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Your personal view on necessity of jointer plane 7 or 8?

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Forum topic by SMP posted 01-27-2020 04:12 PM 1644 views 0 times favorited 47 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SMP

1736 posts in 536 days


01-27-2020 04:12 PM

I am curious on what people’s views are that use mainly hand tools on the importance of a jointer/try plane like a 7 or 8.

I know Richard Maguire says you don’t need one and to tell off anyone that tells you that you need an 8. Then again he has a LN 8 that he used to use on every bench he made.

The Schwarz calls it a “good to have” tool, but also personally uses a LN 8 as his jointer/try, though he says you “can” use a jack as a “smallish jointer/try plane”.

Paul Sellers has a mixed view that goes all over the place. Sometimes he says the metal ones are useless and the wooden are better. Sometimes he says he sometimes uses on but its rare. Other times he says you can do everything you need to so with a 4 or 5. He says the reason you find old 7s and 8s in good shape is because nobody used them.

So am curious what peoples opinions are for the common hobbyist like myself. When building my workbench I found it was quite a lot of work to get it flat and long pieces jointed with my jack plane. Luckily I had an 8’ level that i could use as a straight edge, otherwise it would have just been guessing. I picked up an 18” long transitional plane that really helped to flatten my bench. But now am curious if I should save up to buy a 7 or 8? Or just build the skill it takes to use a jack more effectively on longer pieces?

Thanks


47 replies so far

View trialrun's profile

trialrun

57 posts in 1438 days


#1 posted 01-27-2020 04:49 PM

My jointer plane is a good to use when flattening large slabs by hand. If the slabs are really bad, i take them to a local shop to have flattened on a cnc but for the most part I do them by hand. It is a workout. To that end, I have a #7, i’m on the hunt for a number 8 which gives you about 2 more inches of length and some additional weight.

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KYtoolsmith

122 posts in 491 days


#2 posted 01-27-2020 05:41 PM

As I’ve said in a recent post on what size plane… I size the plane to the work. I often need to flatten, remove twist, correct cupping, or bowing of the rough sawn lumber I use. For that reason I can’t do without the big three; my 6, 7, and 8 are my most used planes. Just this morning I was flattening and truing the parts of a trestle table. I do this every time cut a board to the rough lengths needed for a project. It amazes me, even now, that I can achieve a perfectly flat board face from something so poor. The same for making glue joint edges for table tops… I have tried with a 5, and cannot get as true a surface. They’ll have to fight me to take my 8 away!

Regards, The Kentucky Toolsmith!

-- "Good enough" is just another way of saying "it could be better"...

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JayT

6384 posts in 2842 days


#3 posted 01-27-2020 05:58 PM

I use my #6 for the vast majority of flattening and jointing. It’s long enough to keep a good straight edge and lighter to use and control than a 7 or 8. That said, I have a #8 size that has been used building workbenches and a few other tasks. It’s nice to have, but there is nothing I used it for that couldn’t have been done with the #6, it just would have taken more passes.

-- https://www.jtplaneworks.com - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

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sansoo22

625 posts in 285 days


#4 posted 01-27-2020 05:59 PM

+1 to what the KYToolSmith said. I would use my #8 and my other #8 in a fight to keep you from taking them away from me. And you don’t want to get hit with a #8 so best to just leave me be with them.

Jokes aside I too size the plane to the work. I’ve read several things online saying you don’t need an 8 or a 6 but I feel that to be untrue. Honestly I use my 8 and 6 more than my 7. My 7 gets its most use from flattening table tops. My workbench needed all the first year movement taken out of its top and the 7 was the perfect size to go at it diagonally and get a super flat surface. Followed up with a #5 and for that glassy smooth feel I went back over with a 604.

Paul Sellers is a man among children when it comes to plane usage. You “can” do everything with a 4 or 5 but why if you don’t have to. The bigger planes will cost a bit more but I found a matching #7 and #8 at a local “vintage” shop…whatever that means…for $135 for the pair. They aren’t pretty (yet) but both were type 10s so that was quite a bargain if you ask me.

And while we are on the subject of jointing and do you need a certain size plane…if you build small boxes try to find a good 5-1/4 size. That is my “jointer” of choice for thin stock.

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Wintergreen78

65 posts in 370 days


#5 posted 01-27-2020 07:10 PM

I’m also just a hobbyist. I have one #5 set up as a jack and a second #5 set up with a tighter mouth and pretty straight blade. I’m happy with that for anything up to 32 inches or so. I feel like I can pretty effectively get things flat and get good panel glue-ups with those 2 tools. I agree that they become a hassle with longer pieces. I made a 7’ tabletop for a friend and it took a good bit of testing and taking down high spots to get nice joint lines for the glue up.

If I was going to be making 5’ long or bigger pieces pretty regularly, I would probably get a longer plane. Since I don’t regularly make big stuff like that, I’m not in any hurry to track one down. I’ve also kicked around the idea of making a wooden plane with a 20”-22” sole. I may do that whenever I decide to make something big again.

Are you planning to make bigger pieces (That need to be particularly flat or jointed) anytime soon? That is how I would decide whether or not to get a longer plane.

View Jeremymcon's profile

Jeremymcon

405 posts in 1310 days


#6 posted 01-27-2020 07:26 PM

I use my no 7 all the time! I’d have a hard time edge jointing beyond 2 or 3 feet without it. I use it on faces of boards too. Reserve the smoother mostly for final smoothing.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

12196 posts in 1769 days


#7 posted 01-27-2020 07:38 PM

I have a #7 that doesn’t get used all that often. I could live without it easily enough but it’s also nice to have when I need it. IMO, you need them if you’re dimensioning large stock with only hand tools otherwise you can probably get by fine with a 5-1/2 or 6. Then again, there are folks out there that can joint a raw board flat with only a #4. It really just comes down to what you do and how you do it.

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

View MikeUT's profile

MikeUT

200 posts in 1990 days


#8 posted 01-27-2020 07:43 PM

If you use your jack plane and THINK you’d use a jointer plane you probably will. I have two #8-sized jointers in my collection and I use them often. I’ve owned a dozen or more #7’s and #8’s but always sell the #7’s. I can’t tell much of a difference in difficulty to push a #7 vs #8 and the #8 is bigger and feels better. But more importantly the cutter is 1/4” wider so it’s more efficient. I have a jointer-length wood-body plane that is fun to play with but I prefer bailey-style planes to wood ones.

I really enjoy restoring old planes and tools, so factor that in when you weigh my opinion… I stand by saying that you’ll use it if you use other planes, but a new LN 8 may not be justifiable for an occasional use tool if you have a tight budget.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5637 posts in 2982 days


#9 posted 01-27-2020 07:43 PM

I used to use mine all of the time, until I bought a jointer.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View SMP's profile

SMP

1736 posts in 536 days


#10 posted 01-27-2020 07:44 PM


Paul Sellers is a man among children when it comes to plane usage. You “can” do everything with a 4 or 5 but why if you don t have to. The bigger planes will cost a bit more but I found a matching #7 and #8 at a local “vintage” shop…whatever that means…for $135 for the pair

And while we are on the subject of jointing and do you need a certain size plane…if you build small boxes try to find a good 5-1/4 size. That is my “jointer” of choice for thin stock.

- sansoo22

Well Paul also justifies it saying that normally you buy wood from lumberyards where its already been skip planed on both faces. Which is true where I live, its very hard to find rough lumber here. So a lot of times I get 3/4 material and just smooth off the machine planer waves with my #4.

I “kind of” have a 5 1/4 already. By that I mean I found a 5 1/4 on CL that was missing parts. And I found a #3 that was missing parts. Both dirt cheap since missing parts. I used both but found the 5 1/4 kind of awkward size. So I made the 3 a superfine smoother. But if I need a 5 1/4 i can just swap the frog/iron/chipbreaker over and voila a 5 1/4!

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SMP

1736 posts in 536 days


#11 posted 01-27-2020 07:50 PM



I used to use mine all of the time, until I bought a jointer.

- bondogaposis

I actually have a 6” jointer. But kind of burnt out on using machines so much. So trying to do more hand tool work, as its just a hobby for me. Less noise, less dust, more relaxing and I actually get a workout. Mainly now using my table saw when it makes sense, Or certain other power tools, but then the majority with hand tools.

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sansoo22

625 posts in 285 days


#12 posted 01-27-2020 08:48 PM



I really enjoy restoring old planes and tools, so factor that in when you weigh my opinion… I stand by saying that you ll use it if you use other planes, but a new LN 8 may not be justifiable for an occasional use tool if you have a tight budget.

- MikeUT

I should have added this bit to my comment as well. I use all sizes of planes because I buy them on the cheaper side and make them nice. I probably wouldn’t have so many if i was buying them new.

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MPython

220 posts in 443 days


#13 posted 01-27-2020 09:10 PM

I use my #7 all the time, primarily for truing edges for panel glue-ups. I have a nice tailed jointer, but I prefer to edge joint boards for glue-ups with a #7, even if I’ve run them through the jointer first. I also have a #6 and a #8. I use them both occasionally, but the #7 is the workhorse. I wouldn’t be without it.

View Dwain's profile

Dwain

605 posts in 4490 days


#14 posted 01-27-2020 09:23 PM

I find myself using a 4 for smoothing, an old Miller’s Falls #5 for jack plane work and a number 7 for jointing. I just purchased a 5 1/2 that I am excited about using. I REALLY like my 7. I don’t have an 8 and don’t use planes enough to justify one, at least yet. It is an addiction after all.

-- When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you CAN'T do

View sansoo22's profile

sansoo22

625 posts in 285 days


#15 posted 01-27-2020 09:42 PM



I find myself using a 4 for smoothing, an old Miller s Falls #5 for jack plane work and a number 7 for jointing. I just purchased a 5 1/2 that I am excited about using. I REALLY like my 7. I don t have an 8 and don t use planes enough to justify one, at least yet. It is an addiction after all.

- Dwain

Its only an addiction if you have collectors as well as users. If you use them all its not an addiction. That being said i fall into the former.

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