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Infill Planes!!!

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Sam Salter

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I've been at this hobby for about 18 months now & I'm starting to look at my hand tools. I've got an old Stanley type plane; I've got the Japanese water stone & got into sharpening theory & practice; everything is ticking along nicely, OK so far...

But!

I have this niggling urge to try an infill plane. Just looking at the pictures makes me knees tremble! The reading I've done leads me to believe that they are much superior. Is this true all you experienced cabinet makers?

I could make the brass one in last months "Shop Notes", or I could make a replica of a Norris or a Spiers from a kit, or I could buy a real one from a dealer.

Are these planes so good that it's worth the effort & money? Will I notice the difference? What do you guys think?

sam :)
 

Midnight

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Sam..

ummmm... first thought is that these things aren't toys... but I'm guessing you know that already...

they're mostly taylored to excell in working the most difficult woods, species that'd have a Stanley shreaking in horror at.. most of the new ones available are hand made with exceptional detail, and command prices accordingly...
are they worth it??
personally I can't afford to find out........ yet... :cry:
 

Philly

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I think you need to speak to Chris-He has just taken possesion of a Sauer infill
Cheers
Philly :D
 

Frank D.

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Hi Sam,
Like most people I don't have any extensive hands-on experience with both, but I must say that I have yet to see a wood that one of my LN's couldn't handle.
However, I have read from two different sources (Joel, the owner of Tools for Working Wood, and David Charlesworth, in an article for "Furniture and Cabinet Making") that initially both LN (or any well-tuned metal plane with a good blade) and infills perform very similarly, but that when the blade starts to dull the infill has the edge (it planes with less tearout). So without hands-on experience, I see infills as a luxury more than a necessity.
Frank D.
 

Frank D.

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Hi Midnight,
I'm familiar with Lyn's review, and indeed, the plane that blew all others away was indeed an infill. But, I wonder how S. Thomas' plane compares to other infills. His certainly blew Steve Knight's infill away, and the metal planes were at least as good as the Knight infill. ST's infill also does not have a traditional infill design, so I can't help but wonder whether the "Thomas" part of the equation is as important, if not more important, as the "infill" part (I suspect so; there's a lot more metal in the Tomas infill than traditional infills...and if the wooden bed was such an advantage then wooden planes would have come out on top of metal ones, which wasn't the case). So, without comaprative tests on infills, and since you can't buy a Thomas infill, I'd say Charlesworth and Joel are still the best indications of general performance comparisons between the two.
How's that for plane rhetoric? :wink: Yet I don't think I'm too infill of it :lol: .
Frank D.
 

Frank D.

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Oh yeah Mike,
I just forgot to add, the one tool that always works when I'm in trouble, and that doesn't cost several thousand dollars, is my trusty 112.
Frank D.
 

Midnight

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Frank...

FWIW we're both pretty much in the same camp; anything my 4 1/2 with york frog canna handle (which isn't much lemme tell ya) gets nailed with the 112...

But...

the 112 canna hold a candle to the finish I get with the 4 1/2... now, that could well be due to my poor sharpening of the 112 to date.. I've had too many other things going on to really sit down and give it a good seeing to on the finer stones..

however..

my 4 1/2 has a 5 thou mouth and a blade that's honed to 12,000 grit, but even it canna plane with impunity against the grain... I have it on good authority that an S&S panel plane can do that and then some on woods that'd have my L-N's working up a sweat...
they're more than good enough for anything I'm likely to work with, aand I honestly canna see the day when I replace em with anything but exactly the same... but still...... an S&S would be realllllllllll nice...

:wink:
 
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Interesting link Mike, thanks

Have a high angle frog coming over as an addition to an order from Maine in the next few days, so I'll be having a little fun playing with that :D Sounds pretty useful in the link
 

Midnight

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I think you've been seeing too much of Wiley.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

he ummmmmmmm.. can mount a damn good argument in their favour...

fortunately my bank balance is as robust as my back... shot knicker elastic is a good comparrison :wink:

managed to get a wee charriot plane tho... :oops:
 

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