- 3 August 2016 at 2:47 am #139020
I’m starting out exploring woodworking with next to nothing, especially in the hand tool category. I have a table saw, miter saw, and router, but they are sitting in an otherwise empty basement.
I’d like to start this adventure by building a workbench – working on a concrete floor doing some minor home renovation / repair work has been killing my knees!
Having never used a hand plane, and not having any experience in smoothing or squaring wood, I’m looking for a recommendation on where to begin. Is the increase in price between this:
worth it? So far, all I really know is that No. 4 or 5 seems to be the right number for building that workbench.
Thanks!3 August 2016 at 3:06 am #139022bobleistnerParticipant
Look at the No. 4’s that you see Mr Sellers using. Find yourself one or more of the same. They are very affordable and very abundant. Try to make sure it is, say, pre 1960ish with wood handles and black paint.
Bob L.3 August 2016 at 4:04 am #139025
Thanks Bob! I’ve been poking around eBay, but I am not much of an auctioneer so I’m getting my bearings on that. There seem to be a few different Types of No. 4 planes, so I’ll have to do some digging into which one I should be looking for precisely.
I’m guessing that anything in the same $40-60 USD price range that can be purchased new isn’t worth spending the money?3 August 2016 at 4:25 pm #139045Eric LundholmParticipant
I have found the millers falls planes to be good value and they don’t bring the money that stanley planes do on ebay. If you have a swap meet close by it is worth looking for tools there. (and other bits and pieces for a house repair) I can find stanley #4s and 5s in the $5 range often in our local swap meet. Most are missing parts but buy 2 and get a good user with parts left over for the next one. I have also found chisels for $1 each, my son bought a 12 inch bench vise for $20 well worth the dig to save the money.3 August 2016 at 4:56 pm #139047STEVE MASSIEParticipant
I agree with the others not sure what part of the country you are in, but in the US you can find several #4 Stanley’s and Miller Falls, Keen Kutter K series fairly reasonable. I would stay away from the new planes unless you spending $$$$$$ and by a Lie Neilson or Veritas plane. Send me an E-mail or PM if I can help you anymore.
Steve Massie, I live in the great State of Florida, US4 August 2016 at 12:28 am #139068
Thanks Eric and Steve for the suggestions – I’m up in the Northeast, Boston area, so I will definitely do some investigating local swaps / markets, see if I can find anything. In the meantime, I’ve put in some bids on auctions of some hand planes on eBay that I think are in fairly decent shape, and I’ve watched Peter Seller’s video on how to restore a plane a few times now.
Hopefully I will win one or two of these bids, and I’ll be back with some photos!4 August 2016 at 11:19 am #139086Steve GilesParticipant
I’m not keen on ebay auctions either, but I can generally find the item I’m looking for offered with a ‘Buy it Now’ option. At least then I don’t have to wait up to a week to know if I won, and can look for a BIN price I’m comfortable with.4 August 2016 at 12:01 pm #139097
That’s a great idea, thanks. I was outbid in the last ~6 minutes or so on a couple auctions that ended over last night or this morning, so I may try that instead – I can definitely see looking for auctions for future planes, but without any I’m a bit stuck even beginning the workbench project!4 August 2016 at 12:52 pm #139098David BParticipant
For about $20 you should be able to find a nice old rusty one on Ebay. Going through your own restoration will give you a much greater appreciation for how the plane works, how it fits together, etc. Just make sure to wear latex gloves when you’re doing the restoration or you’ll have black hands!4 August 2016 at 2:09 pm #139101
That’s a great point, and now that I’m looking at ‘Buy It Now’ options I think I will have more success than trying the auctions. In the meantime I am also watching some videos and figuring out all the other material I will need to restore a plane – so far, I’ve got:
flat surface – tile or plate glass
plenty of various grit sandpaper
Watching the video again and working through it now.
4 August 2016 at 2:45 pm #139104Richard SeniorParticipant
- This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by Chris Cancian.
If the lacquer has gone flaky on the handles, you might also want to get some shellac and wax to refinish them. You’ll probably use these for finishing projects anyway.4 August 2016 at 10:20 pm #139118ehiseyParticipant
In case you are by the price for some reason tempted this thing called a Stanely 204 is not a plane you want to try and learn to use. I have one, and it sorta works but you will probably never get it adjusted right.
If the auctions are being difficult, you can try looking at something like this https://www.amazon.com/Silverline-Hand-Plane-No-blade/dp/B000LFTOE2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1470345169&sr=8-1&keywords=Silverline+planes , this is the model Paul fettles in his blog, recommends as a new starter and uses in the chess board videos. When you get it treat it like an old plane that needs to be restored and you should get a decent plane out of it.
Lung T'an Hu Huesh Kung-fu Woodshop5 August 2016 at 4:02 am #139125
Thanks to both, good suggestions. I managed to win a bid and it should arrive early next week, giving me some time this weekend to pick up the last of the 2×4’s I need to begin my bench tops, as well as all the supplies to restore these planes – I’m going to try and follow along with Paul’s workbench videos. Pictures to come as soon as I have them in hand and can start to look at them in greater detail!5 August 2016 at 12:42 pm #139140David BParticipant
btw, this is basically what I did 2 years ago when I really started to get into it. I had these power tools but was tired of the noise, dust, and frankly sloppy cutting–it was frustrating to have power tools and somehow still not be able to cut straight. Then I stumbled on the first video of the workbench build and was just in awe of how Paul used that plane. That did it for me. Yeah, you may spend $20 for the plane on ebay but you will end up getting a flat surface (whether it is glass or a solid piece of granite), sandpaper, a set of sharpening stones, a piece of leather and some stropping compound….go down the rabbit hole and embrace it! 🙂5 August 2016 at 1:04 pm #139146
Exactly the same! We’ve finally bought and settled into a house, and now that I have the empty space in the basement to work I’d like to get started. I pretty swiftly got tired of watching videos that began with ‘After I ran these boards through my planer and jointer…’
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