BU planes again – were originally designed for … ?

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  • #489302
    Antoni B.
    Participant

    I know it is the dumbest question in woodworking ever, probably, and it was posted many times. But all the answers I was able to find seemed to me inconclusive.

    They said, that BU planes are good for planing end grain. Well, are there any other types of bench planes particulary weak at this task? In my opinion, planing end grain doesn’t require cap iron/chp breaker (because shaved grains won’t raise grains next to them, or would do that marginally at least), so there is nothing advantageous here. What could make a difference it would be having BU plane iron grounded to shallow angle, let’s say 20 degrees (so it would make 20+12,5=32,5 degree angle), but as far as I know it is not a common practice.

    Also, they said that that type of woodworking plane is good to use with shooting board. It makes some sense to me, because in this type of plane the iron is somewhat “hidden” behind plane’s cheeks, so there is less chance to accidentaly change lateral angle of the iron when gripping the plane at its side. But again, there were constructions designed especially for shooting boards…

    And for last – I am not aware, if there are (were?) woodworking planes that combine BD iron with cap iron (let’s say on fixed frog, or even solid “base” atached permanently to plane body) with “moveable sole part” throat opening adjustment, just like in BU planes? Are there any?

    Any comments are welcome 🙂

    "One can never be truly free, if one admires someone else too much."
    - Snufkin

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Antoni B..
Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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  • #489714
    Harvey Kimsey
    Participant

    @hkimsey

    I believe some of the Veritas bevel down bench planes have moveable sole plates so that you can open or close the throat. Don’t quote me on that. I’ve never used one. I have a bevel up jack plane I often use on the shooting board, but if I’m in a hurry, I just reach for my Stanley #4 and it does a fine job so long as it’s sharp and finely set.

    #490503
    markh
    Participant

    @markh

    To give toolmakers an additional plane (or line of planes) to sell to the unwary! 🙂

    And yes “Öne can never truly be free, if there are too many tools to buy”

    #494594
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    @lorenzojose

    And for last – I am not aware, if there are (were?) woodworking planes that combine BD iron with cap iron (let’s say on fixed frog, or even solid “base” atached permanently to plane body) with “moveable sole part” throat opening adjustment, just like in BU planes? Are there any?

    Stanley’s new Sweetheart series #4 is exactly what you describe. BD, fixed frog, ajustable sole, Norris adjuster. I recently got to try one that had been well fettled and it was pretty nice.

    But notice I said well fettled. Out of the box, machining and fit of iron, chip breaker, frog , mouth, and adjuster were pretty mediocre at best, according to its owner.

    So. Actually you need to do the Sort of work I regularly do on 100 year old baileys. As Paul says of some new tools, a plane kit.

    As to what the low angle Stanley’s were designed for, it was for a butcher to dress his end grain butcher blocks. They came with two irons, a toothed one to remove material and a smooth on to dress smooth. So it was a true block plane.

    It main feature was that it was easier to keep clean from all the blood and such, lacking a chip breaker and other bits.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Larry Geib.
    #494687
    Dave Ring
    Participant

    @davering

    Stanley’s No.62 low angle jack size plane was made from 1905 to 1942. They are very uncommon today, which kinda suggests what pre-WWII woodworkers thought of the whole concept.

    Dave

    #495083
    Peter George
    Participant

    @pjgeorge

    Two of the three planes I use regularly are bevel up. They are a Veritas small bevel up smoother (about the size of a no. 3) and a Veritas bevel up jack plane, which gets used more like a jointer. The third plane is a bevel down jack that I use for initial preparation.

    I have a couple of Stanley No. 4’s and a couple of no. 3’s as well as a no. 6, but I always reach for the bevel down planes.

    Different stroke, I guess.

    Peter in
    Biggar SK
    "New York is big, but this is Biggar"

    #495181
    Ed
    Participant

    @ed

    @pjgeorge in what circumstances do you find the bevel up most useful? Do you have yours sharpened to give a lower angle than you’d get from your regular, bevel down #4, or sharpened to give a steeper angle?

    #495520
    Peter George
    Participant

    @pjgeorge

    @ed, I like the lower center of gravity with the bevel downs. Also, I find them much quicker to adjust. I also like the quick and easy mouth adjustment.

    I do have blades with lower angles for the shooting board, but it doesn’t make much of a difference. Sharp is much more important than the angle. I have put a steeper microbevel on a blade for difficult grain, but again, sharp seem to be more important.

    Peter in
    Biggar SK
    "New York is big, but this is Biggar"

    #495543
    Ed
    Participant

    @ed

    @pjgeorge “I like the lower center of gravity of the bevel downs.” Did you mean of the bevel ups? Sorry, I’m confused in that your earlier post seemed to say that you use a bevel up regularly, but then your subsequent text and most recent post seem to say you use the bevel down planes, not the BUs. Probably typos or my confusion.

    #495776
    Antoni B.
    Participant

    @antekboodzik

    Cheers guys, very interesting comments.

    Oh,I missed that 1-12-136 is a BD plane. I shall give it a try someday.

    So it was a true block plane.

    LOL 🙂 But now i can imagine it was designed as a quite long plane (for wider surfaces), on a budget/minimalistic side (single part body, one machined surface, simple adjusting mechanism), foolproof to sharpen for a butcher (the angle of the bevel really doesn’t matter so much)… But what when all the bloody and greasy stuff had started to get under adjustable sole part 🙂
    I have never seen this type of plane to be advertised like that. What you can get is: “throw all your planes away and use this one”. Isn’t it like this?

    No offence to any company and anyone, but don’t You think that all the hype of using BU planes is sponsored or loyalty paid?

    "One can never be truly free, if one admires someone else too much."
    - Snufkin

    #495783
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    @lorenzojose

    Oh, you can’t deny some people love them, but BU planes as finishing planes is a recent phenomenon, well after Stanley stopped making them.

    Thick blades and A2 may be driving forces.

    They weren’t particularly cheap. My 1906 Hammacher Schlemmer catalogue has a no° 62 at $2.85. A no°5 Bailey was $2.60 and a 604 Bedrock was $2.75.

    And don’t underestimate butchers. They knew all about edges.

    About the only BU finishing Stanley plane I can think of is the number 9 cabinet maker’s plane, which is now incredibly expensive and mostly a shooting plane for soundwoods. ( piano stuff)

    Is usually placed in the block plane category. ($4.00 in H&S)
    Lie Neilson made one for a while also. It too was dear.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Larry Geib.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Larry Geib.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Larry Geib.
    Attachments:
    #495918
    Peter George
    Participant

    @pjgeorge

    @ed If you’re confused, it’s my fault. I posted before my first cup of coffee. I meant the bevel up planes.

    Peter in
    Biggar SK
    "New York is big, but this is Biggar"

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Peter George.
    #505226
    Antoni B.
    Participant

    @antekboodzik

    @lorenzojose What you mentioned wasn’t the “old” no 64 handplane by chance? I just foud that googling for more information.

    http://www.hansbrunnertools.com/Stanley%20by%20numbers/Stanley%2064.htm
    http://www.handplane.com/55/stanley-no-64-butchers-block-plane/

    It has all the features we discussed – an uncomplicated one, simple adjuster, no mouth closing, even not easy lateral adjustment. And, what you mentioned, another “batllemented” iron. Far different from more usual “toothed” irons used for veenering, isn’t it?

    Today no 64 is a small, featureless and sturdy spokeshave. I bought one new few years ago, but I don’t know if it is still available.

    "One can never be truly free, if one admires someone else too much."
    - Snufkin

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