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Spark

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Saved a little money up with the intention of purchasing a Plane :lol: .

Any recommendations for Smoothing, Jack and Jointers? (certainly not in the LN league). Stanley seem to use numbers for their planes :?: only have a Bosch power plane at the moment.

Got a dab hand with the waterstone at sharpening chisels and honing them, never thought that taking thin shavings could be so easy :D .

Just finishing my cabin bed :p (at long last), my own design. One coat of varnish and now de-nibbing for the second coat, just need to fit the slats and then construct the ladder.

Intend to visit the Midlands Woodwork show in October, anyone been before? any bargains?

Spark :idea:
 

Gill

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Hi Spark

Intend to visit the Midlands Woodwork show in October, anyone been before? any bargains?
I've been the show several times when it was held at the NEC and it was always enjoyable. No doubt there'll be a large contingent from this forum going to the next one at Stoneleigh.

If you're thinking about getting a decent plane at the show, it might be worth looking at the Ashley Iles stand (aka "The Old Tool Store") which has some very good old tools that have been reconditioned and tuned. Ray is an honest trader and will make sure you get value for money.

Yours

Gill
 

Argus

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Have a look into Clifton Planes. They are midway between Stanley / Record and Lie Lielsen interms of price, and excellent quality, too. You can get them from Axminster power tools and others. Their design is based on the old Stanley Bedrock type and they are very similar to the LN range, but considerably cheaper. The iron is very well made and almost as thick in cross section as the LN. It holsd a good edge well.
But the main consideration with any plane, new or old, is how flat the sole is. Next, the quality and thickness of the irons.

New Stanley or Record are not very good any more in my opinion. Good old ones are relatively scarce (and expensive) and either way will almost certainly need work flatting the soles.

Flatting may also be true of the Clifton, but I bought a new No: 7 a few years ago and after tickling the iron on a fine stone used it straight away. The sole was dead flat.

The numbering system originated by Stanley when they were the market leaders is still used by most makers of those pattern of planes.

What type of plane you need depends on what work you are doing. Using a thicknesser to dimension stock I use the jointer (No: 7 / 7-1/2) mostly, I have three of them - an old Record, the Clifton I mentioned earlier and a pre-war wooden soled one, all set to do different work. With a thick iron ground to a high angle, almost a york pitch, the wood sole is excellent on curly grained timber that tends to rear out.

I would say that the least used plane in my workshop are the smoothers
(No: 4). Again of these I favour sme wooden coffin planes, because of the quality of the irons.

For final finishing I favour scrapers.

If you are considering planes, please don't overlook wooden ones. Many are past it in terms of use and abuse, but you will find a good one occasionally and they make excellent tools when they are tuned, up for a fraction of the cost of a a metal one.
 

Midnight

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Any recommendations for Smoothing, Jack and Jointers? (certainly not in the LN league). Stanley seem to use numbers for their planes ?


Hi Spark....
I'm not much farther down the "learning about hand planes" road than you seem to be.. been using them inexpertly for a little over a year now. I have a small(ish) collection mainly based around Stanley and Lie Nelson models. I've learned the hard way that Stanley's build quality isn't all it's cracked up to be, although with some time and effort, not to mention elbow grease, they can be improved upon. I made a huge improvement to my #'s 4,5 &7 by tuning them; flattening the sole using sanding belts, cut open and glued to an offcut of old worktop; de-burring the opening around the throat and polishing bassness end of the chip breaker where it bears against the blade. The backs of the blades themselves were polished down to 6000 grit before working on the bevel. I tried to tune the throat opening by adjusting the frog, but found this caused excessive blade chatter as soon as the back of the blade was left unsupported.
I've found thru experimenting that the #5 works best for me with the blade sharpened to a distinct curve, in a similar fasion to that of a scrub plane. The #7, when properly tuned blew me away with it's ability to "true" a long, wide rough sawn board to within 2 thou over 6'. I now use it in preference to my benchtop jointer.
I have to fess up... admit that I've yet to be able to get the #4 working properly for me. In my defence, I haven't had it long. It was my dad's plane; suffered years of neglect and is crying out to have some restoration work done on it before being used in earnest again.
One frustrating thing I've learned with my latest project is that they don't like working curly grained hardwood; I've just bought the L-N 41/2 Bedrock smoother to try to remedy that as it has an optional York pitch frog. It'll be interesting to see how it tackles the stack of elm I've to get through for the next project.
I'm toying with the idea of further improving the Stanleys by upgrading their blades and chip breakers. Both Ron Hock and Lie Nielson make replacement blades compatable with the Stanley / Record planes; from what I've read about them, they make a significant improvement for a moderate cost.
If you do go with the Cliftons, let us know how you get on... I'm thinking about trying their shoulder planes.
 

Argus

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It's a typo, old boy, well spotted!

A number 7 is a 22" jointer.
 

Argus

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Midnight":32v7hlzy said:
http://www.lie-nielsen.com/tool.html?id=7-1/2&cart=10660098591126017

Lie-Nielson 71/2...

Very interesting and well spotted, Mike.

I don’t think that plane is available in the UK yet is it? I haven’t seen it. But as a self confessed jointer-junkie it looks very nice. I am a great advocate of low angles for very fine work. L-N seem have spotted a niche for low angle planes – I have their low angle smoother (they call it a ‘jack’, but I use it as a final swipe along the grain) and, despite the steep price L-Ns command in this country, is a joy to use because you can adjust the throat to virtually nothing.

I know there are L-N devotees who will disagree with me, but when I was in Axminster’s shop buying yet another jointer, I held a Clifton in one hand, the equivalent L-N in the other and could not see £100.00 worth of difference.

The L-N is a tad heavier, (not always an advantage to me, because I have to lift the thing), the iron is a little thicker (but not much) and it comes with the pedigree. … I bought the Clifton (it comes with their two piece cap iron as standard) and I can honestly say that apart from honing the iron and the usual setting up it was ready to use. The sole was dead flat – no messing about with messy wet & dry…. Their iron quality and edge holding is excellent. Bearing in mind I use a lot of Oak, I expect to hone regularly, so I keep several irons ready to use and have a sharpening session when they are all dull.

On the subject of numbering, it all seems a little arbitrary to me. Stanley seemed to start off the numbers with their bench planes when they came out in the 1880s and went up progressively in size to the number 7 – other makers, notably Record, adopted a similar numbering system, then, inexplicably the little block plane became a 9 ½……

Any ideas? ….That ought to start a controversy!
 

Scrit

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Hmmm... Wasn't the 9-1/2 given that number because Stanley already had a "block/mitre plane" called the no. 9? Still doesn't explain the 9-1/4, 9-3/4 and things like the 444 ( a dovetail plane) though. If you want a wry view on Stanley planes take a look at Patrick's Blood & Gore http://www.supertool.com/StanleyBG/stan0.htm which makes fascinating reading for the hand-tool trainspotters amongst us.

BTW I'll post another vote for Ray Iles's rebuilt planes. Not collector tools- but very good user tools at affordable prices (even if you do get a Heinz 57 plane at times)

Scrit
 

Midnight

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[color=blue]Very interesting and well spotted, Mike.

I don’t think that plane is available in the UK yet is it? I haven’t seen it. But as a self confessed jointer-junkie it looks very nice. [/color]


The L-N 71/2 is listed in the latest Axminster catalogue. Only £20 dearer than your Clifton too...
I've been using their 62 for quite some time now... awsome tool..
Right now I'm trying to get the latest project off the bench so I can put my newly aquired 41/2 through it's paces. I'm toying with the idea of adding the york pitch frog to it... any thoughts..??
 

Alf

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Midnight":1bq3lt08 said:
Right now I'm trying to get the latest project off the bench so I can put my newly aquired 41/2 through it's paces. I'm toying with the idea of adding the york pitch frog to it... any thoughts..??
Cripes, I had to join up to post this; hope it's worth it... :?

Firstly, nice gloat. :D

Secondly, I also dabbled with the idea of the york pitch frog. Not least because it would justify the purchase of the L-N 4 1/2 for it to go in. :roll: But I tried a 5 deg back bevel in my old Record #4 first, and it has worked so well that the L-N 4 1/2 has actually dropped down the wish list. You may have already tried that, I don't know, and I wouldn't want to disuade you from tool purchasing, naturally. I also seem to recall reading a negative comment, or two, about the high angle frog but I haven't been able to find it again to check. Something about the iron having a tendency to be pushed back or something. I honestly can't remember what it was, but it was enough to give me furiously to think and to try the back bevel first.

Cheers, Alf
 

Midnight

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Firstly, nice gloat. :D

Secondly, I also dabbled with the idea of the york pitch frog. Not least because it would justify the purchase of the L-N 4 1/2 for it to go in. :roll: But I tried a 5 deg back bevel in my old Record #4 first, and it has worked so well that the L-N 4 1/2 has actually dropped down the wish list. You may have already tried that, I don't know, and I wouldn't want to disuade you from tool purchasing, naturally. I also seem to recall reading a negative comment, or two, about the high angle frog but I haven't been able to find it again to check. Something about the iron having a tendency to be pushed back or something. I honestly can't remember what it was, but it was enough to give me furiously to think and to try the back bevel first.

Cheers, Alf[/quote]


Honestly didn't MEAN to gloat.....

HONESTTTTTTTTT...... hand on heart too.....

<shrugs..
I read about back bevels in David Charlesworth's books... haven't tried them yet. Figured that because I work almost exclusivly with hardwoods, the york pitch would be the way to go; easier to maintain in the long run. As for the iron slipping, Charleswrth covered that too; simple addition of a countersunk rebate to seat the screw head into would lock the cap iron in place. Seemed logical..
Like I said.. I haven't tried the tool yet. Hopefully this time next week I'll be starting to plane the stock I need to get through for the winter projects. Over 160 board feet of oak and elm to get through.. one way or another.
 

Alf

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Midnight":2jw1u4gz said:
I read about back bevels in David Charlesworth's books... haven't tried them yet. Figured that because I work almost exclusivly with hardwoods, the york pitch would be the way to go; easier to maintain in the long run. As for the iron slipping, Charleswrth covered that too; simple addition of a countersunk rebate to seat the screw head into would lock the cap iron in place. Seemed logical...
Darn, I'll have to look through the DC books and see if I can find that. Should have guessed that he would have covered it. :roll: Give the back bevel a go though; I'd be interested to see what you think. Especially if you could compare the results with using the york pitch frog, of course. I may yet be able to justify the L-N 4 1/2 if it turned out to be that much better. :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 

Midnight

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Give the back bevel a go though; I'd be interested to see what you think.

Gimme a couple of weeks to try it. I gotta get this blanket chest finished and make something to house SWMBO's new DVD player...
<muttering>
Then I can start on the good stuff.
 

frank

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Eerr whats a back bevel :shock: ,or how do you get a back bevel :? i am not a hand tool collector but i do have 3 planes .
 

Alf

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Frank,

A back bevel is a small bevel* honed on the back of a blade (i.e. On other side, opposite the usual bevel) to give the effect of a higher angle of attack. In a standard Bailey pattern bench plane, the blade is bedded at 45 degrees (or common pitch) and that's the angle at which the wood meets the blade. When working hardwoods, particularly ones with "interesting" grain, it sometimes helps to have that angle nearer 50 degrees. That's one of the reasons for people wanting infills, which were made with a higher angle of 47 1/2 degs or 50 degs (York pitch). But, if you put a small bevel on the back of the blade, of 5 degrees, you create the effect of the wood meeting the blade at that desirable york pitch for just the cost of a second blade. i.e. The original 45 of the plane's bedding angle + the 5 degree back bevel = 50 degrees. You can go to as much as 60 degrees, but things get a little tricky to push, and a scraper is probably a better bet.

Hope that's slightly clearer than mud! :lol: If someone can come up with a clearer explanation, please feel free. :)

As for honing a back bevel, that can be tricky. David Charlesworth IIRC, rests the blade on a rule on the stone and does it that way. I just freehand it and hope for the best... :oops: It doesn't need to be very big, which helps. And it's a great way to use blades that are too pitted or difficult to flatten the backs of.

Cheers, Alf

*I've heard sizes as small as 1/32" given as a "ball park" figure
 
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