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veneerman

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Managed to fo a bit of research on planes. Are there major things to look out for in second hand planes? What grade the blade is. broken parts etc. Might be better to buy new then i know its good out of the box. But price on second hand planes is good. Do the bases bow a lot. And if so are they easy to flatten. Wouldn't of thought they would to be fair.
 

Osvaldd

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Relax friend. Go to your local carboot sale and buy yourself a no4 and/or no5 hand plane that is not too rusty, if you can, check on the spot the back of the iron. Check for cracks on the sole as well. The rest can be sorted out. Dont buy new stuff, most of it is bad quality.
 

MikeG.

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Breaks in the casting........avoid. Breaks in the wooden stuff......no problem. Deep pitting to the sole or on the blade......avoid. Missing parts.........avoid. Scruffy looking, rusty.......no problem. Ideally, look for a long blade so there is plenty of life left in it. It is very rare indeed that you'll get a sole that can't be properly flattened. Absolutely do not buy new. Start with a number 5 or 5-1/2 and a block plane. Maybe a number 4 instead of 5. That'll be all you need for years.
 

Suffolkboy

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All of my planes...

two Stanley No. 5's,
one No4
one No7
and one 5 1/2

oh and three little Stanley block planes.

Were bought second hand on Ebay. I suppose it's a bit of a punt as you can't actually hold them in your hand and physically look at them but... They all turned up in good condition and were reasonably priced. The No7 especially. I got that for £20 thinking it was a bit risky as there weren't any pictures but when it turned up it was like new. I actually feel a tad bit guilty about that one as I know if the seller had spent a bit more time and posted some photos they could have got a lot more for it.

I think the generally accepted wisdom is that older second hand planes at the £20-40 mark were better made than any newer offerings in the same price range.

Certainly I am very happy with the planes I have acquired, a couple of the irons needed a little bit of sorting out on a coarse oilstone before a really good sharpen but nothing drastic.

I'd say the same is true of chisels. I bought a set of Stanley 5002 series from the 1960's ish I think after reading a post by Trevanion about how he rated them well. They turned up in good condition just in need of a sharpen.

I spent quite a bit of time watching adds on ebay before bidding trying to get a feel for what was a fair price and what wasn't. Trying to find ads with decent pictures etc but I think it was worth it
 

yetloh

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Agree with most advice given, but a few points

1. Quality took a big dive from the 60's on.
2. Stick to Stanley and Record, most other brands were made to lower stamdards e.g Acorn.
3.It is difficult to flatten a sole that is convex.

Jim
 

nabs

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agree with all of the above, but two words of warning from a fellow learner:

Although there is nothing inherently difficult about refurbishing, setting up and sharpening old planes, it is a lot of different things to learn all in one go. If you go down this route you might want to consider getting at least one decent new plane - the expensive ones, e.g Veritas and Lie Nielsen, are supplied ready to use and will give you something to aim for when you do up any secondhand ones.

Also be aware that buying and refurbishing old tools (aka 'tool fiddling') is a hobby in its own right. If you enjoy it as much as many of us do it might be a long time before you do any actual hand-tool woodwork (you will be too busy scouring ebay for bargains :))
 

Bod

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For Record planes, have a look at this
https://www.recordhandplanes.com/dating.html
Go to the Frog section, the best period are the type 1 frogs, combined with straight topped blade, subject to little rust, no physical damage, you won't go far wrong.
Stanley "Made in England" planes, are much more difficult to age at first glance. USA made ones have their own followers.
Remove rust from sole and sharpen blade, and try, before any other refurbishment, it may not be required.

Bod
 

Bm101

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This thread might be useful.
your-top-10-hand-tools-for-a-beginner-t102690-15.html?hilit=Second%20hand%20used%20tools


Another option of buying used tools especially planes is from a dealer. You pay more but it should come sorted and working well fettled.
https://www.tooltique.co.uk/antique-too ... er/product

My most used plane personally is a 5. For a beginner it has the best of all worlds I think, without boasting specialisation in any. The long sole in front of the mouth also helps set the plane.
Just one opinion of course. I know people often recommend a 5 and a half but I've never used one.
Don't get sucked into buying tools as solutions. It's tempting but essentially futile.
I only mention it because of your other threads but I also have an inca bandsaw that I love. I would hate to be without it now. I paid £93 for it. (hammer) Highly regarded saws with a very small footprint. Not made ang more so you wiould have to buy second hand.
Good luck.
Chris
 

Ttrees

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Go vintage for sure, a nice no.5 1/2 is the plane you will use most, no.5's are tippy in comparison.
If looking at pics online, as said check for cracks.
Pick up a no.4 or two of them for as cheap as you can get, they are extremely abundant.
As for the no.5 1/2...
Aswell as said pictures to show no cracks, normally on the cheeks you will see this...
I would want to see three pictures of the plane showing the mouth not chipped, and a photo of the plane that shows how thick the castings are from either end of it.
If its thin it is likely that it has been lapped by a numpty and is a big convex mess to deal with, for one thing.

I made a video of lapping a plane since there was no videos demonstrating how to lap a plane correctly on youtube.
I mindlessly copied them in the past, as they all seemed to demonstrate the same technique
of lapping with a longer and wider abrasive on a surface plate.
What an eejit I felt like after making a big convex mess, never again!
To lap a plane correctly you must have an abrasive that is shorter and narrower than the plane is.
A flat surface needs two registration points like demonstrated in David Charlesworth's excellent videos on hand planing.
This technique is called stopped shavings and ensures that you don't end up with a convex board.
Its the same principal with lapping a plane, as in... you must have two registration points
compared to making a see saw and dubbing the edges of the plane.
All other videos I've seen demonstrated are silly, and only ensure a convex shiny plane sole
when all the ink is removed.
What you won't see is the test with feelers at the end showing the convex profile they have made.

Its a simple process to do correctly and will ensure far more longevity in your abrasive, as well as actually being quicker to boot.
This is because all the loose grit gets pushed off the edge of the paper, the second reason is
You are only taking the material that you want to be removed off.
I have a self adhesive sandpaper that is narrower and shorter than the plane is.
You can then get your regular cheap paper roll and slice it down the middle to make a pair of strips.
If there is a big hump then you cut a strip that will take care of this localised hump first.
Once you can get it close you can lay a full length strip down.
I'll say it again, this full length strip is still shorter and narrower than the plane is.
Check frequently with a straight edge in both orientations.
My video skills are terrible, but it shows the jist of it working a no.8 with a higgledy piggledy
sole.
Lapping done incorrectly leading to a convex profile can be very troublesome if you happen to have a very long plane that needs more than a lick done to it.
Is is also very troublesome if you have a plane like a no.60 1/2 which has a movable shoe in front of the mouth, If the bedding of the shoe is not parallel with the rest of the sole, then it will lift the plane if the shoe is adjusted.
Lapping incorrectly can lead to destruction on a plane that has been lapped incorrectly before and is really thin now.

You may well choose not to believe me, and proceed with someone else's method.
I think my thoughts will leave you suspicious of these methods though, and you might choose to
check with a straightedge before you go too far, instead of trusting the videos and waiting for all the penned ink on the sole to be gone and assuming that you now have a flat surface.
The likelihood is on a long plane, that you will create a convex surface before all the marker is removed.
Check the thing rather than trusting the ink!
If you are worried about creating a concave plane it would take little effort to get to flat
because of two things...
Lapping on an abrasive that is longer than the plane is will always favour the edges.
You are only removing a tiny area compared to see sawing on an entire area of cast iron.

https://youtu.be/3MlE7Nz3eKg
https://youtu.be/w_ux786ODwg

Tom
 

Bod

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What not to buy.
IMG_1788.JPG

Note the crack in the side cheek, brazed lever cap, and rust.
IMG_1789.JPG

This level of rust is best avoided at your stage, others would think nothing of it.
The mouth is in good condition, but the cheek crack is still there.
IMG_1790.JPG

This is the frog shape to look for, and blade top . This blade has had plenty of use, but there is still many many sharpening left.
IMG_1792.JPG

IMG_1791.JPG

If you find one like this, get it! This actual one is a 1930's stay Set Record No.5 in as bought condition. (Car boot this summer £15.)
IMG_1793.JPG

No4 nearest to camera, No.5, then No.5 1/2. For size comparison.

Bod
 

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katellwood

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yetloh":2e5snazw said:
Agree with most advice given, but a few points

1. Quality took a big dive from the 60's on.
2. Stick to Stanley and Record, most other brands were made to lower stamdards e.g Acorn.
3.It is difficult to flatten a sole that is convex.

Jim
Add Woden to that list my no 6 bought at auction is excellent
 

AJB Temple

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This is an age old debate. It is complete nonsense that you cannot buy a good new plane that will work perfectly straight out of the box. Lie Neilson, Veritas, Clifton: all good. But you pay for this quality. For a 5 1/2 about £320 unless you get lucky in the sales. Used (but pristine) around £240 usually.

The question is would you rather spend your time fettling old planes, or spend it making stuff? I've been down the old planes route (and reconditioned by someone else) but for me I have very limited time for the huge list of projects I have, and my choices latterly have tended towards high quality perfect tools. Some used off eBay (some Clifton bargains) or even from this forum, but I can't be bothered with sorting out rusty old planes anymore. My pastime is woodwork, not tool fettling.

You literally pays your money and takes your choice. Good luck.
 

Osvaldd

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£300 and no fettling, £10 and a few hours of fettling.
To each his own.
 

Trevanion

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Osvaldd":39x60280 said:
£300 and no fettling, £10 and a few hours of fettling.
To each his own.
Well, If you value your personal time at £50 an hour like some people, you'll soon get to £300 :lol:
 

thetyreman

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even a veritas custom 5 1/2 is £310, not much for an heirloom tool you only have to buy once in your entire lifetime, I had to spend 4-6 hours flattening my vintage record no7, each to his own but I certainly don't like flattening battered old 22 inch long planes, my own planes are all vintage but all of them required flattening, not one of them was flat, so something to bear in mind, it's a gamble buying old planes.

p.s not trying to put anyone off
 

AndyT

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Here are some old planes belonging to a friend. They don't look much but they are all good.
In my experience, this is pretty common. A tool gets used and looked after by one or two owners then just gets left in a shed where it gets dirty and some parts go rusty. This neglect is far commoner than abuse or manufacturing defects. None of them needed flattening.



They needed about an hour each, to dismantle, go over the moving parts with an old toothbrush, clean up the wooden parts and wipe with oil, remove rust with wet and dry paper and sharpen the irons.

Here they are when I gave them back - all ready for use.

 

Osvaldd

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@thetyreman
I recommend watching Ttrees excellent video about flattening a No8 plane.
https://youtu.be/w_ux786ODwg

But seriously now, what causes the sole of a vintage hand plane not to be flat anymore? And also, why are the new fancy planes exempt from this?
 

Trevanion

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Osvaldd":9lbyr6tt said:
But seriously now, what causes the sole of a vintage hand plane not to be flat anymore? And also, why are the new fancy planes exempt from this?
It's from use, metal wears down just like anything else. I once saw a really bad plane that must've been used for solely edge jointing as they had worn quite a hollow in the width of the plane. It's the same with machines, I've seen some that were set up to do one operation only like moulding the same sized section day-in-day-out and wore grooves into the beds and fences from so many miles of timber being rubbed over the castings. Wood is ever so slightly abrasive, it's why your iron doesn't last forever.
 

Bm101

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Production values also figure. Older planes were generally produced to higher standards. Even things like cooling times for sole castings were cut. Not to say every old plane is better but that there is an an argument that buying an older plane increases the chances of better quality control overall. They were generally built to finer tolerances hence thd initial reason for many buying old planes. Its a no brainer.
Apparently.
 
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