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Thread: Which hand plane: small glue-up boards for bowl blanks

  1. #1
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    Sep 2018
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    Which hand plane: small glue-up boards for bowl blanks

    Hi all,

    i have a very specific purpose that is making me think itís time to take the plunge into hand planes. I regularly glue up boards to provide 8x8 or 10x10 sections that I then glue together to create an 8x8x3 or 10x10x4 bowl blank for turning. I also will sometimes glue an 10x10x2 bowl blank disc to a 6x6x2 bowl blank disc to make a bigger blank. My problem is getting the boards and the blanks flat so that they glue together well. I do not have a power jointer or planer and even if I did I think these sizes would be too small without special sleds to go through those tools safely.

    So so I am thinking of trying hard planes for the first time. I have done a lot reading. It seems like for flattening a low angle jack plane is a great way to go. But the concern I have is that this plane, at 14Ē or so, is too big for 10x10Ē or 8x8Ē boards and blanks. Iíve looked at a #4, but it seems like itís just for smoothing and wonít allow me to really flatten the boards and blanks without a huge amount of work.

    Your advice is most appreciated!

    Thanks,

    -dan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
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    6,280
    The LA Jack would work well. Alternatives are either a Stanley #5 or a #5 1/2 (perhaps too wide). These planes are all the same length. I would not consider them too long to plane 8-10" boards.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  3. #3
    Iím not an expert but I do end up planing small stuff like that often. I think the best would be if you had a #4 or similar with an enlarged mouth and scrub iron for hogging off a lot at first, and then a #4 with a narrow mouth and a straight iron as a smoother.
    Since you probably donít want to buy two planes, it might be worth trying to simulate the effect of the enlarged mouth with the frog adjustment on a #4. Not a legit scrub plane probably but I think it would work if you dump the chips often. Scrub plane chips are less prone to clogging for me since theyíre cross grain and generally a lot thicker than the shavings from a smoother.
    To clarify, I think it might work to back the frog up on a #4 to create a larger mouth, and run a convex iron in the plane for removing lots of material at first. Then switch to a smoothing iron and adjust the frog to close up the mouth for making a smooth glue surface by planing in the direction of the grain.

  4. #4
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    Dan, your location isn't listed in your profile. Do you live near a city where Lie Nielsen has tool events?

    https://www.lie-nielsen.com/hand-tool-events

    They are a good place to get a hands on feel for a plane's size.

    Otherwise you may live near another SMC member who would extend a welcome to their shop for a test drive.

    You do not mention whether you are intending to purchase a new plane or considering purchasing an older plane to fix up.

    Either a #4 size smoother or a #5 jack plane would be able to handle your stated needs.

    At times my #7 or #8 (at 22" and 24" respectively) have been used on pieces smaller than your examples. With a piece that is cupped, a longer plane can be helpful used across the cupping to level a surface.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    Maryland
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    Thank you all for the helpful replies. Iím in Maryland (just updated my profile). No Lee Nielsen events near me although there is a Woodcraft store quite close. I am planning on buying new. Was leaning toward Veritas because they are a little cheaper. After upgrading lots of tools over the years Iím now at a point where I try to buy something high quality from the get go. Sounds like both planes I was thinking about could work well, as well as some others. Glad to hear (and very helpful) that the size of the board is not an issue. Hard to decide which way to go though...

  6. #6
    Have you considered 2 x the finished size in length for planing and then cutting in half either before glue up or after. That way you could have 2 x the number of bowls.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Dan, where at in Maryland? I'm in Cockeysville, north of Shawan Rd and 83. If not to far you're welcome to stop by and try out some planes and see what you think.

    Brian
    The significant problems we encounter cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.

    The penalty for inaccuracy is more work

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    I may even have a plane you can take home with you
    The significant problems we encounter cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.

    The penalty for inaccuracy is more work

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hale View Post
    Dan, where at in Maryland? I'm in Cockeysville, north of Shawan Rd and 83. If not to far you're welcome to stop by and try out some planes and see what you think.

    Brian
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hale View Post
    I may even have a plane you can take home with you
    LOL!

    How could one resist?

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  10. #10
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    I've been told i have to many planes...
    The significant problems we encounter cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.

    The penalty for inaccuracy is more work

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hale View Post
    I've been told i have to many planes...
    My way of knowing there are too many planes is when there isn't a place to set them down. My accumulation is at this point. There are a few planes on my too be sold list for this summer.

    It is difficult for me to sell a plane when there is not immediate use for the money.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  12. #12
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    Perhaps, IF you can find a #5-1/4 sized plane....light, handy, and usually only 11" long....with a #3 sized iron. I have been using both a Stanley #3c, and a Millers Falls #11 for a lot of the smaller stuff I am working on now....
    Ash Tote, adjusting edge.JPG
    Millers Falls #11 ( Junior Jack) trimming some Ash...
    Ash Tote, adjusted edge.JPG
    Or..
    Ash Tote, Divider 2.JPG
    The Stanley #3c, Type 11/12, with a SW iron....

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Virginia
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    I am in Northern Virginia. No free planes, but could spare an hour to let you try some if it would be of help. No Lee Valley or Lie Nielsen. Stanley style smoother, jack, jointer, and some double iron wooden planes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hale View Post
    Dan, where at in Maryland? I'm in Cockeysville, north of Shawan Rd and 83. If not to far you're welcome to stop by and try out some planes and see what you think.

    Brian

  14. #14
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    Sep 2018
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    Maryland
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    Robert,

    Glad to be in good company with your niece. I have thought of the 2x thing and thus having a longer/bigger board and will do that whenever possible. But it is not always possible depending on the board.


    Brian,

    That is a super nice offer and I do appreciate it. Iím not so far and not so close.

    Nicholas same thing. Iím in Kensington.

    I think I will get the jack plane and get some experience with it. Seems highly versatile so I can use it on other projects. Then if I run into any trouble I will reach back out to you guys.

    Thanks!

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