Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 43

Thread: Do I need a shoulder plane?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Vancouver Canada
    Posts
    506

    Do I need a shoulder plane?

    Because I have a particular project on the go, the use of a skew rabbit plane was the unit of choice for part of the joinery.
    Today I got one, a right handed one and Iíll be setting it up on Sunday.
    I have, however, both a medium and large shoulder plane, and a large jointer plane.
    Every time I use the shoulder plane on tenons, I regret it and need to fix the tenon wasting a lot of time.
    As I looked at the skew plane, I started wondering if, in fact, I needed the shoulder planes.
    Iíd enjoy hearing more learnedly opinions.
    Young enough to remember doing it;
    Old enough to wish I could do it again.

  2. #2
    Aaron,

    Short answer, Nope. Longer it can be handy but so can a rabbit plane or a chisel or a Stanley 10 1/2 or a 140 block as well as a router plane and the list goes on.

    Do I use my shoulder plane? Sometimes but not often, in other words there are a lots of ways to do the same job.

    ken

  3. #3
    I've gone 30 years without one and don't think I have suffered any hardship. I have a Millers Falls skew rabbet that I use very occasionally, although when I use it, I do appreciate it. Not on tenons though. If I need to adjust a tenon, I invariably use a chisel.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    8,072
    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Rosenthal View Post
    Because I have a particular project on the go, the use of a skew rabbit plane was the unit of choice for part of the joinery.
    Today I got one, a right handed one and I’ll be setting it up on Sunday.
    I have, however, both a medium and large shoulder plane, and a large jointer plane.
    Every time I use the shoulder plane on tenons, I regret it and need to fix the tenon wasting a lot of time.
    As I looked at the skew plane, I started wondering if, in fact, I needed the shoulder planes.
    I’d enjoy hearing more learnedly opinions.
    Hi Aaron

    This came up in a very recent thread. Look for it.

    In short, I use a shoulder plane 90% of the time on rebates and 10% on tuning shoulders - they need to have very minor issues for this. Otherwise I use a chisel to level/square shoulders, and a rasp/router plane on tenon cheeks.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Morocco IN
    Posts
    1,337
    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Rosenthal View Post
    .............
    As I looked at the skew plane, I started wondering if, in fact, I needed the shoulder planes.
    I’d enjoy hearing more learnedly opinions.
    More learnedly - not so sure, but here's my 2 cents. When I'm doing a project with a lot of m&t, I use a tenon jig and can dial it in so that the tenons fit off the saw 90% of the time. On smaller projects I'll use my new Ron Bontz tenon saw - a thing of beauty to look at and to use - and I'll cut to the line. If the tenon needs to be shaped because my cut was off, then a chisel is the choice. But if the tenon just needs a skosh taken off so that it can be press fit rather driven in with a BFH, then my choice is the left hand skew block plane. The sole registers nicely on the tenon and the knicker keeps the corner of the shoulder and tenon clean. This is much easier for me than a rasp or a chisel. Or both. And, for me, it's more fun.

    20200822_083239.jpg
    Stand for something, or you'll fall for anything.

  6. #6
    Only you can decide what works for you. I have a large shoulder plane that is the right tool in my hands for some jobs. It has more mass than my chisels or router plane. I like it for hogging out waste inside a dado or even on tenon work.

    Now, itíd be bad if a shoulder or even router plane prevents you from developing saw and chisel skills (in that order). But even as I am getting better at these, I still find those planes valuable.

    My strategy on tool relinquishing is to sell it if I donít touch it for 2 years. I take the advice of others on acquisition, but selling is personal because by then I know more than they about how good my marriage is.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post
    Only you can decide what works for you. I have a large shoulder plane that is the right tool in my hands for some jobs. It has more mass than my chisels or router plane. I like it for hogging out waste inside a dado or even on tenon work.

    Now, it’d be bad if a shoulder or even router plane prevents you from developing saw and chisel skills (in that order). But even as I am getting better at these, I still find those planes valuable.

    My strategy on tool relinquishing is to sell it if I don’t touch it for 2 years. I take the advice of others on acquisition, but selling is personal because by then I know more than they about how good my marriage is.
    Prashun,

    I'd have a lot fewer tools if I stuck to that strategy , and even better I wouldn't waste all that time looking for the tool I know is hidden somewhere before re-buying it.

    BTW, we are talking about moving. If we do there will be one big moving sale of tools that haven't been touched in two years (maybe).

    Good on you,

    ken

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    23,690
    Blog Entries
    1
    My shoulder plane gets used more for tuning rabbets and molding than on tenons.

    For tenon tuning on shoulders and cheeks a chisel works better for me.

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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    21,408
    Blog Entries
    1
    I am curious how the shoulder plane is fouling your tenons. Are you using it for the shoulders or the cheeks? I use one on both but it is generally the 1-1/4" wide one if it wanders to cheek tuning. Depending on the size of the tenon a broad chisel can work better for cheeks.
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Austin Texas
    Posts
    1,959
    I think that a shoulder plane is not nearly used as much as new hand tool woodworkers envision the tool being used. I wonder if shoulder planes were originally used for larger (architect, building?) than typical furniture sized work. IMO, there are better tools available to trim fat tenon cheeks and a rebate plane works better for rebates than a shoulder plane does. My medium sized shoulder plane sits for long periods of time unused.
    David

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Lubbock, Tx
    Posts
    1,074
    Quote Originally Posted by David Eisenhauer View Post
    I think that a shoulder plane is not nearly used as much as new hand tool woodworkers envision the tool being used. I wonder if shoulder planes were originally used for larger (architect, building?) than typical furniture sized work. IMO, there are better tools available to trim fat tenon cheeks and a rebate plane works better for rebates than a shoulder plane does. My medium sized shoulder plane sits for long periods of time unused.
    The only reason I got one was it was on the list in The Anarchistís tool chest when I got started. Iíve never used it. I think new woodworkers, at least some, think of it as a modern rabbet plane.

    Am I thinking correctly that itís designed for/original intention was to straightedges and tune the shoulders of tenons? If so, it was never really designed for cheeks and the other purposes that it gets pressed into.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    SE Mass.
    Posts
    190
    I have all three widths and use them all the time. I would guess their use increases as one ramps up the accuracy of their work.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
    Posts
    9,914
    Actually quicker and has more control to just use the chisel...too much set-up, and fiddling around to get out the plane, set things up to make a couple swipes....chisel is laying right there, easy to grab and use...Usually helps the accuracy of the work IF you can saw a bit better in the first place....less trimming and fitting that way.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    23,690
    Blog Entries
    1
    a rebate plane works better for rebates than a shoulder plane does.
    Yes, after a rebate plane does its part a shoulder plane works well for a light cut to smooth the shoulder of a rebate.

    It also works well to help fit lipped molding on a cabinet.

    They can be useful though they are not an absolute necessity.

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

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    DuBois, PA
    Posts
    1,868
    I have four, though two are Preston collectors ("Founder's grade"????). The other two are a large LN and a medium LV and both are used equally. They are not a necessity, but I would miss my two users if they would disappear!
    If the thunder don't get you, the lightning will.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •