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No 5 plane - what is it for?

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Jacob

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Wow ... great posts interesting and very helpful. Thanks.
So No 5 planes are for flattening and roughing efficiency. Got you.
Not really. It's just a smaller plane for smaller work
I am on the way shopping for another plane. This time they are the No 5s.
I might look at No 6 and 7 as well.
This wood working hobby costs some money. Saws, drills, jigs, planes and work benches ... :( and we need to pay for the woods, the sheet materials.
You don't need them all! It's just that if you have them you have a bit more choice. You can do almost everything with just a 5 or 5 1/2
PS the sizes relate to the size of the workpieces rather than to particular functions.
 

JobandKnock

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One thing a #5 was good for was "tweaking" doors. #5-1/2 was better on thicker hardwood bank doors. These days we have power planers which are much less work
 
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bp122

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I have almost a full set of planes, but the ones I use most are #5 1/2, #6, #4 1/2, Block ... In that order of most used to least.

I also have a few wooden planes, one of them I use as a scrub plane as it is oh so light.

My #5 hardly gets used as it is a bit narrow for my liking and the work I do.
 

Jacob

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It can be useful swapping between two similar planes on the job because you get to know quickly if one is blunter than the other and now needs sharpening. Just one plane and you may hang on too long, blaming the wood etc.
 

Cabinetman

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You cannot really flatten or straighten anything with a smoother (for instance number4) without wasting lots and lots of time on it. For all flattening and straightening operations you needd longer planes to achive a tolerable level of work efficiency.
Depending on the sort of work and the lenght of the workpiece different lenghts of planes are suitable for flattening/straightening. In part it is also down to personal preferences.
The basic set of longer planes for such work would for most of us be a number 5 and a number 7.
Just for once Heimlaga I must disagree with you, I have been a bespoke cabinet maker for the last 14 years and a serious furniture maker for 50 years, The only plane I have ever used is a number four (a few of them at a time) I do possess a number 5 1/2 and funnily enough I took it out the cupboard the other day to have a look at it and it just felt so big and heavy and alien in my hand, I think I have used it twice. You can joint boards perfectly with a short plane, you can (and I have quite a few times) plane a large kitchen size tabletop with a number four. Just like a longer plane it takes the highspots off until it’s the same all over, and of course it’s much less tiring. just wanted to say that you don’t necessarily need a big plane for a big job. As you say it’s down to personal preference. Ian
 

hlvd

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I use a block plane, No5 and No7, I don’t get all the love for a No4 🤷‍♂️
 

Jameshow

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I'm guessing a no4 is the plane that can do 90% of all woodworking.....

Not too big but not too small, and in days gone by it was the only plane many woodworkers had. Now we have so many more options, planers, p/t, etc.....

But are we any better woodworkers? I doubt it!
 

Adam W.

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Wow ... great posts interesting and very helpful. Thanks.
So No 5 planes are for flattening and roughing efficiency. Got you.

I am on the way shopping for another plane. This time they are the No 5s.
I might look at No 6 and 7 as well.
This wood working hobby costs some money. Saws, drills, jigs, planes and work benches ... :( and we need to pay for the woods, the sheet materials.
Don't take up carving then, as most of the expensive wood ends up on the floor.
 

JobandKnock

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I'm guessing a no4 is the plane that can do 90% of all woodworking.....

Not too big but not too small, and in days gone by it was the only plane many woodworkers had. Now we have so many more options, planers, p/t, etc.....
Certainly the most commonly found - but in the past it was pushed by Stanley, et al as the "homeowners friend"
 

Jacob

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I use a block plane, No5 and No7, I don’t get all the love for a No4 🤷‍♂️
4 is cheaper!
The point about 5 and below is that they light enough to use against a vertical edge like a door, or around a table edge, or smaller ones one handed.
5 1/2 or above are getting too hefty and only for horizontal use, unless you are into weight lifting
 

diytoolbox

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Don't take up carving then, as most of the expensive wood ends up on the floor.

That is what hoover is for. And sharing wood shavings with floor isn't such a bad thing :D
Don't throw them away. They get composted or used as tinder to start wood stove. Very useful :)
 
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diytoolbox

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It can be useful swapping between two similar planes on the job because you get to know quickly if one is blunter than the other and now needs sharpening. Just one plane and you may hang on too long, blaming the wood etc.

This is true. I have had about 4 or 5 different No 4s, and found them all useful in swapping over when one goes suddenly blunt or loose settings (old planes sometimes in fact quite often do this), or for that different shaving feeling of the each individual blades (not all No 4s cut same way - some have different chamfer angles, different weights and feels).

It is impossible to have just one plane in real life. More the merrier. Planes are very in good in reproducing or bringing in their own friends.
 
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cmoops2

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My No 5, 6 and 7 also find good use when used with a shooting board because the height of the body sides mean they ride well on their side on the shooting board baseplate ...
 

HamsterJam

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I seem to like No 5 1/2s…

BF32C44B-0B69-46EA-B170-58A3A46C9DF2.jpeg
BF32C44B-0B69-46EA-B170-58A3A46C9DF2.jpeg
 
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HamsterJam

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That's just greedy!

How are they held in magnets??
Sorry 😉 and gravity...
There is a small chamfer on the the bottom strip supporting the heel and the strip at the top overlaps the toe. The planes are removed by lifting the plane upwards so the heel clears the chamfer, then outwards and downwards to disengage the toe.
 

Jameshow

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Sorry 😉 and gravity...
There is a small chamfer on the the bottom strip supporting the heel and the strip at the top overlaps the toe. The planes are removed by lifting the plane upwards so the heel clears the chamfer, then outwards and downwards to disengage the toe.
Nice!!
 
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