Reply by groland

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Posted on Getting into Hand Planes/ Which size/ Lie Nielsen?

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221 posts in 3892 days

#1 posted 11-07-2018 03:45 AM

I have bought used hand planes and new ones. Both routes can work. Here are some thoughts.

One problem with buying used is that no matter what, it is almost impossible to ascertain the condition of the blade from the photos sellers show. The flat back of the blade is almost never shown in photos, and even if it is, you cannot determine if it is flat as it should be, pitted or bowed until you try to sharpen it. Then you may be in for hours of blade shaping to get it into good working condition. One can get a fine blade from Hock, but by the time you buy the plane and a new blade, you have spent nearly as much as a Lie Nielsen plane would cost.

I am a close follower of the work of Englishman David Charlesworth. He recommends a No. 5 or 5 1/2 for beginners. I have a LN No.5, and I can do all I need to with it. I almost never use smaller planes. My second pick would be the 60 1/2 block plane for end grain work.

Buying LN used can work out well.

I know a lot of people get on quite well with the No. 62 low-angle Jack you mentioned. It’s a great plane.

One other thing about LN planes is that most of them have thick well-formed blades that can be used perfectly, after a bit of fine honing, out of the box.

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