What to buy a Block Plane? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 12-27-2013, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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What to buy a Block Plane?

I want to buy a block plane for my plane collection but I donít know what to look for. Can anybody give me some things to look for?

I can't tell if they are actually classic or new and just look old. Itís not that I particularly want an antique although I would be interested in it belonging to the same group as my collection of Stanley Bailey.

If I were to buy a block plane currently available new in stores then I would rather buy them new unless the price was really supper cheap for a used one.

JohnnyB
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post #2 of 14 Old 12-28-2013, 12:35 AM
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If I were only to buy one block plane it would be a low angle block plane with an adjustable mouth. Examples are the Stanley/Bailey #60, 60 1/2, 65, 65 1/2. You can see some pictures and descriptions here: http://www.supertool.com/StanleyBG/stan9.htm

The low angle block planes have the blade bedded at a 12 degree angle while in the "standard" block planes it is set at 20 degrees. The lower angle helps with trimming end grain and also helps some in difficult grain.

The adjustable mouth lets you set the mouth close to the blade which helps produce fine shavings and prevents tear out.

Stanley is producing a modern version of the #60 1/2 low angle block plane which sells for about $90. I haven't used one nor do I recall reading any reviews on that plane.

In contrast, I bought my "classic" SB 60 1/2 for about $20 on ebay a couple of years ago. From what I've seen, the 60 1/2 appears a little more often than the other low angle block planes. If you want to purchase a vintage one I would think you'd be able to pick one up for $30 or less. Although, I must confess, I haven't looked on ebay for 6 months or more so prices could be different now.

"Good Behavior is the last refuge of mediocrity" -- Henry S. Haskins
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post #3 of 14 Old 12-28-2013, 12:56 AM
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Glad this was asked, I started my quest for one also.
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post #4 of 14 Old 12-28-2013, 01:02 AM
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I agree with trc65, pricing is up right now for the low angle block planes, as I have been looking at them myself.

Also on the new Stanley, have read that there quality control needs to be improved, as some have reported japanning flaking off the lever cap, and other place's, sole's not true and so forth. Not to be expected from a 90 dollar investment.

A Low angle Stanley fine tuned coupled with either a new Hock or Veritas blade would be ideal and probably cheaper than a new Stanley

I don't have any "part planes" I keep restoring them.
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post #5 of 14 Old 12-28-2013, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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I spent some time looking at them last night and they are up in price. I guess this is going to take some time unless I get lucky.

I am glad to know about the low angle block planes though and after thinking about it, I've decided that's what I want. I used to have block plane from my dad, but I can't find it anywhere and it killing to know what it was.

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post #6 of 14 Old 12-28-2013, 10:59 AM
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They're on ebay all the time. If you are patient, you can get one in great shape for a good price. Start with a 60-1/2. If you can find a dark blue one still in the box, it's my ideal, but the burgundy ones are just as good.

I bought a Hock replacement blade for one I had, but I wish it was back where it came from. It's, of course, nice steel, and takes a great edge, but the upper square corners are really uncomfortable to use.
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post #7 of 14 Old 12-28-2013, 11:56 AM
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Would the 9 1/2 be considered a decent purchase? Although I don't know what to look at as far as what's good in used terms, I see a few of these are pretty cheap on eBay.
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post #8 of 14 Old 12-28-2013, 12:04 PM
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I bought a pristine 60-1/2 on ebay for $36 plus shipping recently. I read the reviews of Stanley's current production models and they were not complimentary, so I went with an old used one.

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post #9 of 14 Old 12-28-2013, 12:18 PM
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A 9-1/2 is indeed worth having. It's not low angle, but a really nice plane. There are so many 60-1/2s and 9-1/2 that come up that it's worth waiting for one that's not beat up. Ones with intact Japanning not only look better, but feel better in your hand.

I use two pairs of 9-1/2s and 60-1/2s. One pair have cambered irons, and the other pair straight honed irons. One pair for faces, and one pair for edges and ends. One of these will stay in my tool belt depending on what I'm working on.
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post #10 of 14 Old 12-28-2013, 01:11 PM
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A while back, I was visiting my sister and her family in northern Indiana. and I was helping my brother in law with a project he was attempting to build. long story short, we needed a plane it was late on a Saturday afternoon and the only place to buy a plane close by was a small mom and pop hardware store that was about to close up for the day. well they had a couple block planes the "new line" of Stanley's and some other brand I dont recall. well I bought the Stanley and it was the No. 65. To be honest. for the price around $30 give or take, its not a bad plane. It did what we needed and once I took it home and gave it a decent tune up. I use it regularly.

It has the Cast body. Cast lever cap. stamped tension lever in the cap. stamped lateral adjuster. adjustable mouth. Its no lie nielsen, but like I stated. once it was tuned up its not a bad plane.

here is a picture of it.
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To tune it up. I flattened the sole. sharpened the blade. polished the adjustable mouth so it would slide smoothly. and polished the bed. and oiled the mouth with a little 3:1 oil.

John,

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post #11 of 14 Old 12-28-2013, 01:32 PM
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My addiction to hand tools started with a new model Stanley block plane. I bought a standard angle adjustable mouth block plane from a home center. I didn't use it much because frankly it sucked. One day I saw a YouTube video on tuning up a plane. I spent a couple hours flattening the sole, flattening the blade, smoothing all of the machine marks, sharpening, etc... After I was done I hade a tool that could take a whisper thin shaving. When I saw what a plane could actually do, I was hooked. Now only 15 planes later....

I can't remember the exact link, but look for the video on YouTube. It will be worth your time.
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post #12 of 14 Old 12-28-2013, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, I guess it is an addiction. Iím completely new to this, but Iíve been questioning my own sanity after buying all these in just a month and I still have a No7 coming. My wife says she isnít questioning anymore because after paying good money for rusty tools, she knows Iím insane.

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post #13 of 14 Old 12-28-2013, 02:43 PM
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I am new to hand tools but recently I bought the Stanley sweetheart 9 1/2 block plane. Some reviews stated that it was a great block plane but there were a few problems with it. First was said that the adjustment screw to set blade depth had significant play in it and it would take 2 full revolutions to start to move the blade the opposite direction. That issue still exists. ( for me that's not a huge deal ) The second issue with it was the body was machined wrong and it wouldn't let the blade sit straight in the mouth. This has been corrected also I found the a2 metal blade to be quite sharp right out of the box.



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post #14 of 14 Old 01-01-2014, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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I just have to stop looking at planes on eBay. I keep seeing more and more planes to bid on and it’s hard to stay focused.
I might just buy a new low angle for now, because at least it will have all the parts. From the reviews a lot of people have to flatten the soles and I’ll probably have to do that anyway with an old one. I bid on a couple that I was excited about and then noticed that they were missing parts that were more than the plane itself.
There has got to be a name for those who dissemble good planes and sell it part by part. After looking at a couple of venders stores it’s apparent that’s exactly whats going on and I will never buy from them. That just seams wrong to me.

JohnnyB
Iím a die hard DIY guy. Donít tell me to hire someone for what I can do myself.

Last edited by Sleeper; 01-01-2014 at 11:48 AM.
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