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Discussion Starter #1
I have three hand planes that I've bought and I may have jumped the gun a little bit. I bought the big one I think it's a jack plane for 15$ at a yard sale and cleaned it up and sharpened the blade with a plane and chisel jig I bought on an oil stone. The second one I bought for around 8$ at another garage sale and the last one I bought for 25$ at an antique shop. I think the last one is a rabbit plane if I'm not mistaken....I have used the later 2 but the big one(block plane?) I've sharpened and sharpened and I forgot how it goes together... I think I put it together right. I put the edge side of the blade down...is that right? And also it keeps shaving one side deeper than the other. I'd really like to get it set up right and get to practicing with it....how can I call myself a wood worker if I can't even use a PLANE!?!?!?!
 

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The first plane in your pictures (largest one) is a bench plane, not a block plane. It appears to be a Stanley Handyman plane which was a lesser quality plane series than the Stanley Bailey planes. Don't worry about that though, it should still be a good user plane. It looks to be similar in size to the Stanley Bailey #5 which is called a Jack plane as it's a "Jack of all trades" and can be used for many different jobs depending on how it is set up.

The blade is positioned with the bevel edge down on bench planes and the chip breaker should be somewhere around 1/16" back from the edge of the blade. The distance of the chip breaker from the edge is something that people like to argue about, but start with it there and make adjustments as you get more experience.

Use the lateral adjustment lever (the thing that is extending from under the blade to over the rear tote) to adjust the lateral position of the blade. This should help you get a consistent shaving the width of the blade.

Your second plane is a block plane and is used with the bevel of the blade in the up position.

The last plane appears to be the rear half of a duplex rabbit plane.similar to the Stanley #78 pictured here: http://www.supertool.com/StanleyBG/stan10.htm#num78 The plane probably got a crack or a break in the body and someone completed the break and smoothed over the metal. Then they decided to salvage what they could and pass it off as an "unusual" looking plane that actually has value (which it really doesn't). I suppose you could call it a custom bull nose plane, but it really isn't worth much (either in monetary value or as a useful tool). I wouldn't throw it out though, you might find a use for it - such as removing glue from an inside corner or something similar.
 

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Shame about that rabbet plane. Looks to be a Craftsman badged sargent 78 or 79? It's a decent rabbet plane, nearly identical to a Stanley 78. As it sits, I think it would make a cool shadow box item, and a good reminder of the importance of proper tool storage and care. I know it only took one hairline fracture in a cheap block plane casting to straighten me out. Now I keep my tools(especially my old tools) clean, organized, and SAFE. Nice find on the others, and pretty good prices, too. You'll like that Handyman. Lots of the Handyman line was junk(eggbeater drills by handyman are a joke), but their planes really are comparable to the normal Stanley stuff. Have fun with them! Hand planing is very therapeutic.

WCT
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What does the 'chip breaker' actually do? And what do the different positions of it do? And how do you know when to put bevel side up or down?
 

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The chip breaker has a couple of functions. First is to stiffen up the relatively thin blade and prevent "chatter" which is when the blade vibrates as you are planing and sort of skips over the wood. The other main function is just what the name says - it changes the angle of the wood fibers that are being cut and helps prevent tear-out of the wood by "breaking" the fibers.

The position of the chip breaker relative the the edge of the blade can affect how fine a shaving you can achieve and generally the closer to the blade edge, the finer a shaving you can get. It can also cause a lot of problems with clogging the plane by getting wood fibers wedged under the breaker which clogs the mouth. As I said a good place to start is about 1/16" back from the edge.

Bench planes have a "frog" which is what the blade lays on and determines the angle the blade is held relative to horizontal. For Stanley bench planes that angle is 45 degrees. For these planes, the bevel is always down.

In contrast, block planes hold the blades at a much lower angle - usually 20 degrees for a "standard" block plane and 12 degrees for a "low angle block plane". These planes the bevel is always up.

It would take me way to long to enter into a discussion on cutting angles, bedding angles and sharpening angles. Much more intelligent people have already written very good articles explaining these. Somewhere I have a couple of bookmarks for articles explaining all this, but I can't find it right now. I'll keep looking.

In the meantime, I'd recommend you head over to the Hand Tools forum and spend some time looking around there. Lots of discussions on these topics in addition to many links for more information.
 

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Can't add much to what Tim said, and Tim, I applaud you for not going too far into cutting angles, bevels, etc. It's a matter of preference and "right tool, right job, and I have to imagine that men have been shot over less. Some folks get really uptight about their way vs. anything that isn't their way. What I did(and this is a personal preference, because it's how I learn) was to just get some various species of wood in different degrees of hardness and try stuff out. Lots of busted knuckles, sure, but it helped me to understand the basic physics a lot better. And like Tim said, check out the hand tool discussions. You'll find loads of info, opinions, etc. over there.

WCT
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you guys so much!!! Very informative and exactly what I was looking for!!!!!! Thanks again!!!!!!
 
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