On Tue, 16 Nov 2004 20:13:35 -0000, "Sam Berlyn"
Read Jeff Gorman's web site
Buy some sharpening equipment
("Scary Sharp" can be your first port of call)
Find a Stanley #4 (in modern cities, you're never more than 100 yards
from an old Stanley #4. Try to find them nesting under old benches,
abandoned in sheds or junk shops) If you're really stuck, try eBay.
There's one view that says you should never buy a #4, because they
will naturally appear anyway. You might learn to do electrolytic
Get an old one, because it costs nothing and they're better made than
the new ones. They'll both need tuning. There are no usable,
affordable bench planes being made new at present. Avoid Anant,
Rolson and BlackSpur! Stanley and Record are better, but still not
good. Clifton and L-N are excellent, but expensive. Lee Valley /
Veritas are excellent (and not so expensive), but you have to buy them
mail order from Canada.
If you do have the money to buy a brand shiny new plane, spend it on
the Lee Valley low-angle block plane. This is a truly excellent piece
of work. It's also easier to find and restore a usable bench plane
than it is to do this with a block plane.
Fairly soon you should try to get two or three planes:
- A block plane. An old Stanley, ideally a low-angle (or the L-V).
You will use this more than any other plane, especially if you're
mainly jigsawing and routing.
- A smoothing plane (a #4, a #3 or a #4 1/2) The #3 is best, if you
have small hands. Set this up so that it barely cuts, but leaves a
good finish behind.
- A jack plane. A #5 is nearly as easy to find as a #4, but a better
length. Set this one up with a more aggressive cut and do your
finishing with the smoother.
Remember that planing uses two tools; a plane and a bench. Trying to
plane on a Workmate is most frustrating.