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Thread: Do you need more than a basic bench plane set?

  1. #31
    A shoulder plane is just an iron rabbet plane which is what they were called when they first appeared mid 19th century. I have used home made wooden rabbet planes since 1975. If there is chatter, there is a problem with the bedding.

    I would think a moving fillister (fenced rabbet) and a plough would be higher on the essentials list.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Mickley View Post
    A shoulder plane is just an iron rabbet plane which is what they were called when they first appeared mid 19th century. I have used home made wooden rabbet planes since 1975. If there is chatter, there is a problem with the bedding.

    I would think a moving fillister (fenced rabbet) and a plough would be higher on the essentials list.
    Thanks Warren,

    If you say you can use your wooden rabbet planes to trim end grain in place of a shoulder plane, I'm going to try it.

    I've got a Stanley no 46 to start out for my plough/fillister uses.
    Dojo Kun, 1: Be humble and polite.

  3. #33
    I have never used a plane to trim the shoulder of a tenon There is some danger of blowout at the end of the cut if it is not deeply scored. If I made a mistake in sawing a tenon, I would scribe a line and pare. I can't imagine a Japanese craftsman trimming like this either; we saw to the line.

  4. Warren, that's always been my way of thinking as well. But people keep posting that they're buying and using them. I don't get it and won't buy one unless I find a real yardsale type bargain. I have a feeling it would be another shop decoration.

  5. #35
    Kory,

    That reminded me the foundation of hand tool work is keeping your tools sharp. I recommend a dedicated a sharpening station rather than hauling out the stones and doing them on the benchtop. Everything is ready to go, so you're more encouraged to stop and rehone. Since its only a couple minutes to refresh an iron, just sharpen any particular iron whenever it needs rather than waiting for dull tools to build up (which I'm guilty of like everyone else).

    I would caution you to give some good thought as to why you need (want?) a shoulder plane. I initially bought mine with the intention of ..... yes, planing shoulders. But even after a lot of experience, I can tell you tenon shoulders can be easily messed up with a shoulder plane. I've found they can actually can be pared very nicely with a chisel. (See another post: re: "Tenon Shoulder Question"). That basically leaves the occasional rabbet, which happens to be what I use shoulder plane for the most.

    There are really only two shoulder planes I would recommend: Lee Valley and Lie Nielsen. Either one you will have to shell out a few bucks but if you look for vintage Stanleys you will be shocked at the prices since they are sold as collector items. I have both and like the Veritas a bit better because of 1) ergonomics and 2) lateral set screws.

    I think a medium and a large is all you need. I would start with a medium.

    I have a couple wooden rabbet planes. If I were to recommend one, it would be a skewed iron. They work quite well. Like any plane grain direction is the issue.
    Last edited by Robert Engel; 12-12-2018 at 9:38 AM.

  6. I have the Veritas skewed rabbit. What a joy that thing is to use.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Mickley View Post
    I have never used a plane to trim the shoulder of a tenon There is some danger of blowout at the end of the cut if it is not deeply scored. If I made a mistake in sawing a tenon, I would scribe a line and pare. I can't imagine a Japanese craftsman trimming like this either; we saw to the line.
    So Warren, you don't have any experience as to whether a wooden rabbet or shoulder plane would work differently in end grain? I misunderstood your reply.

    It made sense to me that they would cut somewhat differently as a shoulder plane's blade is supported by the bed all the way to the tip and referencing the wood the same way as low angle jack plane. I've read somewhere that the low angle jack was developed specifically for planing the end grain surface of a butcher block.

    You had a plane on your list modified to 43 degrees for end grain work. The LieNielsen shoulder planes are set to cut bevel-up at 43 degrees.

    I'm thinking they are a bit different so I'm going to hold off on the wooden rabbet since I already have the Stanley 46 for rabbets and dados. If I find that I really want a shoulder plane at some point because I just can't cut a square to the line then I'll break down and get one.

    Thanks to everyone who replied, I wandered a little off topic but I appreciate the benefit of your experience with hand tools on the subject of needed planes.
    Dojo Kun, 1: Be humble and polite.

  8. #38
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    Mine...
    IMG_7105 (640x480).jpg
    1.25" Auburn Tool Co. No. 181.....

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kory Cassel View Post
    I see what he's getting at Mark. By the time you've stopped work, set up your stones, taken the blade out of the plane...you've already used up more time than it takes to touch up the blade so you could easily touch up another while you're at it. Stop to sharpen one, then stop again to sharpen another would be a longer period altogether even though the actual sharpening takes an equal amount of time.
    I'm still not onboard with this approach of putting off sharpening. Sharpening can be a PITA, right? That's why in my shop I dedicated a couple square feet of floor space to a dedicated sharpening station (plus bonus storage underneath). Whenever the thought "I wonder if my edge needs touching up?" occurs, I pause what I'm doing, walk to the sharpening station, and spend 60 seconds honing my edge (maybe a little longer if I'm using a plane with a chipbreaker). It's second nature now and integrated into my work. My edges are *always* sharp. And I have no need for multiple tools so I can stagger my sharpening (I do confess to a few extra tools that aren't strictly needed).

    I'm not saying my way is the only right way, but it is the right way for *me*.
    Mark Maleski

  10. I suspect that the answer to the question in the thread title - "do you need more than a basic plane set", will be different from every respondent. As already discussed there is first the interpretation of "need" vs "want" or "prefer" . Also, based on my own journey so far, I suspect that this definition will change with time and personal experience. It is my further suspicion that many people, myself included, may follow a sort of bell curve of "need". Whereby initially you start off thinking you will only need a few planes, then you get more into it and become convinced you need to get more and more of the specific sizes of bench planes, many joinery planes, moulding planes etc, and finally, after exposure to, and experience with, many tools, you come back to a set that actually meets your needs/wants and that may be far fewer planes than you had mid-way through your journey. I do think that no amount of other people's advice or opinion is worth as much as personal experience with a tool in order to decide for yourself what does and doesn't work well for you and which tools you ultimately keep/use.

    I currently have 40 hand planes (no duplicates) of which 14 are moulding planes, and don't feel the urge/need for any more and suspect I may shed a couple over time if I find they aren't getting used much (such as LV LAJ for example).

    Enjoy the journey!

    Cheers, Dom

  11. #41
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    Thanks Mark,
    I'm planning on having the sharpening station directly behind the bench so I only have to turn around. I've seen the lay-outs where the sharpening station is under the face vise end of the bench, but I'm not thrilled at the idea of stooping over and reaching down to sharpen even though Rob Cosman teaches this posture. My shop is small (16'X20') so I will have to do some economizing and compromise. My plan is one L shaped wall mounted bench wrapping around one corner with my main workbench in the center of the shop. Wood storage on the opposite long wall and the other end wall free for a drill press or some other machine that I just can't work without. I'm a big fan of drill presses, once you get to know them, there's a lot they can do so Neanderthal + Drill Press is the current goal.
    Dojo Kun, 1: Be humble and polite.

  12. #42
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    Kory, just for fun, I’ll throw one more in the mix. Certainly not a “need”, but I find the miniature LV block plane extremely useful for small work. Chamfers on small pieces, leveling stringing and banding, and the like. I just used it to fine tune a gentle convex curve on a drawer handle. I bought it just for fun, but find I use it often. Of course, kind of depends on what kind of projects you’ll be doing.

    830D4840-616A-4ADF-AA69-4C6074A6BB43.jpeg

  13. #43
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    Phil, I actually have something like this! It's a tiny pressed steel Stanley. Ugly as sin, but it works just fine. I've used it more than I would have thought and it was thrown into a deal for free.
    Dojo Kun, 1: Be humble and polite.

  14. #44
    I have been collecting around 8 years now. Overtime my collection has grown. Collecting and usage evolves. Just like the workshop. Consistently changing due to the work or times. To answer your question. It depends. Just buy what you need. For the longest time I went without a scraper plane. Now I own one. It really depends on the work you want to do.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    My scrub plane came as one of those deals a person just couldn't refuse. In other words it could be resold for more than what the guy was asking for it.

    Before that my scrub plane was a beat up in high school shop class #5-1/4. It is like a longish #3 and with a heavily cambered blade does well as a scrub plane. Though now the #40 gets most of the rough work.

    If you are jammed for space and/or storage at this time you may want to put your acquisitions on hold unless some great deal comes your way.

    jtk
    My Veritas scrub plane also came as a great deal, way beyond its value. I use it extensively, and in my shop it’s a part of my standard set.

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