Wood planes

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Forum topic by Oldschoolguy posted 11-20-2018 03:17 PM 712 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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65 posts in 288 days

11-20-2018 03:17 PM

Hey y’all, Newbie here, want some advise as to what type of plane to start with? Never used one in my life.

7 replies so far

View Phil32's profile


598 posts in 355 days

#1 posted 11-20-2018 06:46 PM

I suggest you start with a jack plane like a Stanley #5. Learn to sharpen and adjust it. The usual test is to be able to shave a continuous, curled ribbon of wood over the entire length of a 2 or 3 foot board. Many other planes have specialized uses.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

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5492 posts in 2802 days

#2 posted 11-20-2018 07:37 PM

I second the #5 jack plane, or a block plane like the Stanley 60 1/2.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View HokieKen's profile


10324 posts in 1590 days

#3 posted 11-20-2018 07:38 PM

That’s kind of like asking “what kind of knife should I get?” or “which drill bit works best?” LOL.

It is very dependent on what kind of work you’ll be doing and what you expect to gain from using a hand plane. There’s a reason there are so many sizes and types of planes to choose from – they all excel at different chores. So, a little background will get you more useful responses most likely.

But in a very general sense, I’ll agree with Phil32, a #5 jack is a good starting point. A #4 smoother is a good one to cut your teeth on as well.

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

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1631 posts in 1946 days

#4 posted 11-20-2018 08:05 PM

Suggest you read this blog post,

or maybe the whole series, then come back ask a less open ended question that is easier to answer.


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

View Don W's profile

Don W

19289 posts in 3019 days

#5 posted 11-20-2018 10:36 PM

My advice is start with a smoother. Here is my justification.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View waho6o9's profile


8709 posts in 3028 days

#6 posted 11-21-2018 12:56 AM

OSU55 blog saved several of my planes. Reading his blogs is time well spent.

View NCJOB's profile


7 posts in 268 days

#7 posted 11-27-2018 04:09 PM

Newbie 65 – just get ready, the plane bug is getting ready to bite. My dad had a hand plane that I always found to be an interesting tool. Unfortunately, he never showed me how to use it and I could never quite figure it out (way before the days of internet). So it just looked nice up on his wall of tools. About a year ago I bought a No. 5 and decided I was going to figure that thing out. I did know a little about sharpening so I got the iron nice an sharp. With the help of the internet, I figured out how to get it set up. Then last weekend I finally got the opportunity to put it to use. I had a board that I could not get through my power planer so I decided to give the hand plane a try. Ohhhh what a joy. Curls everywhere. Surprised I had any board left because I just kept wanting to run that plane down that board. The look and feel of the wood was fantastic. I probably will not retire my power planner just yet, but I will definitely be reaching for the hand planes more often now. I currently have a No. 5, No. 4, and a small block plane. Looking for a No. 7 and getting ready to attempt to build a router plane. Hope you find what you need and I sure you will enjoy using them.

-- Jeff, NC

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