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humanfish

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Hi all,
Having read through quite a number of the threads in the hand tools section over the past few months ( and after having saved enough of my meagre student income) i am ready to buy myself a plane or two. I have read Alf's helpful reviews =D> and i feel on my budget, without trying to compromise on price over quality,veritas offer me some affordable options.

Without wanting to break the mould of a hardup student :-({|= :whistle: i was looking at 'investing' (is that the right word) in a medium shoulder plane and a 5 1/4. Now i was wondering, would it be better for me to go for a seperate smoother,say a 41/2 and a No 6 or is the 5 1/4 a good bridge between the two doing both roles (i worry 'jack of all trades, master of none'). A bit of guidance would be greatly appreciated on this matter.
 

MikeW

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HI B_H,

For me, it would depend on the tools I already have and what I make.

In general, I suggest one obtain a good block plane, a shoulder plane, a smoother and a jack or a #6. For the jack, I would tend to favor the bevel up designs anymore. But a #5 1/2 bevel down would be a nice plane to use as well. I have the LV #6 and use it often. It's a good plane. I also have and use an old Stanley #5 a great deal.

For one looking to save some money, I always suggest obtaining used planes. Heck, I guess I suggest that anyway. Lots of decent planes out there that with a replacement blade, and any fettling if needed, will perform as well as a new plane. The savings can make it worth getting them.

Mike
 

JFC

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Im not 100% on this because i've been out of the CITB for a few years now but when i and my apprentice started we got the offer of a tool kit for around £30 . It was a full carpenter and joiners kit and around £250 worth . Maybe give them a look up before you spend your hard earned cash , you could find they will subsidize your tools aswell as your training .
 

Midnight

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I can't speak for the shoulder plane; don't got a medium....

I'm a wee bit bothered about your #5 1/4... Not saying it's the wrong choice... buttt... IIRC the 5 1/4 was intended as a jack suitable for small ppl... kinda mated with the likes of a #2 or #3.... sorta...

The #4 1/2 and #6 do make a fine combination... was using those very planes myself tonight...

a more suitable / compatable jack might be the #5 1/2... it has enough mass to handle course cuts with authority... retuned for a fine cut, it makes for an awesome uber smoother... its additional heft makes light work of really difficult grain...

a major plus is it shares a common blade size with the #4 1/2 and #6...
 

Frank D.

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I'd vote for the LV low-angle jack. You can do a lot with it, smooth and even joint short or medium-sized pieces. Great for shooting too. Much more versatile than a 5 1/4, which is a little too narrow and small to be really useful for general work. If I had to start over again I'd get that one first. Plus if you ever acquire more planes the LA jack will always remain a useful part of your arsenal.
What do you want the shoulder plane for? I see this as a specialized tool; it does relatively few jobs well. I don't know how much a LN rabbeting block plane is but it is much more versatile and can do almost everything a shoulder plane can. I see a shoulder plane as pretty far down on the list of tool acquisitions.
I hesitate before recommending used planes to relative beginners. There's a lot of research and potential work to do which can be disheartening to someone who just wants to start working wood. If budget constraints don't allow new planes it's a good idea to buy used, but to anyone who can, I'd say buy new and concentrate on having fun building things.
Frank
 

Alf

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BH, I hope you're braced for as many answers as there are respondents. :D

Boringly I'd have to plump for the Low Angle Jack (as usual :oops: ). It's versatile enough to do a range of tasks, easy to learn to use for the novice and, as Frank says, will still have an important role in your tool kit even if you find yourself going down The Slope faster than a greased hog. :D

Alternatively you could go for a secondhand #5 1/2 mebbe, and a top notch new smoother. More planes is always a good route, on the whole... :wink:

I've long felt any plane that can plane into the corner of a joint is a real asset to the beginner, and tend to plump for a shoulder plane myself, I must admit. On the other hand, Frank does have a point in that the rebate block would be a bit more versatile. Either way, a useful variety of tool to have.

Mike, the Veritas #5 1/4, which is what BD is looking at I believe, is a slightly different animal than the Stanley-esque ones. It's a nice plane, IIRC (long time ago now!) but I fear the Veritas bevel downs just don't hit the spot for me. Dunno why, just one of those things.

Cheers, Alf
 

humanfish

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Hi everyone,
thanks JFC i took a look at CiTB website but unfortunately i would be uneligible for anygrant predominately because i am studying furniture making. I did look at the City and Guilds but there burserie scheme is for people who struggle to cover the cost of their course as opposed to the aquisition of tools.

The low anglejack sounds like a popular choice. Does it act as a general smoother but with the added benefit of being able to tackle the awkward grain of some timber? If so would this be better to get at the moment as opposed to a more standard smoother.

I was looking at the getting the shoulder for cleaning up the joints and housings but i must say i hadn't even looked at the LN rabbeting block plane as an option.

Midnight, are you using the veritas 4 1/2 and 6, do you use them much or would you tend to go for another instead of. Do you yourself have a 5 1/2 and what role does this take when you have the smoother (the 4 1/2) and a 6.

Is the low angle jack similar to 5 1/2 in what it is there for except that it performs better with it's low angle.

Sorry for all the questions. In an ideal world i wouldn't need to worry about which i get first, but my finances dictate to me 'get the planes you will use the most first'.

ive just realised preparations for christimas will begin reletively shortly, if not already in the retail sector, i might be able to slip in a fourth veritas purchase. :lol:
 

MikeW

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Alf":3sjulsgy said:
...Mike, the Veritas #5 1/4, which is what BD is looking at I believe, is a slightly different animal than the Stanley-esque ones.
Yep, I know. But without being able to also purchase a jointer or what not, I figured either the LV #6, which is also a good plane and provides the longer registration surface for edge jointing, or the BU jack for sheer versitility would be a better compliment to a smoother that is just a little shorter than the #5 1/4.

I've held and used a LV #5 1/4. It is indeed a nice plane. The extra width is nice and feel it would make a decent smoother on larger panels...if I didn't already have other options. I still have too many planes/tools, after all.

But the LV #5 1/4 is too long, imo, for a general use smoother and too short for jointing anything but small work.

Mike
still on the quest for less
 

edmund

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Hi! Thought I'd give my h'penny's worth as well, as someone who's not been cabinet making as long as my venerable colleagues :) . From my experience to date I get the most use out of the following:
L-N low angle block plane with adjustable mouth (invaluable tool)
L-N #4 smoother (also have a higher angle frog)
2nd hand Record #5 1/2 jack
2nd hand Record #7 jointer
New Record 3110 shoulder plane
I've been able to accomplish everything with these planes which a high degree of success.

The Records are actually very good tools and I have fitted new irons to them. They were £50-70 from Ray Iles and in my view represent excellent value (a new #7 jointer from L-N costs a pretty penny!).

IMHO the low angle jack counts as a specialised plane - a big block plane; although LV supply irons with steeper pitched bevels. I prefer the much higher pitched bevel down planes for more difficult woods (which I haven't used much to date).

Good luck with the tool purchases. Edmund
 

Midnight

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Midnight, are you using the veritas 4 1/2 and 6, do you use them much or would you tend to go for another instead of. Do you yourself have a 5 1/2 and what role does this take when you have the smoother (the 4 1/2) and a 6.
BH... with a few exceptions, most of my planes are Lie Nielsens... hense Alf's correction re the #5 1/4. L-N tend to stay closer to the original Bailey designs; L-V have introduced a number of inovative chances to established designs.

Once I'm through with the scrub plane, my main bench planes are the #4 1/2, #5 1/2, #6 and #7.. of those, I'll probably spend more time working with the #5 1/2 than the rest put together...

The #5 1/2 has the perfect combination of mass and length to enable you to shape a board quickly, the heft making fairly light work of difficult grain... That said, its light enough to use for a fair length of time without working yersel into a lather..

Re-tuned as an uber smoother, the #5 1/2 does an awesome job; the mass gives it enough authority to slice cleanly through the most difficult grain... 1 thou shavings..... awesome finish..... against the grain.... canna be a bad thing....
 

edmund

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Midnight":2t6pcsf3 said:
I'll probably spend more time working with the #5 1/2 than the rest put together...

Re-tuned as an uber smoother, the #5 1/2 does an awesome job
As a postscript to my earlier post I'm completely with midnight here. I have a cambered blade for using after the scrub plane, and a straight edged blade for smoothing work. I find the extra width and length of the 5 1/2 makes a huge difference to a 5 or 5 1/4. It gets the most use out of all my other planes.
 
A

Anonymous

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If you have access to a reasonably well equipped shop, but few funds, I would go the wooden plane route. Best route in any case for tool users vs. gazers, but you can make a wooden plane for pennies compared to what a metal plane costs.

You are not overly detailed about what you want to do, or what uses you need to bridge, but even if you were, the planes you need are a selection of all of them. There isn't any other way to be effective. You don't need hundreds, but a smoother, jack, scrub, jointer, shoulder etc...

Since it takes someone with a bandsaw about 45 minutes to make a plane, and not a lot longer if you mortise (never did a spreadsheet on it). It would almost pay if you are just waiting for the metal ones to show up.

It is tough starting out. An apprentice in the old days would have worked in well equipped shop. The amateur starting out these days is in a spiral of trying to acquire the things he needs, but not having the necessary tools to make them. Good luck.
 

bugbear

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(re: second hand planes)
There's a lot of research and potential work to do which can be disheartening to someone who just wants to start working wood.
Agreed.

It can be fun and satisfying, but mainly in a sense of achievement kind of way.

And (of course) a sense of achievement only comes from doing something that requires skill and/or judgement and/or effort.

If ya' just want to cut wood as well as possible as soon as possible, it's not the way.

If money is an issue, the cost/benefit analysis could get "interesting", since a certain number of metal working facilities are required for "serious" plane restoration/tuning/optimizing.

And then we're once again into the "do you want to work wood or metal" thread. And we've done that one.

BugBear
 

Alf

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MikeW":qd5ebww3 said:
Alf":qd5ebww3 said:
...Mike, the Veritas #5 1/4, which is what BD is looking at I believe, is a slightly different animal than the Stanley-esque ones.
Yep, I know.
Sorry, wrong Mike - t'was for a Midnight clear. :D #-o

Y'know, it's wandering off topic a tad, but isn't it interesting how so many folks are favouring the wider planes these days. And yet, at least round here, I'll fall over half a dozen old #4s to every #4.5, f'rinstance. But I digress... I'm firmly in the #5.5 width camp too, I must admit. Which explains much of why I prefer Brand X's low angle jack over Brand Y's I don't doubt. :roll: But how is the marginal difference of 1/8" blade width between later #5.5s and the earlier/low angle models makes a difference? But it certainly does - to me at least. But again, I think I may be wandering from the point again...

PeterPan":qd5ebww3 said:
...I would go the wooden plane route. Best route in any case for tool users vs. gazers...
Ahh, one of those comments... I should warn you, PP, I have a very low tolerance threshold for comments along those lines just at the moment. Would you like to explain why you believe that to be the case?

Cheers, Alf
 

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