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Thread: Bench Plane Opinions?

  1. #1
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    Bench Plane Opinions?

    Once upon a time I got a LV medium shoulder plane; what a blessing. Then I got a LV low angle block plane with a couple different irons; very handy. I added the front knob and tote and mostly use this guy like a #3 as I have LV's little apron plane for smaller stuff. I have the LV LA Jack for shooting but it has been getting use elsewhere too. I am not the type to flatten a wide board or joint table apron parts by hand but, I do find myself using the accessorized block plane and the low angle jack for things like raising the edges of a small door panel and so forth.Possibly due to my ham-handedness, I like the longer nose on the 5-1/4 for better registration. Does this seem like a logical choice for a general use bench plane or does something a little smaller or larger make more sense in anyone's humble opinion? Thanks in advance for the discussion.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 12-28-2011 at 03:07 AM.
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  2. #2
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    It seems to me you already have a general use bench plane in the LA Jack. I would just get another blade and grind a higher angle on it for those wood grains that don't like a low angle of attack. You say you are not interested in flattening a board and I can understand that, but are you interested in removing the mill marks with a plane? The LA Jack can do that also with the 2 blade option, but maybe a dedicated smoother (around a #4) would be better as it could be set up for just that function. You also say you are not interested in jointing boards, but I could never do without my #7. If I was to mainly work with machines, I would still have a #4 and a #7 for cleaning up all possible machine marks and ensure that I have flat surfaces. Still, your LA Jack could do all of that with a couple of blade options.

    Personally, I would look for specialty planes to supplement your power tools. Things like a router plane (small & large), small shoulder plane, rabbet block plane, edge plane and a side rabbet plane. These planes can clean up many joints created by machines.
    Last edited by Bill Satko; 12-28-2011 at 04:22 AM.
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
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  3. #3
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    Glenn Bill is firing on all cylinders today in my view. How do you get by after a glue up of say a table top to have it flat. Surely you would use and could use a no 7 then. I often haul out my no 7 to do all sorts.

    Then a No 4 i have learnt is a real nice handy plane as much as i have the same attachments to my block plane as you do and i dont have the low angle plane.

    I never personally understood all these differences until Larry gave me a no 5 Canadian made Stanley. Now its well tuned and a really nice plane but its different to the other shorter base planes.

    Me thinks you trying to stay out of the Neander tool vortex but them planes are gonna drag you in kicking and screaming so you might as well take the leap.
    cheers

  4. #4
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    Only 2 responses? I thought we had more knuckle draggers here . I went with the BU Smoother as it shares irons with my LAJ. I already have a 25* and 50* for the LAJ so the 38* that comes with the BU smoother should add some versatility while I get comfy with things. I will have to see how the advantage of swapping irons plays against the fact that a lot of folks seem to camber their smoothers. I imagine it will depend a lot on how I actually end up using the planes.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
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  5. #5
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    glenn, i stayed out of it because bill has more experience in this kind of stuff and has all the planes that LN sells but i myself dont see changing out irons, to me its a pain. so getting another plane makes more sense.. now for question to bill or you for that matter what is a edge plane that bill mentioned? is that those little all metal guys that appear to be around 5 or 6" long?
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    Only 2 responses? I thought we had more knuckle draggers here . I went with the BU Smoother as it shares irons with my LAJ. I already have a 25* and 50* for the LAJ so the 38* that comes with the BU smoother should add some versatility while I get comfy with things. I will have to see how the advantage of swapping irons plays against the fact that a lot of folks seem to camber their smoothers. I imagine it will depend a lot on how I actually end up using the planes.
    It sounds like a good choice Glenn. I think it is better choice than the #4 and I did not realize that the BU Smoother and the Jack had the same width blade. Sounds like you are set up just fine now.

    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    glenn, i stayed out of it because bill has more experience in this kind of stuff and has all the planes that LN sells but i myself dont see changing out irons, to me its a pain. so getting another plane makes more sense.. now for question to bill or you for that matter what is a edge plane that bill mentioned? is that those little all metal guys that appear to be around 5 or 6" long?
    Dang, you would focus on the my worst example. The edge plane is probably not needed if you can edge plane with ease, but for some (including myself sometimes) getting a square edge can be a challenge. They work on 3/4" and under stuff.



    My point with my recommendations for Glenn, was that a power user only needs a very few bench planes and would benefit more with specialty planes that would compliment his power tools more. A good example is a hand router. They can clean up the depth of a joint with greater finesse than running it though a machine again. Another good example would be a side rabbet plane with the sides of a dado. Is there one area where the dado is wavering a little. Just straighten that section out with the side rabbet plane just enough that your board fits down into the groove. Hand planes can tweak joints by just removing a shaving and no more. Something that is hard to do with machines.
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  7. #7
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    i am sorry bill i dont sleep all day sometimes i pay attention now your last example makes sense for sure,, so just send it off to me you have my address
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    i myself dont see changing out irons, to me its a pain.
    A stable of planes would be nice . I find swapping irons on the Veritas bevel-up planes to be of no consequence. Can't say the same for my "Stanley/Record" format planes though so I must agree on the fussiness of those types .
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

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