, but it also needs to have the corners relieved _slightly_, just so that it doesn't leave "tramlines" behind at the edges. Obviously the edge must also be perfectly level and your technique must be such that you're weighting each side of the plane equally, otherwise you plane a sawtooth surface (watch the shaving width).
I recenly bought one of Steve's coffin smoothers. As usual it arrived sharp and tuned, with a shaving stuck to it. A week of moisture change in my workshop though and it wouldn't even cut. So I spent a day or two faffing around adjusting it _just_ right for the perfect shaving. Now Steve's planes are always going to be a bit awkward to adjust because you're aiming for such a narrow window of perfection, but this one was th emost awkward and finnickey yet. Took ages.
Then I tapped it apart and started all over again - it was tramlining on the edges and the only thing for it was to take the iron out and wipe a slip stone over the corners a few strokes. And of course then another day of staring at it and tapping, while I re-set the iron just how I wanted it (again). But without taking those corners down _just_ enough, no amount of adjustment would have given good smoothing right across a wide board.
Pictures of the finished project (a wedding present) in two weeks!
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That's stuff that always really irritates me when it comes to woodworking. I'm fully cognizant of that fact that tools (some much more than others) require a measure of maintenance for proper use, but when you get the occasional tool that needs long, extended care to work properly, it drives me right up a tree.
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I can live with it for initial setup (and I was being very fussy). They only annoy me if they make a habit of it.
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Okay so #8 first, then smoothing. Thank you.

Actually, I became a sharpening expert early on, doing the scary sharp thing. I just got my first set of Norton combos just for speed, because I have tardive disconesia in both forearms and hands. It is a nerve condition that causes aching pain in the muscles when they are worked too hard. It is not normal. But I can put on a perfect glass_edged_micro_bevel_against_a_flat_mirrored_ back using paper and glass, rounded corners included. But as you suggest, the technique of doing the actual planing is imparative. And thank you for that.

You Albionites do have a very wet, yet non tropical climate. What kind of wood is the smoother?
As crude as it is, I would have chosen Ipe, which is also known as Pao Lope and Greenheart. Damn hard stuff! You could also shallac_then_laquer the outside and then hard wax the sole with a carnouba, broken ddown with true turpentine. No beeswax though, too soft, unless you would saturate the sole wood first with it in a lightly heated state, both wood and beeswax, it should soak in well if cut with turpentine. Wipe off the excess, refrigerate, and then put on the carnouba.

That makes some of the same sense I have, thanks much.

I would like to see it!

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Dave in Fairfax wrote:

AAvK wrote:

The length of the plane has a lot to do with the length of the board. A longer plane can span the hills and dales on a longer board whereas a shorter plane would just follow the ups and downs rather than flatten them. A shorter plane WITH a tighter mouth can take a finer shaving than a larger one with a larger mouth. This isn't jointing, in general though. For jointing, you'll want to take the center of the edges down and then work outwards until you get a full length shaving. That way you aren't just folowing the curvature of the edge. Check Jeff's website for a better explanation. I don't talk too good.
Dave in Fairfax
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Don't know 'cause don't own one
rickluce wrote:

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Yeah... and Stein means Stone too.
Alex
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rickluce wrote:

I use mine for everything from rounding the rod to my shelf/curten hanger to smoothing glued up panels
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if corn oil is made from corn, and olive oil is made from olives, where dose
baby oil come from?
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dose
I wondered about that, too. It turns out that baby oil is the residue from making baby powder.
(-:
-- Morris
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Baby oil comes from Babies of course, DAMHIKT, but I do not know about the extraction process.
Alex
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[...]

That is described in the classic short story by Ambrose Bierce "Oil of Dog"...
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mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
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