Bought First Hand Plane (Buck Bros) - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 09-07-2011, 07:38 AM Thread Starter
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Bought First Hand Plane (Buck Bros)

I bought a hand plane a couple of days ago from Home Depot. It is a 6 1/2" Buck Bros block plane. I have a few questions about it

Should I expect it to be sharp enough out of the box to plane walnut?
I spent a good while trying to get the blade to stick out of the bottom just a fraction of an inch, and the same amount all the way across. When I accomplished that, the blade wasn't parallel to the mouth. Is that OK?
My "workbench" is nothing more than a lightweight plastic folding table. I clamped my walnut to the table and tried to plane it. The plane would start to shave the wood... then the table would start sliding across my driveway. Is this to be expected with such a light table? Maybe I can find a way to clamp the workpiece to my tailgate without marring the paint.

"I think the skirt is a little long for my taste (I like seeing lots of leg)" -- frankp
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post #2 of 35 Old 09-07-2011, 07:59 AM
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1.) The plane blade is factory sharp as it comes out of the box. That means it has a preset angle and a machine grind.
You need to make the blade scary sharp and you'll be much happier.

2.) Planing requires your workpiece to be held fast and your body in the proper position to operate the plane effectively.
Chasing it around the garage isn't going to work.
Clamping it to a simple workbench or a picnic table will let you get in the proper position for moving your plane over your work.

3.) Very light settings and grain orientation are extremely important, also.

Learning more about tools everyday
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post #3 of 35 Old 09-07-2011, 09:11 AM
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Good stuff above........

Theres a cpl thing in handling a plane that were,just short of beat into me as a young'n.

>NEVER....as in,EVER lay a plane down on its blade side.It needs to be a "practice'd" habit of always laying them on their side.

>Also,like a file should NEVER be drug back over the work.....when using a plane,it likewise should not be drug back over the work.You get into the habit of tipping the backside of the body,up a fraction and going back to start position.

Taking a #5(prolly my fav size)and planing,whatever....for extended periods of time.....you're not just getting rediculously high marks in the satisfaction part of your brain.You also are forming an ergo relationship with the instrument.It becomes an extension of not only your hand but heart and brain as well.To the point that you'll use the nose of the plane to....oh how you say?As sort of a pointer.Its this "nose heavy" attitude or motion thats critical in the #2 point above......lifting the back end up on the return stroke.

Best of luck!Lots of stuff written about different grinding/honing aspects of sharpening.You'll need to somewhat sift through it all and find a method that works for you and whats availible in your shop.Its a rather broad topic in itself.....don't get too hung up on any particular "way"....just get it as sharp as you can.BW

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post #4 of 35 Old 09-07-2011, 09:57 AM
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"The Handplane Book" by Garrett Hack

If you're interest in hand planes is deepening, I highly recommend this book. It gives you the history of , a guide through different types of specialized planes, sharpening techniques, and tuning procedures. Its not a pushy "my way " kinda book.

Having knowledge of how the tool works will greatly improve your "feel ", and overall enjoyment.

Congratulations, you have found a new money pit.....seriously its addictive!
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post #5 of 35 Old 09-10-2011, 07:54 AM
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Look up info on tuning up a plane. A Buck plane will need a lot of work to get the parts to fit right, to enable the plane to work right. Basicly, where parts meet, they have to have perfect contact, and the blade has to be very, very sharp. I had a Buck Bro. bench plane and it was junk.
At least HD has an easy return policy.
Good luck with it. With work, it may work out for you.
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post #6 of 35 Old 09-11-2011, 02:49 AM
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First off, the plane you have isn't exactly a "great" example of a handplane, so it's going to need some work.

Watch this video:

And do what they instruct as far a tuning the plane. A bench plane is very similar, with only a few differences. They will be covered in other links I have posted.
And some good advise: Use good paper to lap the sole flat! Emery cloth sheets are a great place to start, and wet/dry paper up to 400 grit will finish the job.

Also, research "sharpening on glass with wet/dry sandpaper". Rockler sells an inexpensive kit for this if you need the supplies, and it's a great way to start, as it gives you everything you will need for about $35. Get the kit with the fine paper if you go this route, as you will likely have the coarse grades for lapping the sole already. And use the honing guide that comes with the kit, or buy a similar model. They are simply awesome for setting the proper bevel angle and getting a super sharp edge. It makes the whole process super easy, almost like a set of training wheels, only better.
Link to the sharpening kit: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...g%20on%20glass
Here is a good honing guide: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...ter=sharpening
I'll be honest, there are many honing guides that cost more, but many don't work half as good. This is one place where the cheaper model really is your best bet.
The only honing guide I have tried that I like more (and I've used a lot of different guides) is one of the units made by Richard Kell. However, it's not cheap. Garrett Wade sells them, or they can be imported from England directly from Mr.Kell himself.

This is a good read: http://www.woodcentral.com/bparticles/plane_tune.shtml

Now, go to Lie-Nielsen's site and watch all their videos about sharpening, using and tuning planes. Even if it's not the type of plane you have, or even about a plane, watch it anyway. They have a ton of little bits of info that is very useful in most all their videos.

As for using it, you need a heavy bench that has vises and other hold-downs designed for planing. A plastic table is useless for this and will not work. Your truck is also going to wiggle all over due to the tires and suspension. This also is not going to do much but frustrate you.

You will need to build a bench or find a very heavy and flat surface to use. You do not want it to move and it needs to be very flat. This is paramount to your success with a handplane.

Now, you need to learn how to use it, this includes setting the blade, sharpening the blade, adjusting the skew of the blade, moving the blade over the wood, and the list goes on and on.

One thing you will realize, is using a handplane correctly is not as simple as just buying it, pulling it out of the box and shoving it across some wood. It needs to be tuned well and handled properly to produce even decent results.
And one thing you must remember, using hand tools is all about skill, and skill needs to be developed and perfected. Just like you can't just hop in a Sprint Cup car and win the Daytona 500, you're not going to just pick up a plane from Home Depot and produce .001" thick shavings and produce perfectly flat and smooth boards. It's going to take time and effort to get even decent results, and the quality of your plane, as well as what you are planing on (ie: your bench or other work-holding surface), is going to make a HUGE difference in the quality of your final product.

Also, go to YouTube and search for "handplane techniques", "flattening with a handplane" and any other phrase you can think of to do with using a handplane, find the videos from the guys who are either known woodworkers (Rob Cosman is one) or who appear to really know what they are doing and watch them.

Rob Cosman has some good videos and books on this subject, and you can learn a lot from them.

Chris Schwarz also has a blog and some videos on YouTube, etc, on the subject of hand-planes and workbenches. I suggest looking him up as well.

http://www.workbenchdesign.net/index.html
Check this link out for some info on benches and that way you can see what is required of a bench to be effective for hand-plane use, as your "run of the mill" 2x4 and plywood bench isn't really going to be the best for hand-planing by far. You CAN build a bench from 2x4's and ply and have it work, but it needs to be designed in a certain manner and be built to handle the stresses of hand-planing, and also be outfitted with the work-holding accessories that are needed to be successful with a hand-plane.
Look at the "Workbench 1.0" link on the main page of the above link. It's an inexpensive way to get a good, solid bench that will work for hand-planing. There are also other torsion box designs as well, and most are suitable for hand-plane work.

And you don't need to spend a ton on vises to make a good bench. You can get by, and do very well in fact, with pipe-clamp vises (I have a "twin-screw" pipe clamp vise and a pipe-clamp "leg vise", both of which are awesome and were quite cheap to make), but, you will need to be creative. Wooden hand-screws can also be very helpful, as can be seen on the "Workbench 1.0".

And finally, if you really want to make hand-planing work for you and you want to get the incredible results from them like all the hand-tool pros get, you will want to consider upgrading to a much better plane in the future. Planes are NOT created equal, and there is a huge quality margin from what you find in most "Box Stores", as compared to the WoodRiver line from WoodCraft and Veritas from Lee Valley, and the old Stanley's (such as the BedRock's) can be very, very nice planes, and even the Stanley Baileys are good, useable planes. And then you have the top line stuff from Lie-Nielsen, ECE and the others, which are truly incredible tools that are simply amazing to use.

I know I put a lot down here, but there is a lot to be said about starting out with a hand-plane. It's not something you can just pick up, work with and get great results in the first 5 minutes. There is a lot to know, and there is a good bit of technique to tuning, sharpening and using them.
But, once you get the basics figured out, you will be able to use a plane quite well and make it do things that eve the best power tools can't match.

Just remember, there is no "magic" to this, and it CAN be mastered by most anyone. And if you put in just a bit of time and effort, you will achieve good results in just a short time. I promise you that.

Good Luck!
Wayne

Last edited by Visions; 09-11-2011 at 03:05 AM.
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post #7 of 35 Old 09-11-2011, 03:23 AM
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Originally Posted by BWSmith View Post


>NEVER....as in,EVER lay a plane down on its blade side.It needs to be a "practice'd" habit of always laying them on their side.
If you go back historically (looking at pictures, in books, etc.), or talk to anyone who is serious about hand tools, such as Christopher Schwarz, you will see that hand-planes have always been laid flat on the sole. There is no issue in doing this, as long as it's not on a metal, concrete or other potentially damaging surface. If it's on a wooden bench, there is really nothing at all to worry about. It's not going to dull the iron, as it's not moving. And normally, you only have a few thousandths of iron protruding anyway, so it's not like the plane is going to sit and rock on the cutting edge.

Remember, you essentially shove this iron into the wood when you are cutting with the plane, and sitting it down on your bench sole down isn't even 1/10th as hard on it as that is!

I don't know where this whole "lay it on it's side" deal came from, but it's simply exaggerated safety that is not necessary. I NEVER lay my planes on their side on my bench, and they all cut extremely well, and they are also stored this way. I have yet to pull one out and have it any less sharp than when it was put away, so I don't see it as a cause for concern.

The same can be said for dragging the plane back over the stock. As long as you don't apply any more pressure than the weight of the plane itself, it's not going to hurt anything. Watch any pro (Rob Cosman for one) and you will see them relieve downward pressure, but still pull the plane back across the surface.

As with lying it on the sole, it's not going to bother anything.
Some will argue it dulls the iron, but it's not going to be noticeable if at all. The iron is sitting at 40 degrees in a standard bench plane, and thus the iron will just glide along with no real friction on the cutting edge to speak of.

And please, no offense intended with this. Opinions differ, and this is just mine.

Wayne
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post #8 of 35 Old 09-11-2011, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Visions View Post
And please, no offense intended with this. Opinions differ, and this is just mine.
+1. And we can see that opinions do differ. The internet offers quite a bit of information, and has led to many 'experts'. Some information gets suggested, and gets propagated by others and pretty soon it seems like gospel. Reminds me of what Will Rogers said: "Well, all I know is what I read in the papers".

Before the internet...way before, facts and techniques were either taught by a mentor of sorts, or learned by just doing. Whether they were correct or not the truths and techniques became a habit. If problems occurred they got solved by the best possible methods. These methods become habit. Whether they are 'correct' or not, they are personal opinions.








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post #9 of 35 Old 09-12-2011, 06:37 AM
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Bench's get dirty...well at least mine does.And I do know where the notion started...

Do what ever you want,I'll still continue to not dull mine by setting them down on blades OR dragging them bkwrds.BW

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post #10 of 35 Old 09-12-2011, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BWSmith
Bench's get dirty...well at least mine does.

Do what ever you want,I'll still continue to not dull mine by setting them down on blades OR dragging them bkwrds.BW
I'm with you... And I've always avoided back dragging the blade as well... never heard anyone else mention it though.

I spend too much time sharpening to bang my planes around and pull a bur by back dragging it.

~tom ...it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt...
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post #11 of 35 Old 09-12-2011, 07:34 AM
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Good info here. Depending on the size of the piece you need to plane you may be able to get by with a quick-n-dirty bench hook on a sturdy table or counter. I've been using one on smaller projects and it works like a charm.
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post #12 of 35 Old 09-12-2011, 07:55 AM
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I always lay my planes on their side, because, it's the only thing I remember from shop class, back in 1963!
Besides, if you get in the habit of doing it every time, there is 0% chance of mucking up the blade.
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post #13 of 35 Old 09-12-2011, 10:08 AM
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The Buck Brothers planes will need a lot of tuning to get to a good usable state. If you put in the time you can get a decent user out of it but nowhere near as nice as an older Millers Falls or Stanley - or if it is in your budget a Lie Nielsen or Veritas. The links / videos above should be a really good starting point. If you find you like using planes (they rule!) I would read through Blood and Gore and start looking for some older planes on eBay / at yard sales / junk stores.

I frequently will set the toe of my plane on a thin scap of wood on my bench, keeping the blade off any surface - however I tend to agree with the mindset that leaving it blade down on your wood bench is fine. However - both are valid methods, do what feels right to you.

Last edited by cellophane; 09-12-2011 at 10:11 AM.
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post #14 of 35 Old 09-12-2011, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shop Dad View Post
Good info here. Depending on the size of the piece you need to plane you may be able to get by with a quick-n-dirty bench hook on a sturdy table or counter. I've been using one on smaller projects and it works like a charm.
I like that bench hook idea, I may have to make a couple of them, I like that old Disston miter handsaw also, the handle looks like the old 1906 Disston handsaw I had, my hand miter saw had the same handle also.

I have a question about a hand plane, seeing as how I am getting hooked more everyday. Why is it important for the sides of the plane to be square with the sole?

When going to a yard sale or flea market the things I look for are planes, Griswold and Wagner skillets, any tool and large Penn reels.

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post #15 of 35 Old 09-12-2011, 03:02 PM
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If you can still get your money back on the plane, I'd do that & hit ebay for either a Stanley 9 1/2 or a 60 1/2 low angle block plane. If you're on a budget, you can't beat them for the $20-35 you'll spend. You'll still need to get good at sharpening them, but at least you'll have a proven item.
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post #16 of 35 Old 09-12-2011, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jiju1943 View Post
I have a question about a hand plane, seeing as how I am getting hooked more everyday. Why is it important for the sides of the plane to be square with the sole?
Unless you are running it along a shooting board I don't think it really matters. If you are shooting - your blade will be at an angle and you may not be able to square the blade to the stock.
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post #17 of 35 Old 09-12-2011, 05:29 PM
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If you can still get your money back on the plane, I'd do that & hit ebay for either a Stanley 9 1/2 or a 60 1/2 low angle block plane. If you're on a budget, you can't beat them for the $20-35 you'll spend. You'll still need to get good at sharpening them, but at least you'll have a proven item.
Keep an eye out for Millers Falls planes as well. I have a #14 and I am 99% sure I like it more than my #5 Stanley. They don't have quite the collector value and are frequently less expensive. I bought my #14 for $0.99 + $10 shipping.
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post #18 of 35 Old 09-12-2011, 10:37 PM
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BTW - If you make a bench hook you will have also made a shooting board - two terms for the same thing. Here is Christopher Schwartz showing how to use one.

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/vi...nch_hook_video

Last edited by Shop Dad; 09-12-2011 at 11:31 PM.
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post #19 of 35 Old 09-13-2011, 07:20 AM Thread Starter
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Wow, thanks for all of the information guys. I wasn't able to get any real work done, but I did spend about an hour trying to hone the blade. I was able to get all of the grind marks honed away, and I think its a bit better than factory sharp. It is definitely not scary sharp though. I was real busy last weekend, but should be able to try again next weekend.

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post #20 of 35 Old 09-13-2011, 09:27 AM
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Exclamation Don't forget to lap the sole

Be sure to lap the sole as mentioned above. You won't get satisfactory results until you do. I have a cheap-o new Stanley block plane that took about an hour to lap (ugh) but now with a sharp blade it works fine. (Would love to upgrade but at least it's lower on the priority list now.) I have the Rockler kit Visions mentions and it's a very good, low cost way to get started. With the Buck you would want to start with 120 grit. If you can see it has a major hollow you might bump down to 100. I use some inexpensive http://www.amazon.com/Duck-1100731-Non-Adhesive-12-Inch-20-Square-Feet/dp/B002AS9NAI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1315920289&sr=8-2 under the glass plate to hold it fast.
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