I'm planning to make a good bookcase, about 5 ft high,
with glass doors using red oak. This will be my first
project using solid oak. I have neither a power planer
nor a jointer but I have a good table saw. I could try
to get the wood I need ready dressed but there are
advantages to buying it rough.
I have a good hand plane and I know how to sharpen it.
If I buy rough lumber I'll have to flatten it, remove twists
and cups, and reduce it to final thickness, all with the
hand plane. I'm aware that once I get one edge very
straight I can do some of the squaring with my table saw.
I'm strictly an amateur so time does not matter. I like
using hand equipment although I've never worked
oak by hand. My question is: would I be stupid to try
to do this project with rough wood and a hand plane?
Maybe I'll just have to try a few pieces to see what it's
like but I'm wondering how many experienced woodworkers
would try this.
Well, if you truly go from "rough to ready" you need more than just one
plane to do it properly. Initially you'll use a scrub plane to hog off wood
quickly and get it close to flat. Then clean this up with a jack plane or
fore plane. At this point it is probably pretty good. You'll want a
jointer to get the edges nice and straight and square the faces. And you'll
want a smoothing plane to get the surface finish-ready. If the grain is
gnarly (maybe not too likely with red oak, but you never know), you might
want a high-angle smoother or a scraping plane. So, if you just have the
one plane, (probably a smoother ?) you might be in for a tough time. If
you have multiple irons, you could grind one with a curved profile and open
the mouth and probably get away with it for roughing out and getting close
to flat. I'm sure it can be done, and if you enjoy the process you'll
probably learn a lot and have a blast.
You have never heard of them? Do yourself a favor and call them, there
is a lot more in their paper catalog than on their website too. I did it and
will order some parts for my Stanley 71. Lots of parts they make.
All right, now this is starting to bug me... I did fill out the form
for the paper catalog, but where in the heck are the prices, or the
tools? The site only seems to have a picture of a #51 smoothing
plane, and a video that's on sale.
Strange, I get the whole site here, keep trying. There is a lot there that I can see
than you have described. And more than that in the current catalog. Really cool
company so far, as far as products. Talked to a man there about having a blade
made for my #8, $30 okay, torch hardening then oil quenching, naw, Hock time.
Atmosphere controlled ovens, yes. But St. James Bay is great for a lot more
It bugged me too until I figured out that the website was coded
properly. That front page is really split into two sections.
UNder the bar beneath "The St. James Bay Tool Co. is another line
that you can only see the barest part of. It reads: New products
Tools Videos. Try running your cursor across that area and look
for changes in your location bar, or whatever. If it doesn't, the
Hope that helps.
Dave in Fairfax
Mike already gave you an excellent reply. One thing that might have been
assumed, but is not true. Do you have a decent bench or some means of
supporting the boards when you plane them? A plane without a good steady
support for the work piece is a lost cause.
With a few clamps and some ingenuity, you can turn a table saw top into a
workable make-do work surface for planing.
He can also do jointing with the table saw with a purchased or home made jig.
DAGS on these quoted terms: "table saw jointing" & "jointing on the table saw"
The Table Saw Book:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)00899292/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_3/102-9208339-5187338?v=glance&s=books
Jim Tolpin's Table Saw Magic, Second Edition:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)00899292/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/102-9208339-5187338?v=glance&s=books
I do not own a table saw, I am no expert, just would love to "have" a table
saw, myself. Just trying to help.
Good quality, properly cared for and tuned hand tools are a joy to use.
I'm sure that many of us here have a story about their first paper-thin
shaving out of a freshly-sharpened plane. For me, anyway, it was something
like a religious experience.
On the other hand, low quality, beater or dull hand tools are awful, evil
I once heard a story from somebody that involved a poorly tuned $5 yard sale
plane, a maple bedside tabletop that was nearly perfect, but required maybe
one more pass. Poor technique and poor tuning on this fated last pass
caused the plane to chatter, leaving nicely spaced digs across the otherwise
perfect tabletop. The owner of said plane threw the plane at the benchtop.
Rather than cracking like you'd expect a cast-iron plane to do, the plane
took its revenge by taking a physics-defying bounce. It went almost
completely sideways, right through the shop window, landing softly in the
grass outside. That window was not replaced with glass - plexi seemed the
more prudent choice. Er, um, at least, that's what I heard...
: I once heard a story from somebody that involved a poorly tuned $5 yard
: plane, a maple bedside tabletop that was nearly perfect, but required
: one more pass. Poor technique and poor tuning on this fated last pass
: caused the plane to chatter, leaving nicely spaced digs across the
: perfect tabletop.
To me, this seems more like skitter than chatter.
For elucidation, please see my web site - Planing Notes - Skitter and
Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
Email: username is amgron
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