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What's the best smoothing plane?

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  • #16

    Re: What's the best smoothing plane?

    This is my take ... you can buy cheap, but you're going to put time, effort and maybe more money into a cheap plane to make it a user, as well as maintaining over it's lifetime. So what is your time worth? You can't really get away with much, so if you want to plane out of the box, you're paying for that.

    you're also paying for some hidden but highly valuable customer service if you every require it with the Veritas product. Not to say you don't get that with other products ... but at least you know it's part of the Veritas offer.
    Last edited by Allegrus; 08-08-2016, 11:14 AM.

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    • #17

      Re: What's the best smoothing plane?

      I have to say that I just don't like the no.4 regular 45° bedded planes from LeeValley. The back handle is cantilevered and should not be. A more general problem with LV planes is their Norris adjuster which is very good for depth set but not so much for lateral. I prefer a WoodRiver (sold by R.Cosman) or a Lie-Nielsen.

      Normand

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      • #18

        Re: What's the best smoothing plane?

        I don't like Kuntz planes. You may occasionally come across a good one but roughly 8 out of 10 are more or less faulty in my experience from 15 years of tool scrounging. Neither do I like Anant and newer Record and newer Stanley nor anything branded Stanley Handyman.

        I have no oppinions on the best smoothers as I have never seen a Lie Nielsen in reality nor a Norris nor a Spiers and those three are always said to be the very best.
        Though I have notised that a well made and properly set up wooden smoother with a proper chipbreaker seems to do the job perfectly well enough. Most Bailey style smoothers from of good quality from reputable makers are also perfectly good enough. Clifton and elderly Record and elderly Stanley and Millers Falls and Sargent and Siegley and Ohio Tools and Woden and Hellstedts and Nooitgedagt and Jernbolaget are just a few excamples. Veritas have a very good reputation too despite their odd appearance.

        However I own a Stanley 62 low angle jack and I can testify that low angle planes are totally useless as smoothers on all wood species I have ever worked with.

        Now you have a long list of good smoothers to choose from. Pick the one that fit's your life situation and your wallet best. New or old, wood or Bailey.....they are all rather good.

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        • #19

          Re: What's the best smoothing plane?

          Heimlaga,
          I own a low angle jack from LV which is equivalent to your Stanley 62. With low angles planes, when you want to use them as smoothers, you need to look after tear-outs. With this type of plane you need to increase the sharpening angle (just the very tip) to 40 or 45°(sometimes more). This means an include angle of 52 to 57°. Those angles are what you need to control tear-outs with low-angles planes.

          Normand

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          • #20

            Re: What's the best smoothing plane?

            I own several low-angle planes which are not totally useless as smoothers; in fact I showed pictures of them earlier. For really wild grain, just use a greater angle and a closed up mouth, a splendidly easy adjustment on the Veritas planes. Lee Valley sells irons with up to 50 degree bevels that will handle any grain as Normand indicated.

            I prefer single iron planes sans cap-irons myself but have some of each. Both work well but single Iron planes have less parts to fuss with; a big plus to me.

            Ken

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            • #21

              Re: What's the best smoothing plane?

              You are much better buying a standard 25 (or is it 30) degree blade and adding a small micro-bevel at the angle of your choice. If you buy a 50° one you will end up having to sharpen the whole bevel or add micro-bevels to 52 or 54°.

              IMO a bevel down plane with a close set capiron is so much better for difficult woods or against the grain.

              Normand

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              • #22

                Re: What's the best smoothing plane?

                Originally posted by DocFrankenstein View Post
                So, I got the table top glued up and it still haven't fell apart on me.

                Soon I will need a smoothing plane.
                Sorry, this may be a dumb question given the discussion so far. I don't know the details of the table top you have created.

                My question - are you sure you need a smoothing plane? Are you smoothing or flattening?

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                • #23

                  Re: What's the best smoothing plane?

                  Hey, Norman,

                  I do agree that the Norris-style adjuster isn't as ideal for lateral adjustments as some of the other traditional adjusting systems around, but overall it's the best there is as far as I'm concerned. To get over that minor limitation, most of us use a plane hammer to make such adjustments. If you haven't ever tride it, do so and I think you'll agree that it works like a charm!




                  Originally posted by Normand Leblanc View Post
                  I have to say that I just don't like the no.4 regular 45° bedded planes from LeeValley. The back handle is cantilevered and should not be. A more general problem with LV planes is their Norris adjuster which is very good for depth set but not so much for lateral. I prefer a WoodRiver (sold by R.Cosman) or a Lie-Nielsen.

                  Normand
                  KenL likes this.
                  All the best,

                  Marty

                  President of Kingston Wood Artisans https://kwoodartca.wordpress.com/

                  Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club

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                  • #24

                    Re: What's the best smoothing plane?

                    Hi Marty,

                    I'm using the hammer with my LV LA planes since I bought a LN LA without any kind of lateral adjuster (I bought it without noticing that missing feature...). I have to say that the hammer method is very accurate, probably more than a Bailey style adjuster, but you always need to have your hammer around and you need to stop your work compared to a Bailey where you can do it on the fly.

                    Have a good day,

                    Normand

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                    • #25

                      Re: What's the best smoothing plane?

                      Originally posted by rfielder View Post
                      Sorry, this may be a dumb question given the discussion so far. I don't know the details of the table top you have created.

                      My question - are you sure you need a smoothing plane? Are you smoothing or flattening?
                      The top is flat at this point... with some deep tearout in some places. I have quite a few knots in the boards, so it's not the easiest thing with no prior experience to work on.

                      The planes I have while I was building it have all had a very wide mouth opening and the one I used for the last round of planing didn't have the chip breaker set very close to the cutting edge, so I have some bad tearout in some places... so I stopped before I made it much worse.

                      Since then I found out that I need a plane with a small mouth opening and to set the chip breaker very close to the cutting edge.

                      Looking once again over the planes I got at a garage sale, there is one wooden smoothing plane in a pretty bad condition. What's interesting is that the blade is a laminated sandwich that's similar to a japanese kanna. The edge had a huge dent in it, and a couple days ago I've spent more than an hour getting it out, but still haven't gotten to the cutting edge. The chip breaker needs work as well.

                      I'll put some time in to restore it and see how it works. The brand is FAMOS. 1604 1846 are the two numbers, and garantie at the bottom. The body is wooden and the sole had been chiseled out in the front of the mouth opening to accept a wooden insert which regulates the width of the mouth opening. It looks ancient and well used, the blade has just a bit more than half an inch left until the screw slot, so it must have been used a lot, which gives me hope.

                      Messing with it should give me some idea if I want to get into a real kanna a bit later.

                      Do you want to see pictures, or it's a common type of plane? It was one of maybe 20 tools I got for 50 euros.

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                      • #26

                        Re: What's the best smoothing plane?

                        Originally posted by MartyFromKingston View Post
                        Hey, Norman,

                        I do agree that the Norris-style adjuster isn't as ideal for lateral adjustments as some of the other traditional adjusting systems around, but overall it's the best there is as far as I'm concerned. To get over that minor limitation, most of us use a plane hammer to make such adjustments. If you haven't ever tride it, do so and I think you'll agree that it works like a charm!
                        Will do

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                        • #27

                          Re: What's the best smoothing plane?

                          Originally posted by Normand Leblanc View Post
                          Hi Marty,

                          I'm using the hammer with my LV LA planes since I bought a LN LA without any kind of lateral adjuster (I bought it without noticing that missing feature...). I have to say that the hammer method is very accurate, probably more than a Bailey style adjuster, but you always need to have your hammer around and you need to stop your work compared to a Bailey where you can do it on the fly.

                          Have a good day,

                          Normand
                          Dumb questions:
                          LV= Lee Valley
                          LN= Lee Nielsen
                          What's LA? Low angle?

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                          • #28

                            Re: What's the best smoothing plane?

                            Originally posted by heimlaga View Post
                            I don't like Kuntz planes. You may occasionally come across a good one but roughly 8 out of 10 are more or less faulty in my experience from 15 years of tool scrounging. Neither do I like Anant and newer Record and newer Stanley nor anything branded Stanley Handyman.
                            Not arguing against your experience in any way, just clarifying. Are you referring to the green Kunz planes or their higher end line with wooden handles and ductile stress relieved cast iron?

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                            • #29

                              Re: What's the best smoothing plane?

                              Yes, LA = low angle.
                              There is no dumb question.

                              Normand

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                              • #30

                                Re: What's the best smoothing plane?

                                Originally posted by DocFrankenstein View Post

                                Not arguing against your experience in any way, just clarifying. Are you referring to the green Kunz planes or their higher end line with wooden handles and ductile stress relieved cast iron?
                                I don't know about Kunz but when I can grab an old Record, I do not hesitate very long. I've restored dozens of planes and Records are way ahead of Stanley IMO. So much easier to get them going, no problem with the frog that do not seat properly in the sole. That's one of the main issue with Stanley planes.

                                And I agree that Handymans are not very good.

                                Normand
                                KenL likes this.

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