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Thread: Wooden hand planes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Baltimore, MD
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    Wooden hand planes

    I've been searching for a jointer and was considering a wooden one for the sake of affordability. The fact that they're so much cheaper makes me a little reluctant to buy one, though. Anyone have any experience with them. Pros and cons?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Charlotte, MI
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    1,522
    Wooden planes, provided you get one in good shape by a quality maker, are easily at least as good as any metal plane. They are simple to tune, easy to maintain / repair, and cheap to buy. There is absolutely no reason to pass by a good wooden jointer, or any wooden plane really. In this case, more expensive is not better. If you need help tuning one, feel free to PM me. Heck, I might even have one to part with.
    Your endgrain is like your bellybutton. Yes, I know you have it. No, I don't want to see it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    I wouldn't buy one I couldn't touch. And, when I did go to look at it, I'd bring a straightedge longer than the plane and some kind of winding sticks (two straight pieces of wood 3/4" by 3/4" or so, about 8" long). The one wooden jointer I owned was straight enough, sort of, but seriously in winding (twisted, if you're not familiar with this term); I say that it was optimized for jointing airplane propellors, although I actually would have needed two, warped in opposing directions, to be serious about using them on propellors.

    To test for straight, of course, you just lay your straightedge along the sole of the plane. Small amounts can be planed out.

    To test for winding, hold the plane upside down, lay your winding sticks across the sole of the plane, one near each end, and sight along the length. If the body's straight, the sticks will be parallel; if it's in winding, you'll see it from the difference in the sticks' angles. Test in other positions along its length. Again, small amounts can be planed out; large amounts, I'd consider passing on the tool unless it's really inexpensive and you've got more time than money.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    I'm with Bill, in that there are far too many good ones out there to buy junk ones. But do buy one, they are great!
    Your endgrain is like your bellybutton. Yes, I know you have it. No, I don't want to see it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Plano, TX
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    What Zach said, I have a mix of both but the wooden planes are by far my favorites. Flattening the sole of a wooden jointer is so much easier than a cast iron plane, that in itself justifies getting one. I never check the flatness of a new/used plane I buy because it is so easy to flatten the sole, even replace it, that I don't even care.
    The means by which an end is reached must exemplify the value of the end itself.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
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    SDC12273.jpgEven this one. A 20' long stanley #129 liberty Bell.

  7. #7
    There is a very good one for sale on the forum - going cheap - here
    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...-Jointer-Plane

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven c newman View Post
    SDC12273.jpgEven this one. A 20' long stanley #129 liberty Bell.
    Dang! You've got a 20-foot-long plane? How big is your shop?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    93
    Don't shy away from wooden planes because old ones are cheaper than old iron planes!
    Once you get used to how they work they are a pleasure.
    If a higher price makes you feel better though, order from old street tool, you won't be disappointed.
    I would, however, classify the above 20" plane as a trying plane.
    Wooden jointers are often on the order of 30".

    - Bill

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Haumann View Post
    Don't shy away from wooden planes because old ones are cheaper than old iron planes!
    Once you get used to how they work they are a pleasure.
    If a higher price makes you feel better though, order from old street tool, you won't be disappointed.
    I would, however, classify the above 20" plane as a trying plane.
    Wooden jointers are often on the order of 30".

    - Bill
    Bill is right on. I tend to call anything above 26" a jointer and between 20 and 26 a try plane, even if there is no universally accepted classification for this. I just finished a third entry for the wooden plane buildoff, this time a 30" jointer in curly maple. That's definitely a jointer!
    Your endgrain is like your bellybutton. Yes, I know you have it. No, I don't want to see it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Williamsburg,Va.
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    All of the wooden pieces of work I have posted here were made with wooden planes.

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