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Plane and Chisel Recommendations??

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Mike B

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Hello. My name is Mike and this is my first post to the group. I have joined because I am new to woodworking/furniture making and am trying to get together a set of good quality hand tools and I am hoping that this group may help. Also, it is great to find a group with loads of experience as well as a sense of humour...

So far I have an old Record 05 and a Veritas shoulder plane. What I am now looking for is a No.4 plane for general use, a block plane, and a couple of good chisels.

I have looked at Alf's excellent reviews and like the idea of either the Veritas No.4 or 4.5 LA smoother but cannot decide which - the LA is tempting because with a HA blade it appears it may do both jobs, but is this really the case...

Again Veritas seems great for a block plane. So far the choice is between the Apron plane and the LA block plane but again I'm not sure which may be best for general use - the block has an adj. mouth but is heavier, but then again with the ball handles would I need the No.4 as well...The only review I have seen seems to prefer the apron plane...

Also, which combination makes most sense?? No.4 + apron, No.4 + LA block, 4.5 + apron, 4.5 + LA block, or none of these!!

As for chisels, well I have little idea, but was considering something like the Footprint set of 4 or Kirsch set of 6 from Axminster as a starting point. Or should I be looking at Japanese chisels...??

Any thoughts would be most appreciated.

Thanks
Mike
 

Aragorn

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Hi Mike. Welcome to the forum.
You'll get plenty of useful answers any minutes now...
Of course, in the meantime you could have a think about winning a Lie-Neilsen No 4, details in the second post on this page!
 

Philly

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Hi Mike
Welcome to the Forum!! :D
I really recommend the Veritas low angle smoother-it is a dream! I got the hi-angle blade to go with mine too and it covers pretty much every timber you're gonna use.
As to chisels-the 2 cherrys get good reviews and are well priced!
Good luck with your purchases,
Philly :D
 

Alf

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Welcome, Mike. :D

Mike B":2cime119 said:
So far I have an old Record 05 and a Veritas shoulder plane. What I am now looking for is a No.4 plane for general use, a block plane, and a couple of good chisels... like the idea of either the Veritas No.4 or 4.5 LA smoother but cannot decide which - the LA is tempting because with a HA blade it appears it may do both jobs, but is this really the case...
Yes, it is. Whether you go for the existing smoother, or wait for the heavy smoother, depends on a certain extent on what you class as general work, but certainly a bevel up plane is more flexible than a bevel down. And a bevel up plane without a high angle blade is a tragic waste. :wink:

Mike B":2cime119 said:
Again Veritas seems great for a block plane. So far the choice is between the Apron plane and the LA block plane but again I'm not sure which may be best for general use - the block has an adj. mouth but is heavier, but then again with the ball handles would I need the No.4 as well...The only review I have seen seems to prefer the apron plane...
Evidence suggests you'll end up with more than one block plane anyway, so don't worry about it. They're both great tools, as are the L-N ones too. My favourite is the L-N bronze #103, fwiw. Very handy little tool.

Mike B":2cime119 said:
Also, which combination makes most sense?? No.4 + apron, No.4 + LA block, 4.5 + apron, 4.5 + LA block, or none of these!!
Definitely a low angle block, and, erm, well if you can bear to wait for the heavy smooth to come out before you make your decision...? I personally prefer the wider planes, you see. Any way you can try a (bevel down) #4 and #4.5 to see which size you prefer?

Mike B":2cime119 said:
As for chisels, well I have little idea, but was considering something like the Footprint set of 4 or Kirsch set of 6 from Axminster as a starting point. Or should I be looking at Japanese chisels...??
The Kirschen are always well spoken of, but Japanese are good value for money. Again, if you can try a few out in the hand first, that'll really help.

Cheers, Alf
 

Mike B

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Thanks Alf (and the others!).

Alf - are you suggesting that the 4.5 LA is probably the one out of the two I mentioned, but that there is a heavier and wider version of on its way??

Mike
 

Alf

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Sorry, confusing terminology there. Currently there's the Veritas #164 low angle (or bevel up) smoother with a 2" blade. In the fullness of time, like a few months, a #164 1/2 heavy smoother will join the happy throng with a 2 1/4" wide blade; essentially a bevel up #4 1/2. It's sort of a shorter low angle jack, which is a very good plane indeed. Too bad I'm not allowed to show you the very lovely photo of it that I'm looking at right now... Hopefully, the wonders of the jack will have been sucessfully transplanted to its smoothing brother and it's be a smoothing plane to reckon with. In the fullness of time I hope I'll be reviewing it and we'll find out. :D

Cheers, Alf
 

Possumpoint

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Mike B.

First of all, welcome to the forum from another newbie.

I started out collecting antique planes, both woodies and iron bodies. My lovely wife has given me both the LV LA Smoother and LV LA Jack. IMHO these two are the best planes I own. In particular, the Jack with both the LA and HA blades is the most versatile plane I own. I've used it to smooth, joint and as a miter plane. For the smaller smoother, I have two HA blades. One is ground to give a york pitch and the second for an even higher angle, 60+/- degrees. Prior to getting the HA blades I noticed that the LA blade would get under and lift the grain on some woods. This may also be relative to my poor history of reading the grain.

I can't give you any recommendations on the block planes you mentioned. I do have a new record LA block, that after much work has started to give good results but my favorite is an antique Stanley 9-1/2 that I use all the time.

As for chisels, I have a number of antiques but in addition to that, I have two sets of marple blue handles that were very inexpensive. They give me good service so long as I pause to frequently strop them. Those are the chisels I go to all the time. I've been afraid to go and try some more expensive ones. Right at the moment I don't want to spend the money.
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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Hi Mike

I agree with Alf and Philly about the LV bevel up planes, in particular the LV LA Smoother, which is a #4-size plane. Until I get the chance to try out the Large Smoother, a #4-1/2 size, this is my absolute recommendation. I sleep with mine under my pillow.

I use mine almost exclusively in HA mode, with a cutting angle of 64 degrees. Very, very little stands in my path when I have this plane in my fist.

Of the block planes, it will come down to whether you want a large block plane or a smaller one - which one feels more comfortable. I have the LN bronze #102, which is the LA sibling to Alf's #103, a standard angle block plane. The LV Apron plane is very similar, but I have no direct experience with it. I do think that a LA (12 degree bed) is more versatile than a Standard (20 degree bed) since it will cut end grain more easily. I sleep with my #102 under my pillow (Gad, it's getting lumpy in there :D ).

With regard to chisels, as much as I love my Japanese ones, I would not recommend these for you. They are really not a good chisel for the inexperienced woodworker since they can be easily damaged and are a little more technical to sharpen. My advise here would be to get a reasonably inexpensive set, ones that will not mind being used roughly. Get used to sharpening and using these and then, when you are ready, get a decent set. Keep the first set for rough work. (No, mine are not under my pillow - what do you take me for? :) )

Last point, get a decent sharpening system, and get used to it.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 
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Anonymous

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Hi Mike


Well, I have the LN LA smoother, the LN 4.5 , 3 ( :oops: ) LN blcok planes and a set of 2-cherries chisels. I might be able to help you :lol:

I would go for the standard 4.5 before a LA smoother despite the views of Alf etc. I find the LA smoother does not work as well as the 4.5, possibly due to its very low weight by comparison. this is even true on the shooting board where I often use the 4.5 in preference to the LA :shock: (again due to its weight)

An LA block will be good on end grain

I would suggest the 4.5 + LA block would be a good choice here :wink:

I have the Kirschen set of 6 from Axminster http://www.axminster.co.uk/product.asp?pf_id=22471&recno=7 which are good chisels and I like them a lot. I also use Japanese chisels a lot but for different work. I use the Japanese chisels when I want to give them some serious welly with a hammer, and the european pattern chisels for more delicate and refined work.

Remember that the blades on the Japanese chisels are very short

Edited to add that the 2-cherries are very highly polished and as a result the edges are slightly rounded - I have never found this to be a problem although David Charelsworth has critised them for this.
 

Alf

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Tony":l7tjtk5j said:
I have the LN LA smoother... I find the LA smoother does not work as well as the 4.5, possibly due to its very low weight by comparison.
Can't quibble with that; I've found the same thing. Pretty sure the #164 1/2 isn't going to be suffering from lack of weight though, fwiw... I'll lightly gloss over the issue of comparing the weights of two different sizes of plane... :p :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 
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Alf":ytq5xcy5 said:
I'll lightly gloss over the issue of comparing the weights of two different sizes of plane... :p :wink:

Cheers, Alf
Both classed as smoothers though :wink: :lol: :lol:
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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I find the LA smoother does not work as well as the 4.5, possibly due to its very low weight by comparison.
This is a contentious issue, but the following Wood Central thread may convince you to view this issue differently. That is, that the weight of the hand plane has little to do with its performance.

Concentrate on the first post (mine) and the reply by Lyn Mangiameli

http://www.woodcentral.com/cgi-bin/handtools.pl?noframes;read=59082

Enjoy the read.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

Alf

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I think it might have more to do with where the weight is, rather than how much there is. So I'd tentatively agree, weight per se really has nothing to do with it. I suppose we're guilty of using "heavy" as a shorthand for wider, longer, larger and heavier planes. For shame. :oops: :D

Cheers, Alf
 

Mike B

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Thanks everyone for your thoughts.

I think I get the hint - go buy the LA block but wait and see between the LV LA 4.5 or the standard LV 4.5...

Cheers
Mike
 
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Mike

Where do you live? We may have a member near you who owns an LA or 4.5 and would be happy to let you go over for a look and try
 

Mike B

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Halesowen (near Birmingham). That may be helpful if possible, although I am not around that much.

I was mainly trying to find out which size was most popular so I do not buy something I will never use. Tricky I know, as plane size is subjective, and even more so in my case as I am really just starting to get into more serious woodwork and am not quite sure exactly what I will need, although the initial plan is for some hardwood furniture. Also, I was not sure how well low angles worked on face grain, so if I only ended up using a LA smoother with a HA blade I might as well just get a regular smoother and use the LA block for the end grain etc...Alternatively, just get a LA smoother with both blades. Sorry - more questions than answers at the moment as not many articles/books seem to include the "whys"!!

cheers
Mike
 

Frank D.

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Anyone from this forum is always invited to my shop... :D If you pass by Montreal just let me know.
My 2¢ (2 pence?) would be to suggest the low-angle smoother with 2 blades. Sometimes the mass of a bigger plane is nice (even necessary) for end grain, and they work very well as smoothers. If you work a lot of highly figured or tricky grain you could even get a third blade and grind it at 45° or so. I have an assortment of regular bench planes and bevel-up planes and if I had to pick one I'd pick a bevel-up plane (the LV low-angle jack). Keep an eye open for the new low-angle heavy smoother from Veritas which should be out in the next month or two.
Frank
 
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