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Plane Dilemma

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Petey83

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I think I'll go for a number 4 so now just deciding between a no5 or no5 1/2 as I want something to dimension the timber.

I was going to buy a lunch box thicknesser and use a sled to flatten and dimension but they have minimum working lengths bigger than I'd like so will stick to a router and sled for flattening finished projects like serving boards etc.

Think I might give the old tool store a call and see what they have in stock as I'm not keen on eBay buying.
 

D_W

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Woody2Shoes":2wgiokrg said:
I remember Custard of this forum telling us that at the Edward Barnsley school they're told to use nothing but a no 7 for everything during the early part of their training.
Presumably this is in an environment where machines are available, or is for the purpose of uncomplicating things for a beginner. One wouldn't want to do this for furniture sized work without the use of power tools, and with limited power tools (e.g., 8" jointers and 15" planers), not even then.

The fact that alan peters is suggested to have done everything with a 7 is often used by forum trolls to beat beginners over the head when they're asking about more than one plane - especially in the early part of the 2000s - fortunately, I think that kind of thing (forum trolling by folks claiming to do more than everyone else with less) is mostly dead.
 

MikeG.

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The Edward Barnsley school isn't for beginners. It is one of the leading furniture making schools in the country. There is competition for entry, including, as I understand it, various hand-tool exercises against the clock. You're already a pretty decent joiner/ cabinet maker just to get in.
 

Droogs

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DW the barnsley workshop didnt heave electricity until very late in the 20 century (1955) and it is all about hand powered and hand made furniture not machines
 

MikeG.

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D_W":2rxhfdwe said:
....... fortunately, I think that kind of thing (forum trolling by folks claiming to do more than everyone else with less) is mostly dead.
That isn't trolling. You've really got to stop calling anyone who disagrees with you on anything a troll.
 

D_W

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Not here, Mike - on Knots. If you had posted on knots or woodnet, you'd recognize that the scope is like nothing you've never seen, badgering anyone who asked any questions about tools that weren't marples blue chips and hassling anyone who wasn't making a living (though the folks doing the trolling rarely posted much of their own work and I don't know that any actually did it for a living).
 

D_W

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Droogs":hfppe8za said:
DW the barnsley workshop didnt heave electricity until very late in the 20 century (1955) and it is all about hand powered and hand made furniture not machines
If they are actually working wood from rough, unless they only get the most primo of stock, using a single plane is a bit misguided.

But, as I understand it, it was specialty stuff and high dollar, so maybe it's more about finding the right buyer than worrying about economy.

I'm not dogging very accomplished makers who are better makers than I'll ever be, just pointing out that the bar for makers a century and a half earlier would've been higher (more difficult) work in the finest of shops and if this were to be a viable method, they wouldn't have bought a large number of planes (relatively compared to someone advocating one).

When this kind of thing is suggested to get going (use only one plane, alan peters did), that's one thing, but it's often used as a jab at someone commenting. "alan peters only used one plane and you'll never reach his level. show me your work so we can laugh at it".

That's the trolling part. The golden age of it is over. Fortunately.
 

David C

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I knew Alan Peters and his preference for No. 7 is well known.

You can hear him say so in a DVD, either by Rob Cosman or possibly Jeremy Broun.

The other fact confirmed is that he sharpened about 6 plane blades at a time so he could work on without interruption.

This demonstrates the low quality of Stanley UK irons in the 60s and seventys.

So there is no need to talk of trolls.

David Charlesworth
 

Woody2Shoes

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What's that old saying 'everything starts to look like a nail when all you have is a hammer' or somesuch?

I sometimes use a brick as a hammer, if I can't be bothered to go and get the proper tool.

I think that Paul Sellers uses his No4 for just about everything, although I think he owns at least one example of most tools.

I got the impression from Custard's comments that the No7 business at E. Barnsley was only in the initial stages. I must say that when I get my No7 out I want to keep using it!
 

D_W

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OK, this is not being grasped as I intended. Alan Peters has nothing to do with trolling. The fact that he used mostly a no 7 is well known.

The trolling comes from others on knots and such places using Alan Peters as a hammer (Alan had nothing do with any of it). when you're new to forums, you ask a question in honesty and someone bombards you with insults and uses a third person's work, you don't recognize the pattern quite yet. I learned it over time. The folks doing the trolling rarely had the bravery to show their own work (in fact, I'm not sure that they ever did) as they probably couldn't find paying work that wouldn't compromise their ability to work (e.g., if you're bolting together farm tables or simple stuff and not making federal period furniture, you lose leverage).

In your case, David, one of those trolls chased you off of woodnet. You may not recall it, but I learned to sharpen from your video, so I was delighted that you dropped in to woodnet. You were there for perhaps a day or two until one of the trolls had harassed you with the "show me your portfolio" garbage (without showing anything of their own) and you said "OK, that's enough of that" (not figuratively, that's literally what you said) and never returned.

Same thing happened to George Wilson when he retired and showed up on sawmill creek at the time. I didn't know who George was and thought he was a bit direct (but learned since that he's very thoughtful and rather than hassle people who never seem to progress, he leaves them alone). Alan and Richard's (slainte) work were used as an attempt at a hammer to harrass George. Except George's portfolio is full of stuff that perhaps nobody else could make, so not much sticks.

re the 6 irons that alan sharpened -I've never had any issue with irons made in the 40s or 50s ,but round top irons made in the 70s are not great. I don't know Alan's story as well as disciples would, and it makes me a little grossed out that I think many tried to associate themselves with him just to use his name recognition, but I'd gather that the desire to have a large number of irons like that was probably more geared toward working on the clock and not sharpening. Whether it would've been 6 old ones or 3 new ones, it doesn't really matter too much. The japanese did the same thing (maybe that's where Alan learned it). It was considered to be rude and presumptuous to be performing any tool care on a customer's site on the clock.

FWIW, just about everything I chanced into that increased productivity (and turns out to be more of the historical standard for planing than the current methods), I learned because I was trying to stretch out iron life. All the way down to joining boards without using a square (that are not matched planes) and planing edges hollow without stop shavings. These are great things for a hobbyist to learn, but become back burner once someone moves up the ladder and uses machine prepped wood for the most part and gets into marquetry, design and carving .

I do not believe any of the great makers were ever trolls - they wouldn't have had time for it, and if that was their temperament, they never would've been great. I'm sure some could've been impatient with apprentices or legitimate students, but that's a far different thing than berating someone who comes in the shop door and asks their first question.
 

D_W

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Woody2Shoes":uic9e8fe said:
I got the impression from Custard's comments that the No7 business at E. Barnsley was only in the initial stages. I must say that when I get my No7 out I want to keep using it!
There is merit to using one well set up plane to not get hung up in plane theory. The others come into their own in economy of effort when you have less than ideal stock to work with.

I don't think paul has probably dimensioned much wood by hand, but not dogging him for that. Most of his students will have no interest in it, and it would be a diversion.

I believe David C has called me nuts before for liking to dimension work by hand. I find it enjoyable. I think most people who do much of it will settle in to doing almost the same thing to make it feel good and occur in a reasonable period of time. I went backwards into it (bored of trying to get the right setup of power tools to make something that wasn't straight lines), and respect the fact that most people don't like it.
 

Bedrock

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As a semi-regular attendee at the Barnsley open days, they definitely have industrial sanders, spindle moulders, et al. They were also using what looked like an aviation spec. alloy honeycomb sandwich material as a core in an MDF/veneered sandwich, to ensure a consistently flat, forever surface. This is not to denigrate what they do - there is still a strong emphasis on hand tools, and the 1st. year apprentices are required to make some pretty testing pieces entirely by hand. And no, their tool kits encompass more planes than a no.7. They are obviously needing to sell in the very top of the market, in order to sustain the very high standards set by the charitable trust, so starting from scratch with only hand tools is clearly not viable.
Their library step design is one of my favourite pieces. Well worth a look.
 

D_W

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Time moves on. If Barnsley's customers like the idea of integrated materials, then they are the decision makers about it. Experimenting with materials is necessary -someone has to do it, and it's usually folks looking for something unique who will pay the bills.

The fact that there is a trust income component makes this all make much more sense. There is one professional maker here who started entirely with hand tools (but he was a designer prior to that, so not exactly like some guy getting fed up with filling out tax forms following his dream - he already was a pro, just in a slightly different area), or very close to it - Brian Holcombe. If he was single, he could probably make a living (he's in a progressive and wealthy area). I sent brian a couple of planes because he was dimensioning with metal planes. I was happy to have a professional use my tools because they could tell me if they're rubbish (anyone else I've made a plane for, they just disappear - I know they don't really get used). It wasn't long before Brian said something along the lines of "I just couldn't keep up" with orders and bought some high end power tools to make things work.

I love high end power tools. It's the ones that I started out with that I'm not that fond of (the middle of the road stuff that you can spend 5-10k on in a shop and still have accuracy issues).
 

Woody2Shoes

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Bedrock":jb3el8lo said:
As a semi-regular attendee at the Barnsley open days, they definitely have industrial sanders, spindle moulders, et al. They were also using what looked like an aviation spec. alloy honeycomb sandwich material as a core in an MDF/veneered sandwich, to ensure a consistently flat, forever surface. This is not to denigrate what they do - there is still a strong emphasis on hand tools, and the 1st. year apprentices are required to make some pretty testing pieces entirely by hand. And no, their tool kits encompass more planes than a no.7. They are obviously needing to sell in the very top of the market, in order to sustain the very high standards set by the charitable trust, so starting from scratch with only hand tools is clearly not viable.
Their library step design is one of my favourite pieces. Well worth a look.
I have also made several pilgrimages there over recent years and spoken to trainees and sneakily peeked into their tool cabinets - I repeat: "
I got the impression from Custard's comments that the No7 business at E. Barnsley was only in the initial stages"

My neighbour also comissioned a display cabinet - I can only imagine what they spent!!
 

Bedrock

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If you ever get the chance to go to one of their twice yearly open days, it is worth the trip. I am not sure there can be a better site for a workshop, at the top of a wooded valley, in the South Downs National Park, near Petersfield. Apart from the showroom, where the pieces are an inspiration, the apprentices are always happy to talk about tools and projects, and the wood store - all air dried I think- is enough to turn anyone green. And yes, the prices are top end, but what I suspect their market has to pay for this quality of design and build.
 

Vann

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Vann":1fbaghe0 said:
There was a highly respected carpenter who used a No.7 for everything....
D_W":1fbaghe0 said:
...The fact that alan peters is suggested to have done everything with a 7 is often used by forum trolls...
That's the one.

I hope you're not calling me a troll?

Cheers, Vann.
 

D_W

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Vann":25lm09n0 said:
Vann":25lm09n0 said:
There was a highly respected carpenter who used a No.7 for everything....
D_W":25lm09n0 said:
...The fact that alan peters is suggested to have done everything with a 7 is often used by forum trolls...
That's the one.

I hope you're not calling me a troll?

Cheers, Vann.
No no...there's a separation of about 10-15 years necessary!!

None of the trolls post here that I can recall. It was a knots and american forum thing. Nothing to do with anyone in the UK that I'm aware of, Alan Peters, or probably anyone who has ever even met him or seen him work. They just refer to his portfolio because they're afraid to show their own.

Suspect it was a group of failures who couldn't manage to make a living woodworking and took it out on everyone else.

There may be a cultural subtlety thing, but if I thought a certain person was trolling, I would say it. Mike followed two of my posts in a row (i had no idea who he was) and i told him to stop trolling. That's the only one I can recall on here. He said he wasn't, and that's good enough for me. I see from earlier in this thread he's still a little reactive to my comments, but I don't talk around topics to leave myself an out. That's trolling itself.
 

D_W

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Bedrock":2m34mak1 said:
And yes, the prices are top end, but what I suspect their market has to pay for this quality of design and build.
I know a lot of people like to rend their garments over "overpriced" stuff, but to get top dollar for top work is something to be celebrated.
 

RWood

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I happily work with a Record 4 on pieces down to 4-5" - it's light enough to handle easily, big enough for my hands and I can resharpen in a few minutes :D If I need to go smaller, I tend to use a block plane. No3's are handy , but good ones get expensive, old or new.
 

Petey83

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Settled on a Stanley No4 and No5 fitted with new Ray Isles irons. Cost a little more than it would on eBay but at least I know the soles have been reground flat and have nice new irons in. It also gives me the two original irons to use / regrind as I see fit
 
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