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Monday, October 1, 2012

Plane Tour

The purpose of this post is really a question.  What planes should I pursue next?  Here are my current planes:

Plane Collection
From left to right: 
  • Stanley #5 jack plane with the frog set way back.  I use this like a scrub plane with a very pronounced curve in the blade.  It is currently disassembled because I was playing with my Grace screw drivers.  Code name for this guy is Blackie due to black japaning and black finish on the wood parts.
  • Lee Valley rabbet/shoulder plane.  I'm sure it is my skill level, but I find this a tad difficult to use.  I keep promising myself to one day buy a spare blade and make one myself, just for the experience.
  • Stanley #5 jack plane, named Guido.  This is the first plane I bought years ago.  A previous owner scribed his name in the heel, "Guido".  I have used this plane more than any other with the possible exception of the sweetheart block plane.
  • Small plane in middle at top.  Sweetheart block plane purchased at Woodworking In America, 2010.  I put a Hock blade in it and it works almost by telekinesis.
  • Larger plane under block plane.  Lee Valley bevel up smooth plane. I kind of regret buying this plane.  It is the most expensive in my kit, yet I've only used it a hand full of times.  Between Guido, and the sweetheart block plane, this guy does not get much use.  But I'm not getting rid of it.
  • Stanley #7 jointer plane.  This is a fairly recent addition to the collection.  I picked this up at a flea market for 25 bucks--definitely a lucky find.  Actually, the seller was tickled pink that I was putting it back to work and not on a shelf.  The shavings in the photos are from using this plane on building the train table (see previous two posts).  For the first time on a jointer, I curved the corners of the blade back a bit.  I had a *ankle* of a time trying to get a cross member square on four sides; OK, I admit it, the darn thing still ain't square.
  • Finally, another Stanley #7 jointer.  I've had this for a while.  There is a small crack in the bottom at the mouth.  I have never put it to serious work on boards or panels because of the crack.  I keep the blade sharpened dead square and use this with shooting boards exclusively.  Wow, just wow, what all this mass can do in a shooting board.
Here is another shot of just the bench planes. 
In the computer world, this is like asking which is the best Linux distribution, but here goes.  So, folks, tell me what planes I should be saving and/or searching for now?  I do mostly small furniture projects, but lately I have been drawn to case clocks.  Here is my project calendar, which will probably change before I finish typing this post:  loft bed (twin size) for a girl, king size head board, small wood tool box (based on the school box from The Joiner and Cabinet Maker), wall rack for the inside shop tools, small case clock (quartz movement, wall mount), and tall nightstand tables for the king size bed.


  1. Hello Scott; Ran across ur site because of your review of GP workshop. In the Linux world, I recommend PCLinuxOS...I played with them all, but this one really does it for me....For planes, based on what you have already, I'd recommend a Stanley 4 enough on ebay, and you don't need a aftermarket blade for great performance. Do a deliberate job aligning frog with the base at the contact points, u can make some beautiful thin shavings. After a 4, I'd keep eyes open on a good deal on a 45...great fun, lots of individual cutters on doesn't require the preparation (other than sharpening) that other planes need.

  2. Thanks for the tip on PCLinux. I'm more of an Ubuntu fan. ;)
    I do have a beat up 45 on my to be restored list, but I have no idea if I can get it back in working shape.