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 Post subject: Which plane to get?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:45 pm
Posts: 143
Since plane lovers seem to lurk here, I thought this might be a good place to ask a question. I mainly use a couple of block planes, violin type planes, and my trusted Bailey jointer plane. I'm thinking I'd like something in the 10-12" size, not a low angle one, just a regular style. My most common use would probably be for leveling and adjusting headstock faces. I use my block planes for this and they work well, but I think a larger plane would be fun to try. Veritas planes are all the rage, but I kind of like older stuff if it works good. My current planes are all older models and they work just fine. Any suggestions for what I should look for on eBay. There is no such thing as just finding a garage sale or flea market one here in Hawaii. Thanks, Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Which plane to get?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 640
Location: Chestertown Maryland
Bob

Headstock faces are about 6 to 6-1/2" long, so a 12" plane might be more tricky to use than necessary. Stanley, Millers-Falls, and Sargent (the big 3 of the early to mid 20th c.) each made block planes in both 6 and 7" lengths. Non-low angle blocks and bench planes are both at 45° blade bedding, but you can play with that number a bit for a block because it is bevel up.

A #2 size bench plane is 7" long, a #3 is 8", and a #4 is 9". I use a #3 for whole lot of stuff on a guitar . While a little on the expensive side, a #2 is handy because it has the bench plane configuration with a tote and a knob.

My go-to planes are a couple of 60-1/2 low angle blocks, a #3, a couple of #5's, and a #7, along with a 5-1/4 which is 12" long while the same 1-3/4" wide blade as a #3.

I can send pictures of available planes for comparison.

Ed


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 Post subject: Re: Which plane to get?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:32 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:06 pm
Posts: 2926
Location: Visalia, CA
Hey Bob, Ed is Da Man when it comes to knowing planes. I've still got much to learn. I was going to say the Stanley junior jack, as the 5 1/4 is commonly called is an interesting size and feels pretty good in my hand. You might like it and you can set it up to do small jointing work and smoothing. Same width as the #3.


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 Post subject: Re: Which plane to get?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:42 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5421
Location: Hegins, Pa
I have a jack plane that is also known as a smoothing plane.
The bed is about 8 in. I find a few uses for it. Comes in handy for roughing brace angles
I do think if it feels good in your hand you will make it work.
Funny how some planes just don't have that feel

_________________
John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
Board of Directors of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
http://www.bluescreekguitars.com


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 Post subject: Re: Which plane to get?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:37 am 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 640
Location: Chestertown Maryland
Let me clarify

I listed the planes I use, but I do much more than building guitars. I make furniture, work on houses, and volunteer as a carpenter on tall ship, so that set of planes does it for everything. For guitars I use the 60-1/2 block for half of the work, the 5-1/4 and the 3 a lot, and the 7 for jointing plates.

The 5-1/4 is the official name of that size plane. They used to make it for school programs for smaller hands and called it the "junior jack" - smaller #5. Then it got picked up as a favorite for homeowners and they made several cheaper versions that were not numbered called the "household jack". This was at a time when a "cheaper" version of something meant that instead of rosewood handles it had "hardwood" handles, otherwise it was the same. Mine is a 605-1/4, a Bedrock version of this plane and is just plain fun to use. Bedrocks have the frog bedding system that has been copied by Lie-Nielson and are a much cheaper version than the L-N.

If you want to see how few tools you really need - here is a worthwhile 20 minutes

https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2015/12/13/i-think-i-have-too-many-tools/

Ed


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 Post subject: Re: Which plane to get?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:45 pm
Posts: 143
I've never used a wide variety of planes, because most of my woodworking is instruments. I use a couple of block panes, a shoulder/bullnose plane, my Bailey #8 jointer,scraper planes, and a wide variety of small violin planes. It is interesting to hear you folks talk about using smaller planes for something like truing a headstock face. I have always used my 24" #8 for that and it works really good. Done many hundreds of faces that way when I needed to true the angle a bit. I know a top notch guitar maker who used block planes for jointing the tops and backs. I guess it is all in what you are used to, or as John said, what feels good. Anyway, the old #8 is getting a bit heavy at times, so that is why I'm looking for a smaller, not too small, plane. I bought a cheap Sargent #408 on eBay yesterday just to see what that size is like. Thanks for all the info. Enjoy your building!--Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Which plane to get?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 640
Location: Chestertown Maryland
Bob

You will like the 408- same as a Stanley #3. If you can find a friend with a #7 (22"), give that a shot. I just hefted both at once and I bet the #7 weighs 20-25% less than the #8. It is my jointer of choice. I have a plane I got in France that they call a Try plane that is 22" long but the blade is only 1-3/4" wide. Very light with a wood body and makes a great "swish" noise.

Ed


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 Post subject: Re: Which plane to get?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:45 pm
Posts: 143
Ed,
I had a #7 once. I gave it to my son 15 years ago, but I was only 56 and the #8 still seemed light back then! Lots of 7's on eBay and prices not very high compared to Veritas, etc. I may revisit that plane. Thanks.--Bob


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