View Full Version : One more hand plane question?

John Miliunas
04-11-2003, 11:18 AM
Hmmmm...Seems to me Keith may want to change the name of this particular forum, as it mostly generates plane questions.:D Anyhow, I recently had a very demoralizing experience. LOML had a #6, Wards Master plane, which she had salvaged from her grandfather's stash. Dirty, greasy and rusty. I tore it down and commenced to cleaning it up. Needless, to say, I got most everything done and was about to start on the sole of the body. Started to de-rust it and, sure enough, right there on either side of where the blade protrudes, there are cracks on both sides!:( Yes, I still finished cleaning the whole thing, put a coat of wax on and it will now be a memento, if you will. But, I'd still like to try my hand at planing. I note that several vendors are carrying the "Anant" brand. I've searched around, but haven't found anything from actual users either, negative or positive. The price point on these planes borders on "cheap" and I can't help but wonder if the product is really cheap, as well. I certainly can't afford the Clifton's or LN's and the used #7's I've recently seen, leave much to be desired, especially at the prices the people were asking for them. Anybody have/use the Anant's? Good/bad experience? :cool:

PS...Ssssshhhhhhhh! Don't tell anyone on the "other side" that I'm over here! Thanks!

Tom Scott
04-11-2003, 5:37 PM
First, I've never heard of the Anant brand, so I can't comment.

Second, if you're looking for your first plane I would probaly suggest a #4, #4 1/2, or a #5. Unless you really need a jointer plane (you mentioned a #7), I think these are good all-around planes that can do a lot if you want them to. Decent used "users" of these can usually be had for $30 (except for the #4 1/2). Take a look at the thread below about #5 Planes for additional info.

If you have any more questions, let us know. We'll allow one more.



Bill Sams
04-11-2003, 7:20 PM
John, the only reference to anant that I have seen is in the woodworkers supply catalog. In there they specifically state "that after truing the blade and sole these planes are as good as others".
What this means to me is that you will spend alot of time truing up with anant. Even with "record" time is spent truing, but maybe alot more with anant.
A month ago I purchased a LN rabbet block plane, right of the box it was perfect and performed flawlessly, made me a believer in LN.
Anyway I personally would be wary of Anant.

Jim DeLaney
04-11-2003, 7:23 PM
The Anand is made in India - a very poor quality copy of the generic Stanleys.

The castings will likely be as rough as a cob, and the blade will be of questional hardness and consistency. The wood will be of halfway decent quality, but poorly milled and finished.

Other than that, they're okay...:cool:

<Center><FONT FACE="Comic Sans MS" COLOR="Blue">Jim D.</FONT></Center>
<P><center><img src="http://www.jcdelaney.com/usaflag.gif"></center><P>

John Miliunas
04-11-2003, 8:19 PM
Looks as though you pretty much confirmed what I had figured, but I thought I'd give it a shot. Heck, even HF has some stuff worthy of a second look. As for myself, I think I'll just have to keep an eye out for some of the older "good" stuff. Thanks again for the info and/or recommendations. 'Scuse me while I slink off back to the Normite side.....:D :cool:

Andrew Fairbank
04-11-2003, 8:39 PM

Anant are slightly inferior to modern Stanleys/records, but still of sufficiently reasonable quality to be carried by specialist woodworking suppliers.

Their reputation here is good, in that they tune up to be of similar quality to a top of the line plane (read Clifton, Lee-Nielsen, etc). Just a fair bit of tuning up required.

Out of the box, a Stanley would be slightly superior



John Miliunas
04-11-2003, 9:04 PM
You guys keep mentioning "tuning". Guess I didn't realize these things had engines!:D I can only assume the LN is turbo-charged!:D

Seriously, what exactly is meant by "tuning" when talking of a hand plane? I'm guessing the blade itself probably needs to have the back flattened and the cutting edge honed. What else would be included in a typical "tune up"? And, how often do you change the oil and filter?!:D :D :cool:

Andrew Fairbank
04-11-2003, 10:32 PM
Hi John,

They don't need much in the way of oil, 4 litres should last you a long time. Spark plugs stay in brand new condition for the life of the plane. Hope it tunes up OK.


The above explains the process well.



John Miliunas
04-11-2003, 11:29 PM
Many thanks! I'll go through the whole presentation and see if I have enough gray matter left to absorb some of it! BTW, where in the heck do they hide the dipstick on these things?!:D :D :cool:

Tom Sweeney
04-12-2003, 12:32 PM

Seriously, I like lurking over here also - lots of neat stuff.

As someone suggested go find yourself some old#4's & tune them up - don't worry about the points they have electronic ignitions ;) .

I bought 2 #4's & 2 rabbeting planes in questionable but tuneable condition + 2 egg beater drills, a marking knife & a few other oddds & ends & paid $7 for the lot at auction. The rabbitting planes don't have any "fence", which I think they are supposed to, so not sure if I can use them but they look neat.

I still have to get to the tune up phase on mine. :rolleyes:

John Miliunas
04-12-2003, 12:46 PM
Ok now, Tom...Don't go blabbing this all over the Power side! The other guys might take away my router wrenches!

Yeah, I believe the general consensus is to buy old and used, then rebuild. I really don't have a problem with that. In fact, it would give me a chance to get better acquainted with the tool. My main problem is that I've not been able to come across anything in decent shape for a decent price. I must be in a crappy market for such items. I'll keep looking, though!

(Psssst...We'd better get back over to the side with electricity!):D :D :cool:

Ed Falis
04-12-2003, 2:25 PM
Well, you could always try one of them Veritas planes at Lee Valley. Maybe the 4-1/2 or the low angle block plane. See you on the other side, John.

- Ed

Dennis McDonaugh
04-15-2003, 10:30 AM
I have come around 180 degrees on "tuning" a hand plane. I used to lap the soles until they were perfectly flat and square to the sides. But, I've found that a reasonably flat sole is all that is required, especially just in front of, and behind the mouth. A slightly convex sole is better than a slightly concave sole. Sharpening the blade and adjusting the mouth make the biggest difference in plane performance. Now when I get a new plane I color the bottom with a marker and lap it on fine sandpaper to determine how flat the sole is. If its flat an inch or so in front of the mouth to an inch or so behind the mouth and its mostly flat I skip the lapping part. If its really out of wack, then I lap it until its mostly flat. Use whatever method you like to get a really, really sharp blade. I've used Arkansas stones, water stones, sandpaper and now a tormek. All produced sharp blades with varying amounts of effort and expense. I almost always put a very slight crown on my blades and slightly ease the corners to stop them from leaving marks on the wood. I use a narrow mouth opening for smoothers and wider openings for rough work. I don't know what mouth opening I use (in inches), but I do know it takes a lot of fiddling around to get the proper opening and blade protrusion for taking fine shavings. The good news is, once you have it adjusted on a plane, it doesnt need to be readjusted. The key is to turn the frog and blade adjustments slowly, really slowly. Once you've taken up the backlash a small turn of the know producs a lot of movement on the blade or frog.

Dan Clermont in Burnaby
04-15-2003, 10:53 AM
Hi John,

Welcome to the dark side. I think you should pick up an old Bailey #5. They can be bought off EBay for around $20 - $30. I find that antique shops and some of the flea markets in my neighbourhood are way over priced.

Once you get the plane expect to fork out some more money for sharpening equipment such as sandpaper and plate glass or sharpening stones. You can't cut wood with a dullblade.

Once you have the plane and the sharpening gear you will be shaving the hair on your fore arms.

If you don;t want to spend the money on a Lie Nielsen get the Lee Valley (Veritas) 4 1/2.

Two years ago I started with a Record #5 and now have about 14 various planes none of which a rredundant (at least that is how I convinced LOML I needed them)

Good Luck,
Dan Clermont in Burnaby

John Miliunas
04-15-2003, 3:02 PM
Thanks for the additional info and suggestions! I'm kind of keeping an eye out on eBay...Pretty slim pickin's there lately. But, it's garage sale weather and I've got LOML looking out for old tools.

Dan, what do you think of the Record? I thought I might even start off with a #5 or similar, just so I can get some flattening done on raw stock, prior to planing it. Would that work, given the #5 was in good shape? And, how much "tuning" did you have to do with the Record before putting it into production? Thanks again for all your help, guys! Guess the "Dark Side" isn't that bad, after all! :D :D :cool:

Dan Clermont in Burnaby
04-15-2003, 4:31 PM
Hi John,

I started with the Record #5 which really was no different then the new Stanley (quality wise). I flattened the sole and it worked really well after that. I didn't like the plastic handles and the blade dulled quickly so I sold it on EBay. I bought a Bailey #5 off a friend for $40 US with the Stanley logo still on the handle and a Sweetheart Blade.

What is your budget for a plane? You should be able to get a good user Bailey or Stanley #5 (or 4 1/2 but they cost more) from this site:


or try Patrick Leach at:


Go for a Bailey type 11 to 15 as they seem to have better quality.

I will never buy a new Stanley or Record Bench Plane again. By the time you replace the plastic handle (I am a purist) and put a decent blade into it you are paying way more then an older Bailey or Stanley plane

Good Luck
Dan Clermont in Burnaby