Reply by OSU55

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Posted on To Jack or to Smooth, that is the question

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2380 posts in 2438 days

#1 posted 08-29-2016 09:52 PM

It’s always interesting the different opinions that come out with these questions. I have both BU and BD planes, and I work a lot of difficult figured oak which loves to tear out. The typical 45° BD plane can only do so much, even the premium brands. That’s where a BU with a steep bevel, or a BD with a steep angle, or a scraper plane, or a card scraper (uneven surfaces) is a must have if you desire tear out free surfaces. While harder to push, it’s the only choice. The shavings are thin and the effort isn’t herculean. I use the Veritas BU smoother or Veritas scraper plane, or a Mujingfang rosewood smoother with a 63° bed for those times. Otherwise, I use a 4-1/2 Stanley Bailey.

I also have a Veritas BU LAJ that is used on s shooting board, for panel end grain, shorter jointing work, and flattening panel glue ups when my #7 creates tear out when flattening those panels. I have a set of irons with different bevel angles for the BU planes. It’s really about matching the tool to the job, which is why there are many choices when it comes to hand planes.

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