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Thread: I need a suggestion.......

  1. #1

    I need a suggestion.......

    Thursday 9/22, 2011 I am scheduled for a Rob Cosman class covering tuning hand planes.

    It's a 4 hour class. It is being held in the Woodcraft Store in Spokane, WA.

    I have a couple cheap planes......I mean really cheap.....I have a Stanley block plane that the throat isn't adjustable....and I have a Master Mechanic smoother.....that we'll just say currently looks like a handplane.

    I believe I would like a reasonably priced block plane of reasonable quality that I can purchase at Woodcraft before the class if one is available there. Otherwise I plan on taking my cheapo Stanley block plane.

    Give me some ideas .....low angle......regular angle block plane......prices.....

    I will never be a Neander but I recently found good reason to use sharp handplanes and chisels.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    The newer version Wood River (Woodcraft's house brand) planes are actually pretty nice. Cosman even makes/sponsors the blades & chipbreakers for them.

    As for the new version Stanleys, I've not heard anything good about them. Supposedly, they're little better than kits, and require a lot of work to make decent. The couple examples I've had my hands on pretty well bore that out.
    Jim D.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    ken dont buy any just for that class just go and listen to him he has the planes there for the class.. i have taken the same class and its a good one.. and as for a plane to use the first plane in my book is the 60 1/2 adjustable mouth low angle block.. and they can be gotten of ebay or others reasonably.. i have two and right now wouldnt part with either the next plane to have would be the number 4 and again a older model stanley can be ahd for around 25 to 40 dollars..wait till you see the class to get them and then use what you have learned on them..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Cape Cod, Ma.
    I agree with Larry, Ken. If the instructor has planes you can use there then go with them. Pick yourself up some nice older Stanley's on ebay. To Larry's list I would add a good 5-1/2 and possibly a 7.
    Besides my block planes, those are the 2 I reach for most often. I have 3's-8's and several block planes.

    Whether you become a neander or not, there is always a place for a few well tuned and razor sharp handplanes in the shop. Once you use a well tuned one you will always seem to reach for them first!

    Good luck with the class!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Decatur, Alabama
    Agree 60-1/2 low angle type block plane and a #4 or 4-1/2 smoother would be my first two choices. I suspect from the marketing I've seen that they'll have some of the new wood river handplanes at the class. Rob Cossman is the rep for that new line it sems:

    I'd just try what they have before buying at least. If you want to pick something up from woodcraft though, woodriver looks the best they have for sale online to me. I'd stay away from the new regular stanleys, groz, or foot print planes. No experience with the new stanley sweatheart planes, but from reviews I've read they are a little rough for the price.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Central NY State
    I'm going to agree with Larry.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
    I do not consider my self a neander by any means. However, once I got a decent, sharp plane, I found that I use it far more than I figured. I also do all sorts of things that I never considered I could.

    I have not practiced very much with the planes I have. However, I studied and can adjust them quite well and I can really sharpen the irons.

    The old planes I had were Stanleys. One was an ancient Sweetheart that someone had modified a bit. They were difficult to adjust and they were not a love to use. They were a couple block planes, a "Jack" and a "Jointer."

    I gave all of them except one block plane away. If I am going to do something that might endanger the plane I use the Stanley block. For anything else I use a wonderful wooden plane that Tony Ciuraneta made for me or one of my Veritas units. The Hock iron unit in Toni's plane is a great product.

    Enjoy and good luck,


    After 65 years of using a plane only in desperation (because nothing else would do what I needed), it is truly wonderful to pick up a plane that really works. Please understand, I do not consider myself good with a plane. I just consider myself---what?---Well, I just do not hesitate to pick up a plane and I can pretty much do what I want to with it.
    Last edited by Jim C Bradley; 09-21-2011 at 04:25 AM. Reason: Missing word
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Ken you may not be a neander now but you will be when you get back.

    I go with what Larry said and get a feel for all of their planes at the course first.

    Then look around. For my money if you got the loot when you back the LV low angle block plane is my best. I know they have a new smaller supposedly smarter design but this one is a beauty. Nice adjustment everywhere. Solid well machined and fits a mans hand very comfortably. Its my go to plane.

    Then when you back look around and get some old stanleys. You will have the knowledge by then to be able to revamp a half decent second hand buy of one and save a small fortune on the premium units.

    Best of luck and enjoy the course it should be very informative and entertaining.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Larry's suggestions were good if you want to try refurbing an old plane. My original response was based on the assumption that you wanted a NEW one.

    #4s are plentiful, and as a result, are one of the cheapest models out there. A decent one can be had for around $30.00. I've paid as little as five bucks for them. #3s, slightly smaller, are also nice, and quite handy and are also fairly easy to find.

    The most common one seems to be the #5. It's 14" long, and 2 wide. Considered a "Jack" plane, it's a good compromise between a fore plane and a smoother, and does both jobs pretty well.

    As for a block plane, the 60 is a nice little plane, and they're plentiful and relatively cheap. My favorite older block plane, though, is the #65. Slightly bigger (wider) than the 60, and somewhat harder to find, it's a great low-angle block plane.

    For a NEW block plane, it's hard to beat the Veritas. Very well made, and comes in either standard pitch or low angle. Slightly cheaper than a Lie Neilson - which is also an excellent plane.
    Jim D.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
    Have fun in the class.
    Oh heck don't get one get em all.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Hand tools 3.jpg  
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

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