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Thread: Heavy vs Light planes

  1. #31
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    Interesting read, I must say.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Luter View Post
    I like a stout plane too. My LN #4 (bronze) and #4 1/2 (iron) are favorites for smoothing. My LN 62 (iron) weighs the same as my bronze #4. That said, it feels lighter because of the increased footprint. I honed a steeper angle (35*) on a spare iron and it makes for an agile, easy to push smoother at an included cutting angle of 47*. I'll be honing to 40* next so I can use it on tougher grain.
    I also use a LN #4 for smoothing, love it to the point I ahve gotten rid of some other planes.

  3. #33
    Another deciding factor for me is dealing with tendinitis and general back / arm and joints fatigue, which I am very cautious to prevent. RSI, asymmetrical posture, shocks...
    Even with the best personal fitness, blade sharpness and proper technique, woodworking takes more than it brings to the body. Not unlike many sports and crafts though.

    I find heavy planes to help with fatigue. Their intrinsic stability and inertia allow for looser grip and absorb shocks noticeably.

    For rough stock removal, I usually go with a light wooden scrub, with a loose grip and light pressure short passes, then follow with heavier jack or fore plane.

    As a side note, pulling the plane or alternating the pushing hand feels like a good practice.

  4. #34
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    Modern heavy planes. Good for taking a few fine shavings when the bulk of work is done by machines or lighter planes. They also provide a muse for those wanting to create planes that are faberge eggs, perfection to be admired but don't make the surface of the wood any better.

    Stanley planes and their ilk are a good all rounder.

    Wooden planes are perfect when you want to work rough timber by hand or do a lot of hand work. There seems to be something for everyone! Steve, one day I'll buy a smoother, one day. Yours would perhaps be useful faberge eggs.

  5. #35

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome Andrieux View Post
    Another deciding factor for me is dealing with tendinitis and general back / arm and joints fatigue, which I am very cautious to prevent. RSI, asymmetrical posture, shocks...
    Even with the best personal fitness, blade sharpness and proper technique, woodworking takes more than it brings to the body. Not unlike many sports and crafts though.

    I find heavy planes to help with fatigue. Their intrinsic stability and inertia allow for looser grip and absorb shocks noticeably.

    For rough stock removal, I usually go with a light wooden scrub, with a loose grip and light pressure short passes, then follow with heavier jack or fore plane.

    As a side note, pulling the plane or alternating the pushing hand feels like a good practice.
    I am in the same boat in regards to being careful of me bones and ligaments.
    I've never really used a woodie but have an old one that I may make again one day.

    I would have made a few woodies if I felt the need for one, as the woodies seem unquestionably more practical from what the pro's state.
    I just don't like that extra height of the plane, it puts pressure on the wrist on my bench,
    It feels heavier to my wrist lifting it single handed, like the tote is too far back.

    I've never tried one on a shorter bench though, as then me back/neck would play up doing other things.

    It seems to me having your hand behind the iron gives more ergonomics.
    Strange that there is not more transitional planes on the go, as there are a heckuva lot of folks who have to be careful of that jazz.

    I've made a comment that the no.5 1/2 was the bees knees, when Warren stuck a piccy of a skewed wooden jack and said it were better.

    It would be interesting to read some comments regarding a heavier or lighter skew whilst were at it.

    To cut to the chase, I'm questioning why there are not more examples of transitional skewed planes

    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Trees; 07-04-2020 at 9:37 AM.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Trees View Post
    cut to the chase, I'm questioning why there are not more examples of transitional skewed planes

    Tom
    I have virtually zero experience in this heavy vs light planes as I only own old Stanley's or Woodies.

    My personal preference is for wood on wood contact, it just glides to nice. I also actually prefer the way you have to grip wood planes as well, I feel like I get more even pressure.

    I have a transitional that I picked up for next to nothing. I really like the idea behind it, and maybe it's just the one I have, but it seems like they made the handles for midgets.... I am a 100% average build for North American male, 5'10", etc. I can barely and I mean barely get 3 fingers on the tote, when I try to use it I generally just grip it with the bottom two fingers.

  7. #37
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    Hmmm...Sargent No. 3416....
    Sargent 3416, with the grain.JPG

  8. #38
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    To cut to the chase, I'm questioning why there are not more examples of transitional skewed planes
    More examples? Are there examples of transitional planes with skewed blades?

    I am a 100% average build for North American male, 5'10", etc. I can barely and I mean barely get 3 fingers on the tote…
    When one considers the design for many of these planes has not changed since their inception, it might make some sense. During the 1860s when the Bailey design appeared the average North American male was about 3" shorter than today's average North American male. How much of the handle sizing for Bailey's planes was borrowed from earlier planes used by shorter workers?

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

  9. #39
    Apologies for that red herring folks
    Had a good look around google to find something of the sorts, but can find nothing in regards to a skew with a low profile tote.
    The closest to what I can find being a badger plane, but that aint no panel plane.

    Do all you folks who use woodies reckon the tote on top of the plane improves performance compared to the transitional style?
    From my fruitless quick search for a transitional skew, it seems so.

    I wouldn't have thought hand size would have changed so much since the 1860's or whenever they were at their most popular...
    It's not obvious to me that this would be the reason for the demise of this style plane.
    I can only guess if you can raise the bench another inch with a Bailey pattern then why not.

    I'm still left wondering why skews in general aren't favoured more?
    Maybe I'll stumble across one someday and see why for myself.
    Until then, on my bench and happy out with me Bailey's, hell might just have to freeze over to try anything else.

    Thanks
    Tom

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Trees View Post
    I'm still left wondering why skews in general aren't favoured more?
    I think it's just that with bench planes you can skew the whole plane, so there's no need to complicate construction and sharpening. This is in contrast to molding planes that must be used straight on. Skewed molding planes are relatively common.

  11. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael J Evans View Post
    I also actually prefer the way you have to grip wood planes as well, I feel like I get more even pressure.
    For long wooden planes, the European and British style is quite different in shape and handling.

    A classic French jointer (varlope) would be 70cm long, with the blade protruding close to the center, at around 35cm, with the tote close to the tail of the plane, far from the blade. I find them better for heavy work on faces of boards and beams.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...opes_rabot.jpg


    A british plane would be close in length and weight, but the blade would be located further ahead, around 1/3 or 2/5, with the tote right behind the blade. I prefer this design for finer work and edge jointing.

    http://www.planemaker.com/images/planes/jointer.jpg

  12. #42
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    I'm still left wondering why skews in general aren't favoured more?
    Maybe I'll stumble across one someday and see why for myself.
    Skewed blades are common in wooden rabbet planes and some molding planes.

    This is just my opinion on why skew bladed planes are not as common.

    Almost every skew bladed plane that has come to my way has had the blade's skew bevel off angle from improper sharpening. This makes the plane a pain to use. Were there sharpening holders a century ago to help people hone their blades?

    Second might be the makers of planes had to use a larger iron to be skewed. The planes might also take a little extra work to make. Both of these would likely increase the cost. We all know what increased costs can do to sales.

    If the buyer didn't see a skewed blade as a clear advantage, they would likely be reluctant to pay more.

    The market is the maker. Look at the variety of multi-planes. Big ones and little ones from many different makers. The Stanley #46 is pretty much alone in the world of skew bladed multiple bladed planes. If it was flying off the shelf during its day there would have likely been more planes with similarly skewed blades.

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

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    Skewed blades are common in wooden rabbet planes and some molding planes.

    This is just my opinion on why skew bladed planes are not as common.

    Almost every skew bladed plane that has come to my way has had the blade's skew bevel off angle from improper sharpening. This makes the plane a pain to use. Were there sharpening holders a century ago to help people hone their blades?

    Second might be the makers of planes had to use a larger iron to be skewed. The planes might also take a little extra work to make. Both of these would likely increase the cost. We all know what increased costs can do to sales.

    If the buyer didn't see a skewed blade as a clear advantage, they would likely be reluctant to pay more.

    The market is the maker. Look at the variety of multi-planes. Big ones and little ones from many different makers. The Stanley #46 is pretty much alone in the world of skew bladed multiple bladed planes. If it was flying off the shelf during its day there would have likely been more planes with similarly skewed blades.

    jtk
    I have a 1-1/2" wide skewed rabbet plane, and the irin was way off, taking much work to get it working correctly. I also have a Stanley #46, and it never grabbed me the way I hoped it would.

    I see no clear advantage for either plane. I do have a LN 140 clone that has a major advantage: that being the ability to have you plane and stain your wood (red) at the same time!
    If the thunder don't get you, the lightning will.

  14. #44
    I'm not a spring chicken but I'm also not an old fart. In my mid fifties at 6'1" and 175 lbs I wouldn't give a moments thought to whether a plane was too heavy to use all day and on many projects I did just that. Blisters got me before physical fatigue every time. And yes I do go to the gym. I have made quite a few woodies for my own reasons an I enjoy them but when the shavings must fly I reach for the iron every time. Nothing outrageous, just standard LNs in cast iron. I've joked for years that woodworking equipment should be bought by the pound, I think that the truth is in that little laugh somewhere. All this being said - SHARP!

  15. #45
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    I can believe that Craftsman of old wanted light easy to use wood planes. Humans just like nature generally want the path of least resistance... At my work we see it all the time. Bosses want the heaviest duty longest lasting items (they don't use them). Whereas the actual users want products that are lighter and make their lives easier. So while I have no pony in this fight, yes I believe that if a person was using a plane all day everyday, then yes I believe they would've favored a lighter plane.

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