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Thread: Scrub planes

  1. #1
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    Scrub planes

    So I bought a LN scrub plane and I love it! It removes stock easily and quickly and leaves a surprisingly smooth surface. In fact I’m considering trying a project using only this plane. However I do not see scrub planes getting a lot of “good press” here. Am I missing something?

  2. #2
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    I assume because most "Neander's" are really "hybrid woodworkers", either because they have machines for rough surface prep or because they buy S4S boards. Possibly also you don't recognize all the relevant discussion because of the fuzzy boundaries between plane types, e.g. a Jack Plane set up for roughing does basically the same task as a Scrub plane. A third possible reason is that setup and tuning is less critical and causes fewer people problems, hence fewer questions.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2016
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    Have the same plane, also surprised how much I like using it. Much faster than a jack plane. No surface planer in my shop!
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  4. #4
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    Weathering on mine is from sweat, and wear on mouth from use. I bought it new, around 1975. We have beams in our house, that I built in 1980, that no other plane was used on. I would finish them differently now, but we were racing cold weather then, and living in a tent.
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  5. #5
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    For the longest time it seemed a scrub plane didn't have much use in my shop. Then came the time to turn a lemon of an ebay purchase into lemonade. A beat to heck and back #5-1/4 was converted to a scrub plane as an experiment. It impressed me with its abilities.

    Since then a visit to an antique mall brought me face to face with one of the folks who wanted to sell me a #40. The price was too tempting, his offer couldn't be refused. He has gotten a lot of my business.

    Now one of my projects had a lot of rough timbers to be tamed. That got me to try rounding the blade on a #5 to make put three scrub planes when my original thought was they weren't really needed in my shop.

    Three Scrubs.jpg

    That story is here > https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?272588 <

    My #5-1/4 came with a cambered blade and the worn mouth made it look like it was used as a scrub plane. The blade was a bit pitted so it was replaced. For a scrub plane the pitting wouldn't matter unless you wanted the surface to be the finished surface. The idea of giving a try as a scrub has crossed my mind. It will have to wait until the next time a bit of scrubbing has to be done.

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

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    Weathering on mine is from sweat, and wear on mouth from use. I bought it new, around 1975. We have beams in our house, that I built in 1980, that no other plane was used on. I would finish them differently now, but we were racing cold weather then, and living in a tent.
    My scrub looks about the same as Tom's and it is from the same mid 70's time. I've tried metal ones and even have a couple but the ECE wins hands down. BTW, I wouldn't be without a scrub in the shop.

    ken

  7. #7
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    I converted an old beater Stanley #4 into a scrub plane. Useful on rare occasions, which is why I didn’t want to spring for a new LN scrub.

  8. #8
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    Interesting thread Jim. You pack a lot of good tips in your posts!

  9. #9
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    Valid points David, the third especially makes sense.

  10. #10
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    When one finds a #5 sized plane, with a HUGE mouth...one merely grinds the iron into a 8" radius...and, then you have a scrub plane.

    Scrubs are for going across the grain. Then a jack can go at a diagonal to the grain. Then the Try plane.

    My scrub plane is an old Great Neck "Corsair" C-5. jack plane size. There is nothing "dainty" about it....and I have sharpened it twice in over 3 years of use/abuse. Spent $6 when I bought the plane. It is for rough work....but it does the job needed. Save the see-through shavings for when it actually matters, as in the last strokes of a smooth plane.

  11. #11
    I went to a Lie-Nielsen demo event at Chris Schwarz place in Covington, KY this past fall. I was interested in the 8" cambered blade that LN just started selling. I asked a guy with a British accent if they had one to try. He said no. I asked what he thought about the cambered blade in a No. 5. He inquired about my tool set. I listed off a bunch of planes and such that seemed responsive. He asked, in his inimitable British way, if I built furniture or just collected tools. I bought the plane anyway. It of course works very well right out of the box. I just backed the frog off a bit to open the mouth. I have a piece of rough sawn mahogany that I am going to cut up into fancy tool holders for my "collection". My "scrub" plane will get the most use in prepping that stock. Your approach to the same job might be different.

    TW

    PS You guys should really be eating right and exercising a lot because you really want to come to my estate sale.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Bassett View Post
    I assume because most "Neander's" are really "hybrid woodworkers"
    I am very much a hybrid worker, but, especially when I have a board with something significant, a scrub plane can very quickly take care of big changes that are then nicely fixed on my power equipment. For example, I had a board where one section had a significant bump. Took less than a minute to remove with scrub plane and then things were much more even for the power machines to take over.

  13. #13
    While re-purposed metal planes can function as a scrub plane a wood stock scrub like the one from ECE is a different animal. Its form has developed over centuries for the one job it does and it does that job very well, I think easier than any metal body scrub. It is cheap < $100 USD and will last decades, just take a look at Tom's photo of his, mine is about the same age and looks about the same I just don't have any photos of it.

    BTW, I agree with Andrew, there are jobs for a scrub plane in any shop even one that is mostly power.

    ken

  14. #14
    Before I had a bandsaw with a capacity of 14 inches I bought a scrub plane. It was a sure thing. It work on any stock width with some effort. After the bandsaw, I dont use it that much. But if there is a need for another wider board it is the first thing I would rush too.

  15. #15
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    Some prefer wooden ones, some prefer the iron age.....which ever blows your skirt up, I guess. Then there is the half & half Trans. planes....

    One of the things about using a #5 for a scrub, instead of a #40.......the skinny #40 takes twice as much work as the #5 to scrub down a board....with the longer #5 getting things closer to flat a lot quicker. The #5 can then do the diagonals, whereas the #40 would rock too much.

    As for cheap....the one I am using cost me $6......after talking the seller down from $8. And, as long as I don't drop the #5..it will last a LONG time....it was old when I bought it....

    Maybe I could adapt a Stanley #35 as a scrub?

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