Best Hand Plane Type for Flushing Perp. Joints

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Forum topic by CoreyCandlemaker posted 11-06-2018 04:50 PM 700 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 438 days

11-06-2018 04:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hand plane face grain joint flushing cross grain mujingfang sweetheart question

Hi Everyone,

This is my first post because, after hours of searching, I haven’t been able to find a good answer to this question.

I am a limited hand tool user, but have found a hand plane to be invaluable for several tasks. One of which is quickly flushing joints that are not perfectly aligned. Such as a finger or rabbet joint that is proud by a 1/16” or so. Another example would be where a table leg meets the apron and you are working with face grains that are 90 degrees to one another. In these examples the woodworker is plaining with the grain, and then meets a joint in which the plane blade will be partially cutting across the face grain of a different board.

Using this photo as an example, I am planing the top portion of this frame, and come to the cross pieces, what style plane would be able to cut both direction of grain and make them perfectly flush?

I am planning to get a new plane for Christmas and I am considering the Mujingfang 6 1/2 smoother and the Stanley Sweetheart No 4. The reason is that they are the same price, and both seem to be good quality for the money.

The Mujingfang’s stellar performance seems to be related to it’s high angle. So I’m wondering if using this high angle plane would cause problems if I am planing along the grain and then come to a joint where I will be planing across the grain?

11 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5242 posts in 4562 days

#1 posted 11-06-2018 05:09 PM

Very sharp iron, skew the angle of attack, and really fine shavings will accomplish the task. Don’t be ham-fisted in your approach.
I don’t have either of those planes, but the higher angle bedding doesn’t seem to be a plus unless the wood is highly figured.
Both of those planes will need some tweaking as do all planes. If you’re not skilled at that………well, now is as good a time as any to learn.
For me, I’d go with the Stanley unless you can get an older Stanley for a bargain.

-- [email protected]

View Andre's profile


2994 posts in 2407 days

#2 posted 11-06-2018 05:13 PM

DX or NX 60 from Lee Valley or for finer work a LN 102.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View HokieKen's profile


11982 posts in 1740 days

#3 posted 11-06-2018 06:28 PM

I agree with Andre in that I would go with a block plane. And I agree with Bill in skewing the angle of attack. So, my recommendation for this task (and a plethora of others) is a skewed block plane. If the Veritas is out of your budget range, vintage Stanley #140s can be had for less in the used market and are excellent users.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Mr_Pink's profile


183 posts in 973 days

#4 posted 11-06-2018 07:25 PM

Very sharp iron, skew the angle of attack, and really fine shavings will accomplish the task.

I think this advice is more important than the type of plane. My personal preference would be to use a smoothing plane for this task simply because it would probably be in (or closer to) my hand already.

If you’re looking at smoothing planes that are priced close to a new Stanley no 4, I would consider Woodriver. I have their #3, and I think it was a great deal.

View OSU55's profile


2497 posts in 2591 days

#5 posted 11-06-2018 09:08 PM

Very sharp iron, skew the angle of attack, and really fine shavings will accomplish the task. Don t be ham-fisted in your approach.

- Bill White

Agree with this. A 3 or 4 bench or about any decent block plane will work. I’ve used both to do the same job. Skew the blade to 45. No need for anything special.

View Max™'s profile


121 posts in 511 days

#6 posted 11-07-2018 03:56 PM

Am I the only one who grabs a card scraper if I can’t easily plane so the endgrain sides are supported by the facegrain piece?

I got a little japanese plane I like to use for that sort of quick joint cleanups where I can actually keep the sides supported, but otherwise I grab the scraper.

-- One hand to hold the saw, one hand to guide it, one hand to brace the work and in the sawdust OW MY THUMB!

View JohnMcClure's profile


838 posts in 1242 days

#7 posted 11-07-2018 04:11 PM

A bit off topic but your mention of table legs meeting aprons reminded me of something I read recently.
It is wise to offset the apron about 1/8” or so from the leg for exactly this reason: small misalignment – in construction or due to wood movement over time – is less noticeable if there is an obvious intentional offset.
I read this, looked at a coffee table base I’d built years ago (without this advice), and immediately saw its value.

The photo below is the recommended method, so that planing grain flush is not required:

Again, may not very useful to you, just wanted to share.

I do own the Stanley SW #4 and like it, but I’d be concerned about getting tearout in your case. Scraper may be best option.

-- I'd rather be a hammer than a nail

View SMP's profile


1561 posts in 507 days

#8 posted 11-07-2018 09:21 PM

Very sharp iron, skew the angle of attack, and really fine shavings will accomplish the task. Don t be ham-fisted in your approach.

I also agree with this. I have a 100+ year old Stanley #3. After watching some Paul Sellers videos I finally got it truly sharp and tuned and I am amazed at what it can do, and I don’t even really need to scrape or sand afterwards.

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2087 days

#9 posted 11-08-2018 01:45 AM

I’d Skew a block plane and roll into it the other grain. Super light cuts. Don’t want tearout. Will scraps it after to even it out.

Watch some doucette and Wolfe videos. One where casework is involved.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View BlasterStumps's profile


1494 posts in 1041 days

#10 posted 11-08-2018 03:27 AM

My low angle Veritas jack will do the job well enough but the application of a little technique and finesse are required even though.

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

View WoodenDreams's profile


880 posts in 512 days

#11 posted 11-08-2018 04:52 AM

a low angle block plane. and angle the plane for a angled slice instead of straight on. and would resharpen the blade before the work. or the time consuming way of sanding.

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