Plain advice on Planes

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Forum topic by toolingfooling posted 04-30-2018 05:57 PM 512 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 631 days

04-30-2018 05:57 PM

Hello all, I’ve restored mainly axes, eggbeater style drills, braces and a few other odds and ins. I’ve never been bit by the handplane bug, but really want to cut down on sanding and want a quieter shop. My dilemma? I’m building my shop (24×30 stick built with a loft apartment), so my funds are low. I am seriously thinking about holding off for Lee Valley Veritas planes, but part of me want to tackle a project and rehab a few. Can you give me advice as to where I can find a lower budget alternative? I mainly build tables, coffee tables, chairs, trunks, and smaller boxes. My source for old tools (a local antique shop) burned up last year, so I’m at a loss as to where to look? I’m not up on model numbers of hand planes that are antiques. Any suggestions? Advice is greatly appreciated.

9 replies so far

View madts's profile


1921 posts in 2942 days

#1 posted 04-30-2018 06:02 PM

EBay comes to mind. Or make your own.


-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View JADobson's profile


1448 posts in 2714 days

#2 posted 04-30-2018 06:07 PM

Patrick Leach’s Old Tool Lists might be a good place to start: He’ll email you a list of available tools every month. I’ve never bought anything (Canadian dollar is too low to make it worth it right now) but everything I’ve heard about him has been good.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2598 days

#3 posted 04-30-2018 06:07 PM sells planes. Some restored,some not. It also has a bunch of links to info on model numbers and what not.

Ebay can be ok if you know what you are looking for.

Also you could post a want to buy thread here. Some folks have some.they will sell from time to time.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View LittleShaver's profile


608 posts in 1222 days

#4 posted 04-30-2018 06:07 PM

Garage, estate, or tag sales, auctions. Any place they sell old stuff. Flea Markets are hit and miss. Look under the tables for boxes of old rusty stuff.
While there are some really great old planes if you are willing to look and study, I’m of the opinion that just about any old plane that has all its parts can be made into a user with enough work. Some will end up working better than others. My favorite is a 5C that I picked up for $3 at a yard sale about 30 years ago. Rusty as heck, dull, broken tote. Cleaned it up, sharpened the blade, made a new tote. Few projects make it out of my shop without being touched by it at some point.
Of the 30-40 planes I have, only 3 were bought new and they were gifts from my daughter.

-- Sawdust Maker

View toolingfooling's profile


5 posts in 631 days

#5 posted 04-30-2018 06:53 PM

Great advice guys, it definitely gives me a start! I appreciate all the advice and resources.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4251 days

#6 posted 04-30-2018 06:58 PM

You don’t need fancy new planes to make good
surfaces with planes, you need sharpening
equipment. The irons have to be quite sharp
and the chipbreakers tuned to get excellent
results that will reduce sanding. Even then, you
have to learn to keep an eagle eye on grain
direction and know when to stop planing and
start scraping and sanding.

Old Bailey planes work just fine. If you get really
into it, consider investing in a high-end smoother
because those fine smoothing cuts are what
reduces sanding time and they are easier to
get with an accurately milled plane sole. Mass
helps too, imo, and the high-end planes are
a little heavier than the old Bailey no. 4s are.

View Johnny7's profile


478 posts in 1693 days

#7 posted 04-30-2018 07:52 PM

I would strongly second Loren’s remarks above—especially the “sharpness” aspect

View OSU55's profile


2498 posts in 2592 days

#8 posted 04-30-2018 08:29 PM

Spend a good amount of time on Patrick’s site. As just a primer this may help.

Definitely agree with sharp blade edges and properly tuned chip breakers, but I have two 4-1/2 Bailey style planes that smooth things right up, unless the grain is nasty, then a higher cut angle is needed. I prefer a scraper plane but there are other ways. The places to find used planes are well noted above – I did not find anything worth buying at auctions/sales etc here in Missouri. All of mine were purchased on ebay. It does take a careful eye and asking the right questions, but sometimes the seller doesnt know what they are selling. Here is some tune up info..

View toolingfooling's profile


5 posts in 631 days

#9 posted 04-30-2018 11:48 PM

Thanks to all for their valued planing input. I settled on STANLEY #4C TYPE 7 SMOOTHER from Don.

Looks like a beauty!

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