I'm doing hobby oriented woodworking. Instead of getting a power
jointer, I've decided to dimension the reference face my boards with
hand planes. I'll do the reference edge joining on my table saw or
with a router jig. I'm still trying to figure out what planes I need
to flatten reference face of the boards. I've read lots of posts but I
still don't understand the best way to accomplish this task. When I
look at something like Garrett Hack's book on planes, he discusses
using hand planes for the entire dimensioning process. I just want
(initially anyway) to flatten the face of the lumber I'm preparing to
use for projects.
I'm on the West Coast, most places that sell hardwoods, sell lumber
that is S2S - so I don't see the need for a scrub plane. (I'm might
try some mail order places to get some no 1 and no 2 commons. I don't
find those grades offered in lumber yards here.)
I've just got the Veritas 5 1/4 junior jack. I'm setting it up now. I
also see the need for a smoothing plane.
Do I need to also get a joiner plane? Most of the posts I see discuss
using a joiner plane in conjunction with edge joining. As discussed
above, I plan on using power tools for edge joining and thickness
I'd appreciate any help that you could offer.
I think that you will really enjoy using hand planes to prepare your wood,
and it doesn't sound like you need a jointer plane to dimension the face.
You should be fine with your 5 1/4. I would make a pair of winding sticks
and have at it. I would also start with some "cheaper" woods to get the
process down. Getting you plane, and iron, really tuned-up before you start
will be a great help. You will probably feel like you are fighting the
plane and wood when you first start but after a while it will seem more
natural. Watch you shavings as they will be the best indicator of what is
Good choice with the Veritas. Love mine. Finally a plane that allows my
fist to get between the handle and the blade!
If you buy S2S, you probably don't need a scrub, but if the Veritas is set
to take fine shavings, you're going to end up looking like Popeye before
you're done taking a board to 1/2. Fortunately, you can adjust the throat
of the 5 1/4 easily, so you should buy a second iron (third with back-bevel,
too) to grind as a real jack iron. That'll give you a compromise between
speed and precision that I consider worth making. When close to the line,
switch irons, adjust and smooth.
After doing this a while you'll either get a jack or a smoother. I like the
If you decide to buy rough, you will want a scrub. I've a LN, and it's a
comfortable plane, but it takes a long time to do more than level slabs or
take the twist off a wide board, which is why I have a planer.
Even though you're buying S2S lumber, you'll probably find that a scrub
plane will come in handy. A *lot* of the S2S that I've bought in the
past was surfaced, as expected, but warped and/or twisted to the point
that it needed a lot of work before it was usable. Now I use my 6" jet
jointer to face surface the lumber, my 15" Powermatic planner to
thickness the lumber followed with either the Performax sander or my #5
Lie-Nielsen plane to finish things off.
Without the power tools, I would start with either a scrub plane or a
jack plane set to take a heavy cut and then continue with a plane or
planes set to take progessively lighter cuts. Of course the same plane
could be used with the blade adjusted to take finer cuts, but
re-sharpening or honing might be necessary for the final pass. A set of
winding sticks and good straight edge to check for twist, hills and
valleys should be part of the process. A joiner plane is on my wish
list, but so far it hasn't become a necessity.
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