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    Ultimately it is all about feel and usability for you. Years ago I went to the college of the Redwoods, I have 8-9 Krenov planes that pretty much sit in a drawer. I could never get used to using them, particularly compared to my 1930’s Stanley #4. But that’s me.

    As for the planes you have the first 5 listed are all bench planes. The last 6 are specialty planes.

    If I were instructing a new woodworker where to begin (and I taught adults for 13 years), I’d say use either the #4 or #5 (605) for your only plane until you build up your skill level. Between those two I’d choose the one in better condition and the one that feels better. Specifically choose the one that has a flat sole. And the plane that is square on an edge to use in a shooting board. Put the other bench planes aside until you gain more skill. You will know when it’s time to start using them. Tuning up planes is a necessary skill, fixing planes is a more advanced skill–takes some time to learn.

    Paul not only recommends #4 bench plane but also the use of a router plane in his essential tools. He also works with plow and rebate planes. I’d keep the #71 handy.

    Bench Plane Stanley 4
    Bench Plane Bedrock 605
    Bench Plane Record 5 1/2
    Bench Plane Stanley 6
    Bench Plane Stanley 7
    Bench Plane Stanley 10
    Shoulder Plane Stanley 78
    Circular Plane Record 020c
    Scraper Plane Stanley 80
    Small Hand Router Stanley 271
    Hand Router Stanley 71



    Hey Jeff
    I work in my apartment as well. I’m single so I took over the dining area. I have a workbench and a shop vac. Pretty simple set-up

    Could you make a workbench, get a dolly that fits underneath so you can move it out of the way


    that’s a beauty, nice work


    Sorry to hear about the frankenplane. Some folks on ebay are trying to scam, others are just misinformed. I would set this plane aside for repair at another time.

    I’d rather buy used tools at yard sales, flea markets or boot sales. Or in the US, a local Habitat for Humanity Restore.

    I applaud Paul’s efforts to get us started in woodworking in a cost effective way, but sometimes the cost of new versus used is blurred by the effort to repair used tools. Additionally, one needs a “critical mass” of knowledge about tools to perform repairs.

    I found this web site, I don’t know anything about it but he has the parts in stock

    good luck


    Hi Ed
    I do sharpen in a linear fashion, pressure applied on the push stroke, no pressure on the return. On the push stroke, visualize scraping something from a piece of glass. Also, sharpen across the stone, not just in one place to help alleviate grooving the stone.

    With smaller blades (e.g. spoke shaves) I work in a circular motion.

    I don’t put a camber in my plane blades (perhaps I should), one would never want to do that with laminated Japanese steel (the edge would be too brittle).

    I checked on the grit size of different finishing methods:
    1200 water stone: 13um
    Norton Extra Fine diamond: 11um
    DMY Extra fine diamond: 9um
    6000 water stone: 2um
    green sharpening compound: 0.5um
    So stropping will produce a finer polished edge, I don’t know if that matters.

    IMHO: The most important thing in sharpening isn’t the angel, or even the grit but the consistently of the sharpening angle combined with a dead flat back.


    I’m going to offer a different opinion. I first learned to sharpen using water stones, and I still use them (the same set from 1998). I use a 1200 and 6000, sometimes a 3000 blue stone. I don’t use my 250 or 800 stones anymore, I use a Worksharp 3000 for really course work and repairs. The edge from the 6000 is razor sharp.

    If you are sharpening correctly, you will wear but not gouge water stones. The periodic flattening takes a few moments, 1200 on 220 paper adhered to a piece of glass. The finish stones flattened on the 1200 stone.

    When I attended woodworking school almost everyone used water stones. But I didn’t get the best results until a took a Japanese tools class from a shoji screen maker in Oakland CA, Jay Van Arsdale. If you want to sharpen using water stones I recommend his book


    One of the original reasons for frame and panel construction was to keep things flat. So that would always be a good option.

    The warp you are experiencing is due to a difference in moisture content from one face of the wood to another. I have experienced a freshly milled panel about 9″ wide (25cm) warping over lunch when left flat on a workbench.

    One solution, that I used with student projects, that worked about 50% of the time: wet the concave side of the panel, place the panel concave side down on a nonabsorbent surface and place weight on top. Check the panel in 24hrs. Again this works about 50% of the time.

    Best of luck


    Sounds like the plane was poorly machined. Is it possible to add a nylon spacer or washer to the top of the handle bolt? Maybe a washer and a star washer to keep the bolt from loosening over time. To reduce the slop in the bolt try a new bolt and maybe applying some teflon plumbers tape.


    David is correct. But there is an easy work around for the PS bench.

    Euro Style or Continental style workbenches used one or two 3/4-1″ dowel pegs to keep the top in place on the undercarriage.

    A PS could easily be adapted to a knockdown bench. (1) the bench pieces drop onto the bearers over 3/4″ dowel pegs (the pegs in the tool tray could protrude through and be cut flush). (2) The aprons are aligned with the top using dowels and then are secured to the legs with counter sunk hex bolts. Chris Schwarz and Co have a similar bench referred to as a Nicholson workbench. Google Knockdown Nicholson workbench, you’ll see lots of examples


    hope this information doesn’t find you after the new bench is completed.

    Mass can be a problem with small workbenches, based on some cursory research for my newly modified bench, DougFir weighs about 3lbs a bdft at 10% moisture. so you can do some math and estimate how much a smaller bench weighs, anything approaching 200lbs should stay put.

    As for the two piece top idea, great idea. It will make the bench easier to move in the future. The top can be secured with dowel pins. All of the European style cabinet benches I’ve worked on have used the dowel method.


    Nice work Matt

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)