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post #1 of 19 Old 04-27-2015, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
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planers

Last week I made a cutting board with my brother. It led me to want a planer.

Having never owned one, nor have any projects in mind, what type shoudl I get? I've read that a smooth or bench might be a good all around planer. I'm thinking for leveling and smoothing rough cut wood for projects.
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post #2 of 19 Old 04-27-2015, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by mendozer View Post
Last week I made a cutting board with my brother. It led me to want a planer.

Having never owned one, nor have any projects in mind, what type shoudl I get? I've read that a smooth or bench might be a good all around planer. I'm thinking for leveling and smoothing rough cut wood for projects.
A Stanley No. 5 jack type 11 would be my choice.
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post #3 of 19 Old 04-27-2015, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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why the choice? that's a good one for leveling long boards?

I don't really know what else to use these things for. I'm thinking about making stuff from rough cut lumber, so I figure I need a planer for leveling stuff and getting joints ready for glue.

I don't know if I'll justify the cost of a benchtop planer
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post #4 of 19 Old 04-27-2015, 10:44 PM
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A bench top planer would be the easiest. If you want hand planes I would get an old Stanley bailey no4, no5, and a no8. If you want just one the no5 would be a good choice.
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post #5 of 19 Old 04-28-2015, 10:58 AM
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Planer refers to power planers.

What you mean is a hand plane.

For preparing rough wood you need a scrub plane.

For flattening planks you need something like a jack or #5 - 5 1/2 or 6.

For smoothing the surface you need a 4 or 4 1/2.

A #7 or 8 are your jointing planes, however a #6 can be used on boards less than 18" long.

If you're dealing with end grain such as an endgrain cutting board a low angle or bevel up jack plane would be nice to have.

If you're just getting started and are having trouble finding a good used plane, then I would refer you to the Wood River planes sold through Woodcraft. I have a #6 and I am quite satisfied with it.

Last edited by DrRobert; 04-28-2015 at 11:01 AM.
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post #6 of 19 Old 04-28-2015, 12:56 PM
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Planer refers to power planers.

What you mean is a hand plane.

For preparing rough wood you need a scrub plane.

For flattening planks you need something like a jack or #5 - 5 1/2 or 6.

For smoothing the surface you need a 4 or 4 1/2.

A #7 or 8 are your jointing planes, however a #6 can be used on boards less than 18" long.

If you're dealing with end grain such as an endgrain cutting board a low angle or bevel up jack plane would be nice to have.

If you're just getting started and are having trouble finding a good used plane, then I would refer you to the Wood River planes sold through Woodcraft. I have a #6 and I am quite satisfied with it.
A no.5 is a jack plane not as aggressive as a scrub but it will level a board
if it's not too rough I was in my first post was trying to be funny.
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post #7 of 19 Old 04-29-2015, 12:01 AM
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No 5 or 5 1/2

I'd start with a No 5 or 5 1/2. Personally I prefer my 5 1/2 and it is by far the most used plane in my shop. If I had to have only 1 plane, it would be my 5 1/2 with 3 different blades setup for different tasks.

For leveling and smoothing, this depends on the size of what you're doing. I've found that my jack plane is good for most of the furniture projects I build, but if I were leveling a dining room table top I'd probably buy a #7 or #8.

Last edited by Nick Sandmann; 04-29-2015 at 12:03 AM.
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post #8 of 19 Old 04-29-2015, 06:10 AM
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A no.5 is a jack plane not as aggressive as a scrub but it will level a board
if it's not too rough I was in my first post was trying to be funny.
True but for rough wood a scrub is the plane of choice.
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post #9 of 19 Old 04-29-2015, 07:32 PM
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I think that if your just getting started with bench planes (like me), a scrub plane might be too specialized for a first plane. I agree that a Jack plane with multiple blade setups is an economical option for getting into it.

I've also seen a couple of threads where people talk about converting the cheapo harbor freight plane for rough removal to get the job done for lower cost than the scrub.
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post #10 of 19 Old 04-29-2015, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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can I use a jack No 5 or 5 1/2 for jointing as well? Like if I use a friend's bench planer for rough thickness leveling then use this hand plane for smoothing and joining edges?

basically I don't want to have to get a jointer machine
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post #11 of 19 Old 04-29-2015, 09:01 PM
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For jointing, longer is generally better. You can do it with a 5, but you might have some challenges on longer pieces, where you could benefit from a 7. There's no reason to rush into buying everything at once until you decide what you like/want/need.

For edge jointing, you can also use a router, circular saw with guide, or a table saw with a straight edge jig.
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post #12 of 19 Old 04-29-2015, 11:59 PM
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I don't have the skill to joint a board with any plane. It is a lot harder than it looks.
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post #13 of 19 Old 04-30-2015, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mendozer View Post
can I use a jack No 5 or 5 1/2 for jointing as well? Like if I use a friend's bench planer for rough thickness leveling then use this hand plane for smoothing and joining edges?

basically I don't want to have to get a jointer machine
Absolutely, and this is typically what I do. I have a lunch box style Dewalt planer and any jointing I need to do is done with my 5 1/2 unless I want to drive 45 minutes to my brother-in-laws house and use his power jointer.

I'm building a twin bed frame right now and just got done jointing the edge of the head board rails with my 5 1/2 Stanely. They are about 3 feet long and I had no issues getting the edge straight and square. Note that you'll want a straight edge to check for high or low spots. I'll also be jointing the longer bed rails this way too(the rails that run the length of the mattress). I'll concede that a 7 or 8 would be better for this task, but I'll still get it done with my 5 1/2 since I'm not willing to spend the $$$ for a new plane for this project, or invest the time to rehap an older plane.

The other thing to note is you'll need to also flatten the faces of boards occasionally before running it through your power planer. A planer won't remove twist, or take a bow out of a board, that is what a jointer is for. A jointer(power or hand) isn't just for the edges of boards.

A jointer is used to make things flat and square, a planer is meant to make 1 face of a board parallel to the opposite face of the board.

Last edited by Nick Sandmann; 04-30-2015 at 12:36 AM.
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post #14 of 19 Old 04-30-2015, 12:24 AM
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I don't have the skill to joint a board with any plane. It is a lot harder than it looks.
It's really not a difficult skill to learn. The key though is practice. Assuming you want to learn, my recommendation is to just build a couple of small boxes for yourself from rough lumber and dimension all the lumber by hand. I guarantee you will be able to square up a board by hand in no time flat by the end of the 2nd box :)
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post #15 of 19 Old 04-30-2015, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by bwolfgra View Post
For jointing, longer is generally better. You can do it with a 5, but you might have some challenges on longer pieces, where you could benefit from a 7. There's no reason to rush into buying everything at once until you decide what you like/want/need.

For edge jointing, you can also use a router, circular saw with guide, or a table saw with a straight edge jig.
I'll agree with the longer is better, but I'll add that it is not typically necessary for a lot of furniture projects. Yes, for a really long board it would make things easier, but there is a lot of furniture he could build that would have no parts long enough to justify anything longer than a 5.
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post #16 of 19 Old 04-30-2015, 12:59 AM
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also, was just running through my RSS feeds, saw this, and thought I'd share:

http://www.theenglishwoodworker.com/...neering-brick/

which also links to

http://www.theenglishwoodworker.com/...d-plane-video/
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post #17 of 19 Old 04-30-2015, 05:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwolfgra View Post
I think that if your just getting started with bench planes (like me), a scrub plane might be too specialized for a first plane. I agree that a Jack plane with multiple blade setups is an economical option for getting into it.

I've also seen a couple of threads where people talk about converting the cheapo harbor freight plane for rough removal to get the job done for lower cost than the scrub.
If he is starting out with rough wood a scrub plane is a must.

If you start out with a jack you're in for ALOT of work and frequent blade sharpening

You are right scrub planes are cheap and can be made for next to nothing so there really is no reason not to have one.
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post #18 of 19 Old 04-30-2015, 08:34 AM
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cheapo scrub plane

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFBnTOGc-2w

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #19 of 19 Old 04-30-2015, 03:52 PM
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Lots of good advice here. Here's my take, which is similar.

For your first plane, buy something new and reasonably high quality. You don't want to mess around with trying to figure out how to make it work when you don't actually KNOW how it's supposed to work. "Reasonably high quality" doesn't mean you have to go out and spend $500. One way to do it is to go out and buy a bunch of planes, but that's expensive, and you might not know what you need.

If you're looking to dimension, joint, and smooth, you can arguably do that with one plane, with some limitations. If you buy a decent #5 -- WoodRiver at Woodcraft has been getting reasonable reviews -- it can joint and smooth small boards, maybe up to a couple feet long. Jointing takes practice, but as a general rule I've heard it claimed you can joint a board twice as long as your plane. The stock blade will take care of jointing and smoothing, with slightly different setups.

For making boards thinner, or bringing "rough cut" to "workable but needs smoothing", you may want to invest in a second iron. For removing lots of wood, a radiused blade and a wide open plane mouth is the traditional answer. So you can buy a second iron for your #5. If you can, buy one pre-radiused. That's easier than doing it yourself. If you can't, then get a grinder and very carefully grind it down. You want maybe an 8" radius, something like that.

There are limitations to this approach. For one, you'll need to reconfigure the plane every time you want to switch tasks, which is annoying. For another, a #5 is really a little bit short to be a jointer, and is oversized for smoothing small boards.

Over time, though, you'll figure out what you want. My three most commonly used planes are an old Stanley #3 smoother (I have a 4, but I don't like it as much), a Stanley #5 jack which mostly gets used with a shooting board, and an old 24" long transitional jointer which was probably made by Seigley. At least, that's who stamped the blade.

Once you're comfortable with those, you'll find yourself looking for moulding planes (plows, rabbets, and weirder stuff), but you don't need to think about them right now.
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