Router Forums banner
1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been looking at different handplanes and comparing prices. I'll admit to being stunned at how expensive hand planes are.

Many of the Lee Valley planes are $300 - $500 dollars each. On the opposite end you have the low quality Stanley Planes at $60 -$70 dollars.

There doesn't appear to be many options in between outside of the wood Planes being sold by Infinity Tools.

Are there any mid priced wood planes options that don't require selling a spare kidney to buy?
 

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
16,385 Posts
I agree with Tom that Wood River has been getting fairly good reviews with this generation of planes they sell. I believe that earlier models weren't as good so be careful if looking at used ones. While the Lee Valley and Lie Neilsen planes have addressed some of the issues that came with Stanley planes (most of their planes are updated versions of Stanleys) and certainly improved on them that doesn't mean that Stanley planes aren't usable. Woodworkers have been using them for maybe a century now. I have a few and once you get them sharp and set they will get the job done. The older ones are the better ones and you can get some good deals on them on ebay if you watch for them. I suspect a lot of them come from estate and garage sales. If you get one of the old ones the sole of the plane should be flattened, the back of the plane iron flattened, and then the edge should be sharpened. If you do that they will work pretty good.
 

·
Marine Engineer
Doug
Joined
·
4,960 Posts
There are bunches of old hand planes for sale at yard sales and swap meets. Some great videos are available on YouTube for picking and restoring older planes. I have been very happy with what I have found in the $15-40 range. Only the wood plane was purchased new.

The number 7 and the little ebony plane https://www.woodline.com/collections/hand-tools/products/taiwan-style-planes are probably the 2 that get the most use in the shop.

The two #4's come in handy, one is a square iron, the other has the corners clipped off kind of like a scrub plane.



 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,666 Posts
I have several Wood River planes. The V3 versions have all been improved. But all planes must be tuned up to work right. One reason the Veritas and Lie Nielsons are so costly is they are tuned up at the factory. If you buy any plane, you'll want to make sure that bottom is flat and square to the sides. You can upgrade cheapo blades to Hock "iron" to improve performance, but that won't help if the body is not flat and square. Problem with new planes is that if you grind on the bottom with sandpaper, then discover it isn't really flat and square, you may not be able to return it.

Use a high quality engineer's square to make an initial assessment. For flat, you can draw a squiggle the length and width of the bottom, retract or remove the iron, and lap it on sandpaper attached to a true flat surface (table saw for example) and see what part of the line doesn't come off. If marks on opposite corners don't come off, you have a twist and a BAD plane. I have not had to do much flattening with my Wood River planes. I also have a Stanly block plane that turned out to be about perfect. Just some blade sharpening and a tiny bit of flattening and it was ready to go.

There are lots of good videos on tuning planes and sharpening blades. Watch a few and you'll get the idea. I don't know how I ever got along without the block plane.

If I were only going to get 2 planes, one would be a block plane, the other would be a Wood River 4 1/2, which has a little wider iron than the classic #4. I alos have a #6 and a rabbit plane (a cheapo) that I carefully tuned and ground to be a good and useful performer.

Hand planes are addictive. When you plane a surface rather than sand it, the wood fibres are sliced clean so you get a baby bottom smooth surface that sanding can't match. Trimming end pieces to exact fit is so much easier with a wicked sharp block plane than trying to do it with a saw or sandpaper. For sharpening, search "Wicked Sharp" on YouTube.

Finally, there is a sound, sssssssssshhhhhhiiiiiiiissssss, when using a plane that is far more satisfying than the growl of a motor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,651 Posts
I've got a stanley #4 and it's great. If the base is flat with square sides and the blade is suitably sharpened most planes do the same thing, that's why you can make them out of wood. I have a naff block plane and a slightly more expensive one, both are the same, they have super sharp irons, and have been maintained.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,056 Posts
WoodRiver offers a great lineup of planes. For the money, they are hard to beat. They are NOT Lee Valley/Veritas and they are not Lie Nielsen. Then again, they are not 3-500 bucks a shot either. The V1 (first version) were a disaster, plagued by quality control issues. V2 not much better in the long run, but they nailed it with the V3 run. I was at WoodCraft a few weeks back, and they had the entire lineup of bench planes. Quite impressive. If I didn't already have mostly Veritas planes, I wouldn't hesitate to go with WoodRiver.
Stanleys are hit and miss for the most part when buying online or even in garage sales etc.. The type 11 is considered to be the best of the bunch and the Bedrock line a step or two above them. The Lie Nielsen line is pretty much styled after the Stanley Bedrock while Veritas went with the Norris style adjustment.
Alot can be said for the old Stanley's if you take the time to truely tune the thing up...upgrade the iron etc.. By the time you find one with good bones and upgrade a bit, you'll have as much invested as you would with a new WoodRiver.
Not surprising, the plane you'll want to get depends on what you want to use it for. General purpose a good #4 smoother or a low angle 3 is a good choice. Small enough to be easily handled, yet has enough heft to tackle tougher tasks. #4 makes for a good overall shop plane. Once you get into mill work,,,,ohhh the choices, the choices :)

Not a big fan of the "new" stanley's.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DesertRatTom

·
Registered
Theo
Joined
·
7,194 Posts
I'm with the guys buying from flea markets, yard sales, etc. I don't use a plane much, but it's hard to pass by an older plane in nice condition. Plus, they will only go up in value, if not abused. I got a couple of quite nice wooden planes that way, at a very nice price.

Or, you could make your own. Making my own is the route I would go if I were using planes a lot. You get what you want, custom cutters and all, it's usually not as expensive, and it's just more fun making your own, when you can. If the first one sucks, count it as a learning experience, and do better on the next one, repeat as required.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,056 Posts
If a good cardio workout is what your after, get yourself a scrub plane :) learn how to use it properly, find a twisted hardwood board and have at it. Be prepared for some sore shoulders for the first few boards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Living Canada has an added challenge. Shipping from the US is costly right now.

It's hard to save buying anything from WoodCraft when the price of shipping put the Hand plane on par with the cost of the Leevalley Veritas plane.

Jointing planes have some advantage over Jointer machines. It's much easy to fix smaller cups and warps at the end of a board.

Powered Jointers always leave a little bit of chatter marks no matter how hard you try to minimize them.

Shooting Planes are nice for a better end grain finish. I find orbital sanders don't even come close to shooting planes on end grain finishing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,583 Posts
Interesting thread. I see Stanley planes at flea markets and antique shops. Been tempted to buy one for the fun of it. Probably never use it. What is really interesting is seeing the wood body planes that some craftsman made by hand to do a particular job or to plane a certain contour in wood.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
860 Posts
Steven, My advise to you is first look at the hundreds of videos by Paul Sellers. The first and best all around plane you should own is a #4 Stanley/Baily plane, which can be purchased used on ebay for around $65.00. Tune it, sharpen it, using Paul Sellers methods and you will be on your way to doing things you never thought possible!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,064 Posts
After restoring/tuning a few hand older hand planes, I have focused mainly on getting Lie-Nielsen and Lee Valley hand planes. I do think these planes are better made, largely because of the better materials available to them. Lie-Nielsen makes their planes from ductile iron which is near indestructible, and they backup that claim with their lifetime warranty.

That said, I do think taking the time to restore and tune a vintage plane is a great way to learn how to use them. At this point, I have other projects I want to focus on, and would rather have a plane nearly ready to go out of the box.

However, if you want to see some really expensive hand planes, check out some of the boutique plane makers who produce beautiful infill planes or krenov-style woody planes. Lie-Nielsen will look down right cheap next to those! :)
 

·
Registered User
Joined
·
2,392 Posts
Harbor Frt. has (used to have) a very nice little plane... #33 for about $7.00 !!

Amazingly, they are very good quality... If you're intrested in just getting a Blade, for other uses, this is a steal...

Don't let the low price change your mind...

Made in India, I think...

It has been awhile... I got 3-4 of them!! :)

Edit:
This is the one I got...
The price has gone UP since I got mine.
 

·
Registered
Theo
Joined
·
7,194 Posts
Harbor Frt. has (used to have) a very nice little plane... IIRC #73 or 78... For about $7.00 !!

Amazingly, they are very good quality... If you're intrested in just getting a Blade, for other uses, this is a steal...

Don't let the low price change your mind...

Made in India, I think...

It has been awhile... I got 3-4 of them!! :)

This is what they have listed just now. This is what I got when I searched for 'plane'.
https://www.harborfreight.com/catal...ore,f,EAFeatured+Weight,f,Sale+Rank,f&q=plane
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,056 Posts
When Stanley was in its prime, they were quite busy putting other company names on their product. Resulting in an awfull lot of 'good' planes out there nobody has heard of. Many are quite collectable now. Winchester, Sears, Fulton comes to mind as one of the company's. Another quality plane is Record.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Danman1957

·
Registered
Joined
·
966 Posts
I have bought several planes from flea markets or garage sales. The garage sale people mostly don't know much about planes and will accept almost any offer if you explain the amount of work involved into re sharpening and truing the blade and any rust removal. If you know your stuff better than them you can get some amazing deals.
 

·
Registered
Theo
Joined
·
7,194 Posts
The European wood body planes from Infinity tools look resonable and promising.

https://www.infinitytools.com/smoothing-plane

I wonder how accurately you can adjust the plane using a mallet and a wedge.
I would just get the blade and chip breaker, not rocket science to make one then.

Well, planes were adjusted accurately enough with a mallet and wedge, for many, many, years, to make a lot of very nice antique furniture.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top