Does anyone in the group have any thoughts on the following set of planes
that Hartville Tool is selling for $159.00?
Would this be a good beginner's set? How good of an assortment is it?
It seems to me that one could learn how to use and tune them up without the
fear of ruining an expensive set of (Brand name) planes?
Thanks in advance to those who post a reply.
I don't know anything about that particular set, but given the price
and lack of a brand name, I'd say they're definitely not top-quality
planes, and cheaply-made planes CAN be frusterating to use. As a
beginner, I'd also hesitate to put money towards a large set of planes
- instead, I'd look for a good-quality used smooth or jack plane and
spend some quality time with that. It would probably be better quality
than a new made-in-china-special, and once you get used to it, you can
decide whether you want to spend more money on better quality planes,
what sizes/types you'll probably use most, etc.
There are a couple dealers of good used planes - search the archives
here for names. From my limited knowledge, Stanley planes made before
WWII are good quality and can be had for not too much money. (Maybe
$50-80 for a smoother in good shape?) Or you can try eBay if you want
to take your chances there. That might give you a cheaper plane, but a
dedicated dealer would be able to tell you a lot more about a plane and
how much work ("fettling") would be required to get it in good working
For an alternative to metal planes, Steve Knight is a regular poster
here who hand-makes excellent-quality wood planes. He posted a little
while ago about a sale on his planes, and you might be able to talk him
into giving you a discount on your first one. He's also good about
answering questions about use and care of his planes.
Hope this helps,
You can probably ask Hartville who makes those planes.
My guess would be Anant, an Indian company. Their planes
have a reputation for being rough in regards to fit and finish
but relatively robust, which makes them salvagable with
sufficient fettling and the substitution of a good cutting
iron. Planes that are lightweight in construction are
simply not salvagable.
The exception may be the block plane. If the adjustable
mouth is not machined well it may be beyond fixing.
Offhand I recommend buying old Stanley, Sargent, Union,
Millers Falls, etc one at a time. Typically the totes
will be better (more comfortable) than on any new planes,
especially the Type 11 and earlier Stanleys (and maybe a
few later types as well.)
On 17 Apr 2006 09:48:52 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
They are Anant planes, I just bought th #7 jointer and #4 smoother
from them as experimental tools. After sharpening the irons scary
sharp they do make light fluffy curls, beyond that I have not played
much with them.
(sixoneeight) = 618
There is nothing more frustrating than using a poor quality or
"average" quality hand plane. You will frustrate yourself. Don't take
the lure that you can tune, fettle, flatten, and whip these into decent
planes. This type of tuneup can be a lot of work. Spend $69 on a Lee
Valley apron plane and amaze yourself at how such a tiny thing can do
so much so well. This will give you the taste of how useful a hand
plane can be. Then save your coins to buy a smoother or a jack or
start watching for used old stanleys.
I'd rather have 1 or 2 really useful good planes than a boatload of
cheap "beginner's" planes.
By the time you get through fixing them all just right, you'll be an
Check out Jeff Gorman's pages on planes if you do this:
I would never buy that set ... they're not even Anants. No doubt Chinese....
what are those boats called?
See the chromed lever cap? The Anant ones say 'Anant' on them. And I might
buy an Anant. If you need to spend less like I do, just buy the old Stanleys on
the bay. I got several beauties from there at really decent prices. You'll
learn to tune them, lessons for that are many on the 'net. Then there's new
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
Block planes are incredibly, ahem, handy, but the way you have to hold
them isn't necessarily the optimum. Have you seen Patrick Leach's
block plane handle? http://www.supertool.com/bphandle.htm This, from
that page, sums it up well: "Let's face it, there are times when we all
would like to use a plane that's normally gripped with one hand in a
two-handed manner, but find that the plane's size just won't permit a
comfortable grip, nor a grip that affords any real control of the
Similarly a 2 or 3 lets you handle a small plane with two hands for
greater control. The tote allows you to keep your hand square behind
the plane in a much more ergonomic and comfortable position. Most of
the time it's not the skew angle of the plane, but the tilt and/or
downward pressure that is the primary concern. The tote is far
superior for the first and the two handles help with the second.
I have that, and the front knob. Problem is.. it becomes next to impossible to
adjust the blade nice and accurately with it on there, and a serious pain to
it and put it and put it back on again just for that purpose. It can get
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
On Mon, 17 Apr 2006 14:13:42 GMT, "Peter Bogiatzidis"
Why would a beginner want 6 planes?
Three planes - #4, #5 and a block. A budget of $50 each lets me walk
into my local high street antique tool dealer and buy each of these as
top quality old Stanley Sweethearts in "hone and go" condition.
$10 each gets me an eBay bottom-feeder that's perfectly usable after a
couple of evenings' fettling.
$150 for 6 is a good deal by bulk, but "$150 to start out" could be
spent far better than this.
If they're Anant or equivalent, run a mile.
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