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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After watching a few episodes of the Woodwright's Shop recently I've wanted to try doing more woodworking by hand. On the show Roy uses either a fairly large selection of wooden planes or a Stanley 45 or 55 for joinery. I would like to get a basic set of planes that allow me to do basic joinery tasks - rabbets, dadoes, tongue and groove, etc. Are a few specialty tools or a combination plane a better option, or is it more of a personal preference? I wouldn't mind having both but my wife has been getting sick of me bringing home more hand tools recently so I need to keep the tool spending to a minimum for a while.

Thanks!
John
 

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the thing about tools that do many tasks they dont do any of them well.I had a 45 thought great many planes in one.They can be a pain to set up and the mouths are so big u get alot of tear out.I found the 45 is good for a beading plane and thats about.in opinion at least.I sold it
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the comments. From this thread and other things I've read it sounds like mostly personal preference.

At this point I've been leaning towards the Veritas small plow plane since it seems like it would do most of the things I am looking for. I'd like to find a Stanley 45 or 55 - but the ones I've seen so far seem to go for a lot of money or are missing a lot of parts. Although I'm leaning towards a metal plane at this point I'm still kicking myself for passing up a nice wooden plow plane at the first auction I went to.. I guess that is what I get for only taking $26 with me to an auction...

Thanks!
John
 

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Here's my take.

I have a Stanley #78, which is a moving fillister plane. It works beautifully for cutting rabbets (or rebates, if you prefer). While I like using it, if I ever find a wooden one with a skew blade -- or get the motivation together to custom build one -- I'll replace (or more likely supplement) it in a heartbeat. Why? Because I also have an old 2" wooden skew rabbet plane, and I love using it. My only complaint is the lack of a fence or depth stop, which means cutting rabbets requires a lot more thought. That's fine for one rabbet, but not great when I'm trying to get two or more pieces done identically.

I also have a Sargent-made Craftsman combination plane and a roll of irons. It's more or less the equivalent of a Stanley #45, as far as I can tell, and it's decent. So far I've only really used it as a plow, and it's not too bad to set up. I cut a couple of test beads with a beading iron, and it works OK. It needs more sharpening, though. I tried out a Stanley #45, and I prefer the blade locking and adjustment mechanism on my Sargent. That may just be personal preference, rather than anything objective. Would I trade it for a wooden plow? That's a hard call. I'm considering buying one of the inexpensive Hong Kong-style ones (like this) just to try it out, because it looks neat. I'm having a hard time justifying it when I have a working plow plane, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was originally going to go with a Veritas small plow plane - but I was able to pick up a Stanley 45 for about a third of the price so I decided to give this a try to start. I picked it up on an auction site and couldn't tell by the pictures / descriptions how complete it was - but was glad to see it looks like all of the parts and cutters are there and in fairly decent shape.

I played around with it for about 45 minutes and it was fun to use - but can tell it will definitely take some practice to get the technique down and to get used to setting it up. It definitely wasn't as easy as they make it look on TV! Hopefully after honing the cutters and practicing a bit more I can get good results.

I was comparing the parts that I received with the parts drawing from a Stanley 45 manual I found online. There was one piece included that doesn't appear to be from the plane since it is made by Starrett, not Stanley - but I wasn't sure if it was some kind of accessory for the plane since the design of the tool looks similar to the plane. Does anyone know what this might be used for?

Thanks!

John
 

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Nice find! It will definitely take some practice.

I've found on mine that if I tighten both of the screws that hold the fence in place all the way, the fence comes a little bit out of line. Tightening the front one all the way, then tightening the rear almost all the way seems to work better; that may be a defect in my plane, or it may be common. If you have trouble with the fence on yours, give it a try.

Enjoy!
 
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