Reply by Derek Cohen

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Posted on Smoothing Plane options

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Derek Cohen

477 posts in 4572 days

#1 posted 07-03-2019 04:43 PM

GB, you have three choices when it comes to smoothers:

1. Bailey style bevel down, common angle (45 degrees): forget the high angle frogs. They will feel like a dog in this type of plane. If you like the LN, then get only the common angle frog … and learn to use the chipbreaker to control tear out. If you do not know about this, do a little research. A Stanley #3 or #4 can perform just as well with a closed chipbreaker. And this format will totally outperform a LN with a high angle frog.

Incidentally, I prefer the Veritas Custom #4, which I use with a 42 degree frog and closed chipbreaker. The low cutting angle leaves a cleaner surface.

2. High Angle on a BD woodie, such as the HNT Gordon smoother (the one without the adjuster). The high angle Mujingfang also has a 60 degree bed. These are superb planes. (I am speaking from experience here – I have all these planes and have used them for a very long time). The only downside of the Gordon is that you need to learn to set the blade with a hammer. That should take … oh … 60 seconds.

3. High cutting angle on a bevel up plane. The absolute best BU smoother – and an absolute bargain – is the Veritas BU Smoother. Use with a 50 degree blade (no, not the one sold by Veritas with 50 degrees, but a 25 degree primary bevel with a 50 degree secondary. Ask me why if you want to go down this path). The advantage of this plane is that it will plane everything you throw at it. And it is so simple to set up. Highly reliable.

Get Veritas PM-V11 steel where you can. It is worth it. I also use it in a LN #3.

Regards from Perth


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