What Hand Plane to Use

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Woodpecker wrote:

You have to get a #7, probably a #6 and a #8 as well! <BSEG> What an opport, I mean necessity for a new tool. Really, a #5 won't flatten it very well, it's too short. A #7 is ALOT longer and will flatten much better, a #8 is best, but unless you are serious about beinga galoot and are fairly big, it's a heavy plane and hard to push after a while.
My two cents, Dave in Fairfax
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daveldr at att dot net
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The degree of flatness needed of your work surface depends on the work you're going to do on it. The bench top surface is your reference. If your work requires no more accuracy than what is provided by your #5, then your reference surface probably doesn't require more accuracy than your #5 will provide. Consider that it would be fine to use a jack on work referenced to a surface flattened with a joiner, but when using a joiner on work referenced to a surface flattened with a jack, the accuracy of your work is going to be limited by the accuracy of your reference surface. Most folks that put a lot of sweat into hand planing will set up a jack with a significant crown to the place and set it to take a relatively deep cut. This results in a surface that is not only marginal in its flatness, but is also not very smooth. You can improve the flatness and smoothness by grinding the iron relatively flat and using a fine set. However, my preferred method would be to use the jack to rough the surface out and then use a finely set joiner to do the flattening. You can then tune up the surface with a smoother or scraper. Good luck and have fun.
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Thanks to all that replyed. I'm off to Ebay for a #7. I'll wait for it to arrive before proceeding with bench top. Will have the additional fun/satisfaction of restoring and tuning an old tool.
Woodpecker
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