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Ok here's an idea that's a bit out there. I'd like to get a scrub plane because I'm planning on building a new workbench this spring and using old barn 6×6 timbers as a starting point for the top. So I'm thinking having a scrub plane to start flattening the top would be handy. Now I could go find an old one on ebay, since I haven't seen one on craigslist within 300 miles after a couple months of looking. Since I'm cheap and don't want to drop $80-$120 on one it got me thinking. Could you take a cheap crappy home cheapo buck bros No 4 clone and grind a radius on the iron and call it a day? I've got one from back when I wouldn't know a good plane from a ham sandwich and it's a paper weight right now. So I'm wondering if I could convert it. Am I crazy or am I on to something?
 

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There's been a few people that did that with the cheapo Harbor Freight one. I think you mean to grind a radius onto the blade rather than a bevel. You would probably want to file the mouth wider as well.
 

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Been done many times with vintage #3, 4 & 5 planes that cost even less than a crappy new Buck Bros. Since you've got got the BB already, no reason not to convert it to sometthing it may be able to actually do well. For rough work like a scrub/jack/fore plane you don't need near the precision.

Have you seen this video by Shannon Rogers from a couple years ago? He uses a #5, but IIRC also talks about doing the same with a #4 in the video. He also shows the best method for grinding a camber without burning the steel.

Edit: The first thing I would do the BB is either replace or reshape that god-awful tote into something that might be comfortable to use.
 

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Absolutely! Don't forget that you can order an iron for Stanley, or LN or LV&V planes too, and put a radius on that spare one too. Then it's a matter of swapping iron when you want to scrub. I know you might want to have two planes around so you don't have to move the frog when you switch tasks, but it is an option if you want to get the most out of a single plane. This would give you a quality scrub plane at a fraction of the cost.
 
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