Originally Posted by WeebyWoodWorker
Well that certainly is a big difference! Never would of thought! Goes to show that you shouldn't always dismiss the old ways as being inferior.
Often the "improvement" is in higher production rates, lower barriers to entry, and/or lower cost, which may come at the price of lower quality and an inferior product.
Power tools have jump-started newbies like me, but I still want to teach myself adequate hand tool skills, including the use of hand planes.
I am finding decent hand planes at the local thrift stores and swap meets. Now that I have begun to restore them, I am learning more about what to look for and what to reject. Poor selection makes for a lot more restoration work, and sometimes crummy tools. I don't want to buy new replacement blades, which would negate any cost savings I might get from restoring the old ones. They don't have to be pretty, just "like new" functional.
I have no real production experience with hand planes yet. I am still restoring them and practicing with them. That said, here are the planes that I am working on restoring or acquiring, in order of what I think might be the most important to me:
1. #5 Jack Plane
2. #7 Jointer Plane
2. #60 1/2 Low Angle Block Plane
4. #4 Smoother Plane
5. Someday I might add a low angle jack plane.
The thrift store/swap meet hand planes are cheap, but they take many many hours of work to restore. That restoration process has taught me a lot about hand planes, how they work, and what to look for. It has been a low cost education, and I feel that now I can do a much better job of finding the diamonds in the rough. In the end, I hope to have a set of hand planes of the highest quality for a decent price. I am not adverse to buying new hand planes if I can't find what I want when I need them. Those Veritas and Lie-Nielsen hand planes are gorgeous, and I am willing to pay for them, but first I want to try my hand at restoring old planes, which can get me high quality and a good education to go with it.