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I am curious what needs to be done to setup a new Veritas Bench Plane?

I've been seriously contemplating purchasing a Veritas #5 1/4 bench plane. I feel perhaps this would be a great all around plane to start with for smoothing and prep work. (Please correct me if I am wrong on this). I do own a couple hand planes already. I bought three for $40 at a garage sale. A green Craftsman block plane which works great after much work to restore it, a Stanley Defiance Smoothing plane which I haven't tried restoring yet and another Stanley smoothing plane which I can't seem to adjust correctly for the life of me. I am not sure the model of it. Anyhow I haven't given up on hand planes and thinking of buying a new one to hone my skills.
 

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On a newer one it's usually just polishing the back of the iron, cambering or relieving the edges of the iron and honing.

I don't think I'd suggest a 5-1/4. I'd go with a regular 5 setup with a little camber to where it can rough but be dialed back a hair to do some smoothing as well.

I don't think the defiance line is thought of highly.

As far as the Stanley smoother, I hope it's not a blue one. I relieve the edges and put a hair of camber on my smoothers.

Take pics of the planes and show us what you have.
 

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What's meant by AND prep work? That's two different planes typically.

A #5 1/4 would be ok for prep, but as Fridge said, you may be better off with a #5.

However some do like the 5 1/4 for something more like a scrub.
 

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Most any Stanley Bailey pattern plane, properly tuned, can do the "and prep work". I own a lot of planes, none are 5-1/4, and not on any list. One could be set up for scrub work, but it would be a $5-$10 one, not a Veritas. I use a cheap SB4 for occasional scrub type work, and a #5 for jack work, a #7 for jointing and large panel flattening. I prefer a 4-1/2 for smoothing, but a 4 works also. All of these are refurbished. For smoothing, the standard 45° bevel down bench plane, including LN and Veritas versions, work up to a point. They start to tear out with reversing, figured grain. It depends on the wood type and grain structure. That's when a high cutting angle is needed, whether a higher frog angle, low angle smoother with high bevel, high angle woodie, scraping plane, cabinet scraper, or card scraper is needed.

I'd recommend reserving premium $'s for premium brands for a high angle smoother. My personal pick is a Veritas 4-1/2 Custom plane with a 55° frog. Including a 40° frog makes it an end grain/shooting board plane.

As for your original question - set up of a new Veritas hand plane - not a lot needs to be done. Clean it with mineral sprits to remove RP, use your favorite RP on all cast surfaces (I use Alox), wax all moving surfaces and the sole (I don't use oil on planes, just collects dust) Check the back of the blade for flatness, polish the last ~1/4" of the back, sharpen the blade however you do it, and go to work. My personal prep is more involved, but isn't "needed". The sole edged get rounded and sliding components get larger, smoother break edges and the sliding edges get 600 grit sandpaper passed over them, and everything gets waxed. Just helps everything move that much smoother.
 

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Hello spitfire, I would encourage you to go after the older quality planes, Stanley/Bailey. The planes you scored at that garage sale are bad examples of a good plane, they were made for the weekend carpenter who knew no better. Look for a Stanley 3, 4 and 5, then go on to getting the 7 and maybe an 8. You'll see a tremendous amount of difference once you have these planes set up right. There are numerous you tube series on taking care of the hand planes. Have fun, make some dust.
 

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You could just buy a new Veritas plane, either bevel up type or bevel down. No tune up required, other than honing the plane iron, if that's even necessary. I'd get a 4 or a 5, but probably the 4. I have a bevel up 4 and it gets a pretty good bit of work, and the iron holds a good edge. That'll get you working quickly, and without the hassle of tuning up an old and probably lower quality plane.

Of course, some folks would rather tune up an old plane than buy a new one, and I've done that too. If that's your objective, find a decent quality plane. Flatten the sole, throw away the old plane iron and get a new iron of modern steel.

Or, you can get lucky and buy a used plane from a guy that has good planes. I bought a Record #5 from a buddy, and it was not cheap, but I took it home and found that it had a new Hock blade and was perfectly tuned. It was fantastic and cut the prettiest shavings you ever saw. I quit griping about the price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I guess I need to consider what I'll be using a Handplane for the most. When I think of it I'll be using them to remove machining marks. As many of you have suggested a no.4 seems to be the best match.

Ya I guess my garage sale wasn't such a steal but I did get a good block plane at least.

This the leads to a whole new series of questions. The options seem a bit overwhelming. There's a no.4, no.4-1/2, low angle option, a bevel up option.
 

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$40 for the 3 planes may not have been a steal, but it's still a decent deal. A defiance is not a bad plane. I don't care for the lateral adjuster, but that'sa cosmetic thing.

I'd suggest a plain old tuned up Vintage to start with. There is lots and lots of them, lots and lots of information about them, and if you buy a good one (not necessarily new or expensive) but good, you'll probably keep it for the rest of your life.
 

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I guess I need to consider what I ll be using a Handplane for the most. When I think of it I ll be using them to remove machining marks. As many of you have suggested a no.4 seems to be the best match.

This the leads to a whole new series of questions. The options seem a bit overwhelming. There s a no.4, no.4-1/2, low angle option, a bevel up option.

- Spitfire1
Removing machining marks pretty much puts you in the smoother category - 4 or 4-1/2. You can never go wrong with a 4, it can be used for a lot of stuff - see Paul Sellers. A #80 cabinet scraper can do a lot with figured grain, and can be the fallback when a Bailey plane just can't keep from tearing out. A lot depends on you - do you like to refurb planes, or spend $? Personally, I just can't bring myself to spend $ on premium planes that aren't that much better than a refurb Bailey - and they don't need thicker blades or chipbreakers if tuned and sharpened properly. Yes, the adjustments on the high $ planes are tighter etc., but the result on the wood isn't much different.

Low angle and bevel up smoothing planes are the same thing. I have a Veritas, and yes, it's about as good as it gets for a smoother. The Custom planes weren't available when I bought it. I have a Mujingfang woodie from Japan Woodworker with a 2" 63° HSS blade for about $80 total that does wonderful work, but I had to learn how to tune it, adjust it, and sharpen the HSS to get a razor edge. Here's my take on getting started with hand planes. I think it's better to take it a bit slow and easy, especially from a $ standpoint and learn. But, if a person has the $ to burn, jump right in.
 

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Sounds like a 4 or 4-1/2 to me. I'd suggest a 4 to start.

Camber is just a founding of the iron. Whether it be almost imperceptible or very noticeable like a scrub.

Easing the edges. My irons all have it. I'll take a pic in a little while.
 

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I found this hand-drawn instruction manual from Stanley. Looks to be from the 20's or 30's. Explains Bed Rock & Bailey planes, plane iron grinding and whetting and assembly. Here's the link to the copy on my Google Drive.

Stanley Plan Manual

Here's one I'm working on now…
Hand tool Plane Smoothing plane Tool Rebate plane
 

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On the Defiance Stanley (1961era) you can crimp that "whale tail" adjuster closed, and straighten the lever a bit

The Blue Stanley is a Handyman 1204 with the wrong lever cap. Mark an arc on the back side of the cutter at an 8" radius, grind to the line to make a cambered edge. You can then use the Blue as a scrub plane.

The Craftsman block is missing a part. These used an eccentric lever. A pin hold the eccentric to the plane in that small hole behind the knob. You loosened the knob a bit, swung the lever left or right, to change how open or closed the mouth opening is. (nhplaneparts.com on Ebay sells the levers) Change the green to black, and it is a Sargent Co. made plane.
 

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That era of Defiance can usually be tuned up into a pretty good user, I've done several of them. The castings are decent quality and as long as the body and frog mate up well, it can give you every bit as good of results as a Bailey or similar.

The Handyman, on the other hand . . . . Let's just say there's a reason that you've never been able to get it tuned properly and it has nothing to do with you. Those planes are glorified paper weights, IMHO.
 

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I'm going to disagree with Bandit. The blue Stanley is a blue Stanley, not a handyman. If you search "Blue Stanley" you'll see a bunch, but the quality can be just as bad as a Handyman IMHO.

And the block plane is a Stanley made, not a Sargent made, if it matters. Its still a good user.

I think I posted this once already, but I agree with the defiance being a decent user as well after tune up.

I do agree with bandit about turning it into a scrub. It'll work just fine for that.
 
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