Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
Yep...
Response To:
The Schwartz advice.... ()

John in NM
It matters more how you intend to use it than how some guy says you should use it (or them in this case).

If one is going to use hand tools alone, and wants to spend the minimum time on a task, then Schwartz is giving good advice.

If one is a hybrid machine/hand tool sort of builder, which most of us are now, then you do just need a block plane and maybe a bench plane or two.

If one is a hand tool only woodworker, with more time than money, then you can get by with probably a #5 and different blades of different cambers to substitute for different planes. Going to be more work, but there is vastly less investment in tools if can't find some inexpensive old Stanleys (perhaps none are inexpensive any more either).

Getting back to the OP, I find a block plane most useful in general. Probably a #5 jack after that or a #5 1/2 jack, depending on use. I used to use one of those a lot in a shop with many users and marginal equipment - it was handy for evening up rails to legs before putting a top on. Easier in that place to even things up than fix whatever machine alignment caused the problem. In a pinch either can do the smoother's job too, though I rarely find actual need for a smoother.

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