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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With so many planes to choose from, I am looking to start with a few of the most common, in particular, bench planes for jointing edges, smoothing dovetails, making the panels I glue up smoother (like butcher block glue ups), etc.

I was browsing through lie-nielsen and vertas and there are so many it's hard to decide where to start.

I don't make beds or coffee tables or anything crazy so I don't think I need a huge collection of planes, but I am willing to spend the money for a few nice ones that are needed for smaller type projects (block plane?). I guess ones you would most commonly find in any wood shop. Thanks, and sorry if this is a vague question.
 

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A very open ended question. The title is "which plane" but in the description it seems you appreciate no single plane can do everything.

Are you looking to plane face/side grain or end grain?

Butcher block to some folks means end grain, to others laminated face grain assembly.

End grain or wild grain such as around knots can be easier to plane with a low angle design. The benefit of a low angle design is by purchasing blades with different bevels, you can quickly change the plane for various tasks.

A block plane is always useful. Many people have several.

How long are the edges you want to joint? Long board would be best handled with longer sole planes, like the Stanley No. 6 or 7. Veritas does not use the Stanley size in the names of its planes, but does describe the plane in the name.

I would consider starting with at a low angle block plane, a low angle jack, or a low angle smoother and a medium shoulder plane which is good to clean up dado's or the cheeks of tenon's.

I can get an edge straight, but I am not good at getting it right angle to the face. Not enough practice. If you are looking to work with short pieces, consider an edge trimming plane, like this one.

http://www.leevalley.com/US/Wood/page.aspx?p=54862&cat=1,41182,48945&ap=1
 

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A number 5 jack plane is the one that can do a little bit of everything if you just want to get one to start. A block plane is useful even if you end up going all power tools.

If you want to joint long boards, a number 7 or 8 jointer will be useful. A number 4 smoother will be useful, too, so you don't have to switch settings on the 5.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've never even seen on of those but that might be something to consider.

Would that be something to smooth a dovetail edge or would a smoother plane be better.

This is the edge I want to smooth out on my drawer.

 

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I've never even seen on of those but that might be something to consider.

Would that be something to smooth a dovetail edge or would a smoother plane be better.

This is the edge I want to smooth out on my drawer.
The picture you show is not going to be easy to plane. The mixed grain can cause tearout.

This may be best to sand, even though I am not fond of sanding.

Also consider scrapers where you have mixed grain.

Scrapers are not expensive and give you a lot of control and low risk of tearout.

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2020022/19046/Curved-Scraper-Set-of-4.aspx
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've never even heard of scrapers before. I have to sand my whole project still so I like the idea of just sanding the joint down.

I will have to read about scrapers And their application, that is something new to me.

I guess I just figured planing a dovetail joint after fitting it was the quickest, easiest way to smooth the joint since I see so many people doing it in videos, I just thought that was part of the process
 

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The low angle jack plane, freshly sharpened and set to take very light cuts should do ok to smooth your dovetails. Always run the risk of blowing out the end grain however.
 

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Card scrapers are great! You'll go through a tenth of the sandpaper you used to once you get a plane and some scrapers.
 

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My three most used planes are a #3, a #5, and a #78 (moving fillister). I find the jack (#5) is good for dimensioning and jointing, the #3 is great for smoothing, and the #78 will cut rabbets in just about anything. I have a 24 inch transitional jointer (wood sole, but adjustment mechanisms like a metal plane), which is really nice if I need to joint a long board, but not mostly critical.

I have a couple of block planes, but I mostly don't use them. If I could only have three, I'd go with the first three I mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
My three most used planes are a #3, a #5, and a #78 (moving fillister). I find the jack (#5) is good for dimensioning and jointing, the #3 is great for smoothing, and the #78 will cut rabbets in just about anything. I have a 24 inch transitional jointer (wood sole, but adjustment mechanisms like a metal plane), which is really nice if I need to joint a long board, but not mostly critical.

I have a couple of block planes, but I mostly don't use them. If I could only have three, I'd go with the first three I mentioned.
Excellent thank you and thanks Dave Paine for the scraper info

took your advice and sanded and they came out beautifully. They are now completely smooth and look great.
 

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look like this, I have several disston and sanviks that I have used for years. a couple of swipes with a medium bastard lile flat across the the edge will give it a slight hook and keep them sharp. you will love them.
 

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I use stanley 5's and a 65 low angle block plane for a great many things.

when I am dealing with a situation which could cause tear out, I use my 65 to champfer the edges of the work piece. this prevents tear out but eliminating the edge, allowing the cutter to clear the work piece without causing damage.
 

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My first move in hand planes was a wood river #5. It is great and I still use it constantly. At the same time that I bought my #5 I also got a low angle block plane with the intention of using it similarly to what you need. I was disappointed in that respect due to the before mentioned tear out. In retrospect I would have just gone with a low angle jack plane, which I still don't have. When it's all said and done you will never be happy with just one plane. So for the sake of saving money go on ebay and load up on all the pre-WWII stanley planes you need. You can get some nice users for $30 - $40.

I the mean time may I suggest some reading material.

http://www.supertool.com/StanleyBG/stan0a.html
 

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I would (like other have suggested) start with a jack plane and a block plane. I would likely go with vintage Stanley planes and learn to fettle them. There are tons of blogs out there to teach you how to fettle them A basic No5 Jack plane can be had for $30 or less if you look. As far as block planes is concerned, they are a dime a dozen in the garage sale / flea market... market. Check out this site http://www.supertool.com/StanleyBG/stan0a.html to learn which ones to buy. I bought a nice little block plane in great shape for about $35. More than I waned to spend, but it looked really nice. I got home and checked the above site. According to Patrick, it was good only as a paperweight. Granted it is one person's opinion, but likely a much more learned opinion than mine. live and learn....
 
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