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View 1tacoshort's profile

How many #4 and #5 planes does one man need?

by 1tacoshort
posted 11-09-2018 01:58 AM


32 replies so far

View Johnny7's profile

Johnny7

468 posts in 1485 days


#1 posted 11-09-2018 02:01 AM

There probably is no good reason you shouldn’t simply keep one example of each.

Others will tell you to keep mulitple versions and set them up differently—most often, the advice given is to make one of the jacks into a scrub plane.

There is something to be said for having two smoothers tuned and sharpened, so that there is no interruption caused by stopping to sharpen, but the same thing can be accomplished with a second iron.

View KYtoolsmith's profile

KYtoolsmith

78 posts in 254 days


#2 posted 11-09-2018 02:34 AM

Funny you should ask… I actually have in my users/shop… Two 3s, five 4s, one 4 1/2, two 5 1/4s, three 5s, two 5 1/2… 6, two 7s, two 8s… To say nothing of the 39s, 40, 190, 192, 78, 62, 289, 45, 90, 92, 248, 112, 80, 81… And all get frequent use. The bench plane duplicates are each set differently…

Seems like hand planes are like rabbits, first you get two, and the next time you go to the shop there are twenty…

Keep em all, you’ll find it nice to not have to reset your only No 5 between roughing and finer work, or stopping to hone or change the iron on your only No 4.
Regards, the Kentucky Toolsmith!

-- "Good enough" is just another way of saying "it could be better"...

View ColonelTravis's profile

ColonelTravis

1976 posts in 2288 days


#3 posted 11-09-2018 04:19 AM

The reason I think multiples are a good idea is when you use very different types of wood. I use wood with normal grain and I use bizarro wood with bizarro grain. Repeatedly altering the bevel (even if it’s just the secondary bevel) on a single blade is dumb to me. Having multiple blades is better than one blade, but then I will need to alter the plane slightly. But having, say, two planes is simply the easiest option so you don’t have to fiddle with the setup. You see people with multiple power routers all the time, some people have two bandsaws, etc. There are valid reasons for having extras.

Turns out I use my 4 1/2 with a 55 degree frog on almost everything so I don’t go back to my normal 4 very much, but there are some things that I cannot smooth with my normal 4, which is what I owned first. I needed a second smoother. I have a LA Jack and a regular jack that do two different jobs.

I say keep everything for a while and see how you use it. If you never use it, you could sell it. Or, since it’s your dad’s stuff maybe you’d want to keep it, just because.

There is no wrong answer about what to do.

View 1tacoshort's profile

1tacoshort

40 posts in 1273 days


#4 posted 11-09-2018 05:47 AM

Thanks, everyone!

Edit: I’ll probably set the #4s up differently and get rid of the other duplicates (with a bunch of other stuff). I’ve got lots of stuff from Dad in my shop (I kept a rabbet plane and brace from Dad, kept a block plane from Grandpa, I even have a double dado plane that’s who-knows-how-old). I really appreciate the help!

-- Wade

View CaptainKlutz's profile (online now)

CaptainKlutz

1381 posts in 1888 days


#5 posted 11-09-2018 09:48 AM

+1 If you really are going to use hand planes, it helps to have a couple set up differently.
I have (3) #5’s: (1) 30 degree, (1) 50 degree via back bevel, and (1) radius iron/large mouth used for scrub work.

+1 Find that I work on large enough panels that I use my 4-1/2 and 5-1/2 more than regular width planes, especially for straight grain planing with 30-35 degree bevel; this reduces need for a couple of narrower versions.

One last comment:
You are not going to get rich selling a couple of common #4/5 planes. Might do ok, if they they are early type 1-5 from 1860-1880 in great shape? But used #4 & #5 hand planes from 1900’s sell really cheap. I can find neglected planes that need a tune up for less than $20 locally (garage sales for $5-10), and everyday users for less than $35.

Cheers.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View Smirak's profile

Smirak

98 posts in 913 days


#6 posted 11-09-2018 04:53 PM

I think handplanes, clamps and guns all follow the same formula of N+1 = number you need, where “N” is currently the number owned.

View JayT's profile

JayT

6211 posts in 2605 days


#7 posted 11-09-2018 05:27 PM

I’m with Smirak.

The correct answer whenever asked how many planes one needs is . . . “One more”

-- https://www.jtplaneworks.com - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

4463 posts in 4129 days


#8 posted 11-09-2018 05:55 PM

Great question, 1tacoshort!

Today’s Poopiekat answer is 512 planes. Ooops a Union 5-X just came in, so 513 is my answer.

Though I don’t presume to speak for everybody…

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View DBDesigns's profile

DBDesigns

220 posts in 392 days


#9 posted 11-09-2018 07:31 PM

Keep all of your planes and get more. “He who dies with the most tools wins.”
Plus they don’t make decent old tools anymore. If you look on EBAY you will see that common Stanleys don’t sell for very much so in the long run “its cheaper to keep her”.

-- I remember when Grateful wasn't Dead

View DBDesigns's profile

DBDesigns

220 posts in 392 days


#10 posted 11-09-2018 07:36 PM

BTW, looks like Poopiekat is winning! Clearly, he and KYToolsmith are American Heroes. My current count is about 75 planes and 90 chisels but I rehab them and resell them so lots of classic iron has passed through my shop. I am currently on an exhaustive search for a 5 1/4 c. Needle in a haystack!

-- I remember when Grateful wasn't Dead

View corelz125's profile

corelz125

725 posts in 1370 days


#11 posted 11-09-2018 09:53 PM

I have 8 number 8 sized planes and will get another if the price is right. So I agree with kytoolsmith can never have enough

View ColonelTravis's profile

ColonelTravis

1976 posts in 2288 days


#12 posted 11-09-2018 10:16 PM



I have 8 number 8 sized planes and will get another if the price is right. So I agree with kytoolsmith can never have enough

- corelz125

Funny. Where I live those are extremely hard to come by. I own the only one I’ve ever seen with my own eyes. Love mine, will never get rid of it. Good to know about those #8 fans out there.

View corelz125's profile

corelz125

725 posts in 1370 days


#13 posted 11-09-2018 10:32 PM

ColTravis we seem to be a small group that like the 8’s. I think most are scared of the size but i think there awesome.

View CaptainKlutz's profile (online now)

CaptainKlutz

1381 posts in 1888 days


#14 posted 11-10-2018 12:21 AM

+1 Per Smirik – one more would be OK ….......

+1 Poopiekat and KYToolsmith are American hand plane heroes
Paint me green with envy, or as Homer says:

.
@corelz135 – 8 number 8?
Whoa.

+1 I almost never find #8 in wild for sale.
Always in hands of collector or over priced antique store,
and never see one cheap enough to pick up as spare.

Love them, have two:
- type 16 #8 with grooved bottom I use for large panels.
- type 6a Bedrock 608 flat bottom I use for jointer work.
Only reason for 2nd boat anchor is I needed a 608 to finish my collection of Bedrock planes. :-)

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View KYtoolsmith's profile

KYtoolsmith

78 posts in 254 days


#15 posted 11-10-2018 12:35 AM

Oh…do non users count? guess I didn’t mention the planes I have in the house… Planes so old & in such good condition or so rare that I don’t dare use them. A full set of Stanley bench planes, 1 through 8, (including a 5 1/4C), scarce Stanley edge rebate and other specialty planes, and a full set of nineteen No. 4s as examples of the Stanley Plane type study.

Over the years I picked these up for comparison showing the changes from the original Stanley made Bailey design of 1867 to the last changes in 1967.

Is that enough planes?
Regards, the Kentucky Toolsmith!

-- "Good enough" is just another way of saying "it could be better"...

View corelz125's profile

corelz125

725 posts in 1370 days


#16 posted 11-10-2018 12:45 AM

Nice collection kytools. Do you have a complete 444? You should join some of us on Don W’s site timetestedtools.net. captklutz I only have a 608 round side been searching for a flat top for a reasonable price.

View KYtoolsmith's profile

KYtoolsmith

78 posts in 254 days


#17 posted 11-10-2018 01:42 AM

Thanks, Corlz… Nope, no dovetail plane. Still looking for some of the obscure or limited production planes. I’ll check your time tested tools site.
Regards, the Kentucky Toolsmith.

-- "Good enough" is just another way of saying "it could be better"...

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

2874 posts in 968 days


#18 posted 11-10-2018 07:02 AM


Repeatedly altering the bevel (even if it s just the secondary bevel) on a single blade is dumb to me. Having multiple blades is better than one blade, but then I will need to alter the plane slightly. But having, say, two planes is simply the easiest option so you don t have to fiddle with the setup.

- ColonelTravis

Totally agree with this as the speculative reason why he had all of those planes.

-- Think safe, be safe

View 1tacoshort's profile

1tacoshort

40 posts in 1273 days


#19 posted 11-11-2018 04:03 AM

I think the big take-away, here, for me is that I need to know more about setting up planes (so, where do I go to read discussions on plane setup?). In that light, I’d better keep all the planes I was thinking of selling.

Thanks for the enlightenment!

-- Wade

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

22994 posts in 3077 days


#20 posted 11-11-2018 05:32 AM

It is a very slippery slope….

When the plane til gets too full…

That a few others go and hang out, under the bench….and a few other spots.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View olegrump's profile

olegrump

97 posts in 617 days


#21 posted 11-11-2018 06:23 PM

“NEED…..???” A. I agree with the above answer that you “need’ whatever you have plus another one. And B. Good grief, those planes belonged to your FATHER. For that reason alone, they should a place in the shop. I have tools that belonged to both grandfathers and my father. They all see use in the shop and will never leave. (Except my great-great Uncle’s wooden trying plane which is well over a century old) If nothing else, hold on to them until you kids are old enough to appreciate Grandpa’s planes. Even if they don’t use them they are mementos of your father.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19212 posts in 2962 days


#22 posted 11-12-2018 12:17 PM

I agree with the N+1. Slight camber, no camber, little more camber, lots of camber, testing a back bevel, more of a back bevel, etc, etc.

And maybe a couple that do not work to well but just look cool.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View DBDesigns's profile

DBDesigns

220 posts in 392 days


#23 posted 11-12-2018 04:03 PM

KYToolsmith,
I have had a 5 1/4c on my wishlist for years for no other reason than “I want one”. So yeah I’m pretty jealous.
I too have just about a full set of Stanleys. I’m a big fan. I’m missing a #2, #1, and the box plane #57. I’ve been rehabbing old tools for years. I started as soon as I learned how to sharpen properly.
I got a mint condition #55 in a wooden box for free with a swap for some carpentry work and a sweetheart #45 a little later. I still haven’t found a good use for either milling planes that I can’t do easier with my routers or shaper.
One of my favorites is a #113 which is really cool for cutting convex and concave surfaces. If the power goes out, I can still do a lot of work in my shop by candle light.

Still nothing cuts better or straighter than my #8c on the edge of a plank before glue up.

-- I remember when Grateful wasn't Dead

View diverlloyd's profile

diverlloyd

3511 posts in 2251 days


#24 posted 11-12-2018 04:15 PM

My 8c looks nice but it needs a blade. I cracked the old one, it was a sad day.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

2241 posts in 3032 days


#25 posted 11-12-2018 10:07 PM



BTW, looks like Poopiekat is winning! Clearly, he and KYToolsmith are American Heroes.
- DBDesigns

I think Poopliekat is a Canadian hero, but I may be wrong.

View corelz125's profile

corelz125

725 posts in 1370 days


#26 posted 11-12-2018 10:14 PM

Diverlloyd how did you crack the blade?

View KYtoolsmith's profile

KYtoolsmith

78 posts in 254 days


#27 posted 11-13-2018 02:08 AM

DBD, Planes are where you find them… Often just by chance.

Regards, the Kentucky Toolsmith!!!

-- "Good enough" is just another way of saying "it could be better"...

View diverlloyd's profile

diverlloyd

3511 posts in 2251 days


#28 posted 11-13-2018 03:22 AM

Corelz I finished rehabbing the whole plane and went to flatten the back of the blade. But it had about 1/32” bend in the center of the blade. So I laid it on the bench and gave it a small hit with a raw hide hammer. Fixed most of it and decided that it needed another small hit. The second popped the blade in two right down the section with the bend. I could just weld it back but all I have at the house is a mig machine. I would prefer tig weld it back with a crown ah20 electrode so it will still be sharpenable after a heat treat. I have a old wood body plane blade that is the right width but would need to be flattened to the same thickness across the blade. I would like to keep it as original as possible.

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

4463 posts in 4129 days


#29 posted 11-13-2018 02:46 PM

You have a sharp eye there, Ocelot!!
Part of my collection was started in New England when 4’s and 5’s were about $7 each all day long. The last 300 or so were carefully collected and curated here in Canada, many of them British or European from Ebay and other sources. It is no longer possible to ship vintage Stanleys into Canada due to the rosewood issue.

BTW, looks like Poopiekat is winning! Clearly, he and KYToolsmith are American Heroes.
- DBDesigns

I think Poopliekat is a Canadian hero, but I may be wrong.

- Ocelot


-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View corelz125's profile

corelz125

725 posts in 1370 days


#30 posted 11-13-2018 03:44 PM

That one last hit sometimes seems to be the killer. I need an iron for an 8 myself. Thats one bad thing about the #8s the parts are harder to come by than the smaller planes. Yeah thats a tough place to repair an iron

View m30am's profile

m30am

9 posts in 634 days


#31 posted 11-17-2018 12:56 PM

Agree with olegrump, key words here are ‘they’re were your fathers’... your a lucky man! I have one left from my Dad and its my most cherished..an old #3 unmarked Sears model. It actually started me off into this amazing world of hand planes. One of your kids or grandkids will appreciate it, somewhere along the way…

-- Angus- 'live the life you imagined'

View DBDesigns's profile

DBDesigns

220 posts in 392 days


#32 posted 11-19-2018 04:36 PM

Ocelot and Poopiekat,
My mistake on the geography although technically Canoodians are still Americans. There are just a lot colder than we are here in the southern US.

-- I remember when Grateful wasn't Dead

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