Dating old stanley planes

Both Lie-Nielsen and Veritas now make these planes.

They are mechanically simpler than standard bench planes, making these low-angle versions a little less expensive from those expensive marks.

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There are a lot of things you can do with a block plane, such as cutting small bevels and fitting drawers.

Unfortunately, the low cutting angle can cause tearout in figured hardwoods. It is almost short enough to do a good job smoothing, and in fact there are those who prefer its heft and length for smoothing.

As you participate in the Hand Tools forum you will see that the same basic questions about planes keep coming up over and over again because there is so much to learn about the subject. That has usually been done to correct errors, clarify the language.

In a few cases, such as the list of useful books on planes, significant additions have been made as well.

I'd probably like the wooden planes made by current planemakers, too, but have not had any reason to try them with good antique ones so readily available at good prices. I seldom mention the wooden planes in these posts because so few people want to hear about them.

Anywhere I mention a specific bench plane by Stanley number, I'd personally be using a wooden plane of the same size instead.

" Actually, though, the biggest reason people can't figure out which small set of planes would do them the most good is that they do not understand why there are so many in the first place. I believe that will make it easier for you to make your own decision.

The best place to get a lot of this information, along with photos and drawings, is in books.

A low angle block plane plus a jack or large smooth plane The jack or smoother can be either regular-angle or low-angle.

If it were me I'd choose the jack plane as the sole bench plane. Dad had only two planes his whole life, a cheap little #102 block plane and a #5 jack plane. A low angle block plane, a #4 or #4-1/2 smooth plane, and a #7 or #8 jointer For this option, where you can have two bench planes, it makes sense to pick one of the smaller ones and one of the larger ones and leave the Mr. The difficulty that gives you is that since both smooth and jointer planes are used for fine to medium work, you have nothing to handle rough work and large amounts of stock removal.

Good books that are either about planes and planing or about refurbishing and tuning planes are available.

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