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I need a decent Block Plane - Advice Please

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OPJ

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As the title suggests, I'm in the market for a new (or old...) block plane that can do a good job.

I've had the Record one as sold new by Screwfix, and for the price I/my dad payed, I think it's quite a waste of money for the poor quality blade you get. I'm also aware of what people say about the newer Stanley planes also. But after I bought a brand new Bailey no.4 or 5... Well, they certainly hold an edge and cut an awful lot better!

I've had some luck on eBay recently with planes, as you may be aware. :wink:

The main problem is, there are so many block planes on the market these days it's hard to know what makes this next one any different to the one I was looking at a minute a go!

I do like the look of the Veritas one very much, but my budget won't stretch that far. I'm looking at around £30-£40 max., if I have to go new of course.


After a quick search on D&Ms website, I'm looking at the 60-1/2 and 9-1/2 models. Possibly the 220....

Does anyone have any opinions on these models, old or new?

End-grain work and fine-tuning is a must for this plane but it'll also have to survive the carpentry and joinery world as my experience grows.


Thanks again for your time guys, I really do appreciate it.
 

Evergreen

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Hi Oswaldo

Years ago, I used to have a Stanley 60 1/2 but never got on with it. The iron was as soft as butter on a summer's day and the cam action on the lever cap never seemed man enough for the job. I've now just acquired an L-N rebate block plane which I'm hoping will be even more versatile than an ordinary block plane. It's just so pretty, I'm hesitant to use it!

I know the L-N is more than twice as much as you want to pay but look on it as a long term investment. If you get a cheap block plane but it's a duff one, you'll end up cursing it like I used to curse my old Stanley.

Regards.
 

Gill

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My favourite block plane is one I bought from a "pound" shop for a couple of quid a few years ago. I'd just bought Garret Hack's hand plane book so I was looking for a plane that I could fettle without too much risk. This plane was little more than a block of Chinese iron with a blade, but after a few hours of playing around with it, I was surprised at how effective it was.

I've also got a Stanley 60½ too, which I've found holds its edge and is completely reliable. Isn't it strange how we can have different experiences with the same tool? There again, if I'm singing the praises of the Stanley and comparing it favourably to a Chinese lump of iron, perhaps you ought to be looking to buy a different plane altogether :roll: :D !

Gill
 

Philly

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Olly
Personally, if you can save up a little longer I'd go for one of these. Not too far over your budget.
If not, how about a replacement blade for your Record block?? Classic Hand Tools sell Hock replacement blades here (scroll down a bit) and also Ray Isles here. These will give your block a new lease on life!
Hope this helps
Philly :D
 

jasonB

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Philly, do you know the width of the Ray Isles Blades, as I have a 40-50 yr old stanley 60 1/2 that takes the type of blade listed as for a 91/2. In other words it has the curved grooves not the three slots as it has no latteral adjustment, thae casting is marked C322 if that helps. Mine is 1 3/8 wide with 7/16 slot but I have just about run out of blade length.

Oswaldo. I have two stanley 601/2, the one above that was my farthers(still is really) which I use on site and a newer one that I keep in the workshop, after an hour or so of fettling thay are fine.

Jason
 

jasonB

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Thanks Philly, looks like they are 1 5/8 but I will see what he can do. At that price I don't mind using it on site, I did see some Hock ones a while back that would fit but a bit pricy for site use(abuse) :oops:

Jason
 

ydb1md

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Evergreen":2qweyqn7 said:
Hi Oswaldo

I've now just acquired an L-N rebate block plane which I'm hoping will be even more versatile than an ordinary block plane. It's just so pretty, I'm hesitant to use it!

I know the L-N is more than twice as much as you want to pay but look on it as a long term investment. If you get a cheap block plane but it's a duff one, you'll end up cursing it like I used to curse my old Stanley.

Regards.
Great little plane! Very versatile, easy to hold and attractive. If you need to tighten the mouth, just use some shim stock under the blade.

People complain that the toe can flex but that's true only if you really mash on it.

I've thrown too much money at cheap tools, that I don't use, to be satisfied not buying what I want.
 

Mr Mike

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Hi Olly,

If I were you I'd buy a second hand Stanley 60 1/2 on ebay (preferably one of the older USA made models), flatten the sole, going up through the grades of wet n dry paper, 180 to 400, then change the blade for a brand new Hock iron.

To be honest, I'm sure if you just replaced your current plane iron to a Hock iron, you'd be astonished at the difference in your plane's performance. The steel is much harder and so will hold an edge longer, and more importantly the steel is much thicker thereby reducing 'chatter'.

Most people's problems emanate from using blunt tools. You can't do good work with blunt tools, simple as that.

Hope that helps......

Mike.
 

bugbear

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All good advice; but I just checked UK ebay. Older 60 1/2 are really rare, and go for around 20-25 GBP when they show up.

Add in a 30 quid Hock blade and you're looking at a 55 quid tool - albeit a good one.

At that price you might consider this

http://www.brimarc.com/home.php3?page=p ... C_106_22_7

a viable alternative, although it DOESN'T have an adjustable mouth.

BugBear
 

OPJ

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Thanks to everyone for their advice.

Mr Mike. Funnily enough, I had my eye on a Stanley 60-1/2 until only yesterday when, as bugbear mentioned, the current bid has suddenly rocketed up to almost £30! :shock:

The 9-1/2 is still quite tempting at £15, but after a little more reading I've now got my heart set on a 60-1/2. :wink:


The new blade idea is interesting to me. Only hours after posting this topic I was out in the cold sharpening my Record plane - and came up with a surprisingly GOOD edge to it! :shock: Just goes to show you, eh.

But until I fully understand my hand tools I have, I don't think I can safely afford to go for a Veritas apron plane, as much as I would most certainly love to have one... And there's always the chance it might get nicked on the job!! :?
 
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