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msparker

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Hi all, I'm building up a hand tool kit as I'm stuck in a flat with no space / apatite for the mess and noise that comes with power tools. I only have a block plane (a nice one) and a very not nice (not very flat or square) number 5. I want to get a serious plane that I can depend on for 90% of tasks so a higher quality jack plane seems the obvious solution. For ages I've been 100% sold by various youtubers that the Veritas low angle jack should be the answer, but I've been watching a lot of Rob Cosman recently and he's a massive advocate of the 5 1/2 bedrock and I think I'm getting converted.

1) Any defence for the low angle jack or is the 5 1/2 the better way to go?
2) Given this would be the main plane for all work, I'm keen to get a great one. Lie Nielsen is very expensive but I'm sure great, Rob Cosman uses the Wood River (about half the price! you could even buy his IBC blades), I see Clifton come in the middle, Veritas do an odd-looking 5. So, what is the best option to go for?
 

thetyreman

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the low angle jack planes are good for certain jobs, example end grain or planing a butchers block, that's actually what they were designed for, as well as mitres and reversing grain like sapele (I don't own a low angle plane or block plane), I use my no 5 1/2 for everything jack plane related.


What exactly is it you're struggling with? how will getting a new plane fix that?
 

Peter Sefton

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I love my Veritas Low Angle Jack but for most people a standard 5 1/2 bench plane is the way to go. I am the UK dealer for Woodriver, the 5 1/2 is out best selling plane but we are currently out of stock and had an email saying we may not get new stock until April/May :( I think there is something very special about the Clifton 5 1/2 but again waiting for a restock along with the Veritas.
 

msparker

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@thetyreman the 5 I have is was a cheapo old one and it's really not in great shape! The sole isn't square to sides so it's hard work to get it set properly on a shooting board and I suspect it has a slight twist... So basically I have a block plane that's good and need an all rounder.

@Peter Sefton I know I just looked on the site!! Was gutted! Seems like all planes are out of stock across all brands so it might be a wait regardless! How would you compare the woodriver and Clifton?
 

MikeK

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I have the #62 LA jack plane, but have never used it. After attending four of David Charlesworth's courses, my favorite plane is now the 5-1/2.
 

Peter Sefton

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The Woodriver is excellent value for money, I have them in all my students tools kits and use one myself. I can't do anything with my Clifton that I can't do with my Woodriver but the Clifton just has a different feel, a larger handle, polished elements and made in the UK.
 

profchris

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I have a Quangsheng low angle jack. I still haven't found anything it's better for than my other planes.
 

Ttrees

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A no. 5 1/2 would be my choice also, I have two, one is handy for the shooting board.
If buying secondhand on ebay, along with the usual hairline cracks to look out for, chips from the mouth, plenty of life left in the iron, and no broken handles,
I would want a picture from each end of the plane to see if the sole (base) is thick
and untouched, unlike some planes you might see which often are sold on job lots and must have been belt sanded, or lapped badly through the years to get that thin.
A bit of light rust is no issue.
Just incase you don't decide to buy a new ductile iron (unbreakable) hand plane.
I would sooner have the two of them.

Tom
 

XH558

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Hi all, I'm building up a hand tool kit as I'm stuck in a flat with no space / apatite for the mess and noise that comes with power tools. I only have a block plane (a nice one) and a very not nice (not very flat or square) number 5. I want to get a serious plane that I can depend on for 90% of tasks so a higher quality jack plane seems the obvious solution. For ages I've been 100% sold by various youtubers that the Veritas low angle jack should be the answer, but I've been watching a lot of Rob Cosman recently and he's a massive advocate of the 5 1/2 bedrock and I think I'm getting converted.

1) Any defence for the low angle jack or is the 5 1/2 the better way to go?
2) Given this would be the main plane for all work, I'm keen to get a great one. Lie Nielsen is very expensive but I'm sure great, Rob Cosman uses the Wood River (about half the price! you could even buy his IBC blades), I see Clifton come in the middle, Veritas do an odd-looking 5. So, what is the best option to go for?
Hi. I have a number 6 that is doing nothing and has not done anything since I got it............ Any use to you?
 

Jameshow

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Convert the cheapy into a scrub plane.

Easy to do with a grinder or course sharpening stone.

I have a old Wickes no5 plane which is great for cleaning up rough sawn timber.


This looks nice and very simalar to the wood River planes..

Cheers James
 

msparker

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The quangsheng is an interesting shout... Has anybody got hand on experience? The only thing I've ever heard was a guy I met had bought one and found it to be off square but the reviews on workshop heaven (the ones the post at least) are glowing
 

jcassidy

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The sole isn't square to sides so it's hard work to get it set properly on a shooting board and I suspect it has a slight twist...
The sole isn't supposed to be square to the sides. I've never squared the sides of a plane, I was never taught that, and I've only ever seen this on YouTube.
You use the lateral lever to square it on the shooting board.

A twist would be a problem, you need a perfectly flat surface to get the plane flat. I use a huge piece of marble from a fireplace! It could be that someone warped the plane.using excessive force.
 

MusicMan

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The quangsheng is an interesting shout... Has anybody got hand on experience? The only thing I've ever heard was a guy I met had bought one and found it to be off square but the reviews on workshop heaven (the ones the post at least) are glowing
I have a Quangsheng low angle jack and find it a very good plane. I don't think I would get it first, the 5 1/2 or even 5 is more versatile and very useful. But the variable angles one gets with the three blades are useful for handling different types of grain.

BTW for shooting board work, the sole does not have to be square or even flat. The edge of the blade does. The sole plays virtually no part in a shooting board action, just the bottom of it runs along the straight edge.
 

D_W

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Am I correct that you're intending to do all of the woodwork with hand tools, from rough to finish? Rob pushes his planes for that, but they're not ideal for it.

Actually, if you're going to work entirely by hand, lighter casting historically accurate planes (like actual vintage planes) are better, but the coarse work and middle work is best done with wooden planes.

That said, if you're working in a vacuum, I suppose it's not realistic to suggest those as a starting point (I started with one rehabbed plane -the seller did a bad job on it - and one LN plane - both are long gone).

Rob will have you buying all kinds of stuff you don't need, but if you're going to work softwoods, a quangsheng 5 1/2 is like trying to win a bike race with both brakes applied.
 

D_W

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(I think the average person is better off with a stanley 5, by the way, than any of the heavy 5 1/2s, getting us back on track with metal planes - but it'd be a trick as a beginner to have someone politely give you one that works well. I've sold a lot that work well, but I've never received one properly set up).
 

undergroundhunter

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If I've read your post correctly then the 5 1/2 will be your only bench plane? Are you starting with rough sawn or par timber?

If prepping rough sawn you are going to get very fed up very quickly, as others have said a 5 1/2 is (and in my opinion) far too heavy for dressing rough timber. I have tried several planes, here are my thoughts on the common choices. 1. a no4 converted to a scrub, 2. a 5 with a cambered iron and 3. a wooden jack plane with a 10" radius iron, these were all used quite extensively before I had machines to do the grunt. Here is my 2p worth,
1, the no4 scrub was great at whipping timber off in very shot order but I found I had to check frequently that i was staying flat and not creating a banana. 2, The no5 with a cambered iron was easier to keep the timber flat but it was quite tiring to use.
3, The wooden jack was a pleasure, the heavy camber ment I could (timber dependent) take 1/6" off each pass, the work stayed pretty flat due to the longer sole of the plane, being a wooden plane I could work for longer without stopping as they are a lot lighter than their metal counterparts. All I would say is with wooden planes you ideally need a lower bench so you can get over the plane instead of behind it.

If you are dressing par then the 5 1/2 is a great choice.

Matt
 
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Ttrees

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Msparker has a no.5 which would make a good scrub IMO...
well at least a winter scrub...
My sleeve always gets caught on the heel of my no.4 scrub plane :)
 

johnnyb

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don't get a la jack. they are good but have an odd low approach. why do people advocate 5 1/2 especially it seems for beginners. these folks simply don't have the strength to push 5 1/2. a 5 is sensible. make waxing the sole part of planing. Ray illes sells vintage planes that have had there sole and sides regrouped. the last one I got for a chap had a samurai brand blade!(it was about £50)
 

PeteBowen

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I've got a 51/2 Quangsheng. I love it. It's the plane I use most frequently even though I've got a handful of 4s a 5 and several others.
 

timothyedoran

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I am a hand tool only person with minimal tools.
What about a secondhand Stanley or record no.4. I have a record 4 and I like it.
I also have a sliverline plane that was absolutely rubbish until I turned it into a scrub plane. Now it's actually very handy. I wouldnt recommend a silver line one, but basically any cheap plane can be made into a scrub plane.
 

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