Hand Tools Archive

initial fitting...
Response To:
Re: more infill weights ()

David Weaver
.going through the scenario I mentioned earlier - someone who has several million in their 401k and just wants to start with planing stuff may not care about a couple of hundred dollars for a wooden plane.

i like a try plane around 7 1/2 or 8 pounds and a jack plane around ....(have to measure it...the last 17" jack plane that I made is the one that I use - 4 lbs 14 oz.) I am fatter than you, though ( a little over 200 pounds).

When thought about building planes, I bought about 20 wooden planes, maybe more than that.

The variance in weight was surprising. I found quickly that I didn't like most wooden jointer planes (too heavy - one early lamb plane from new england was well over 10 pounds) and if they weren't heavy, they were often rough to use. I didn't get along with try planes if they were under about 7 pounds (too much communication) and like the jacks that are slightly longer (like a pattern that matheison made a lot of)

Here's the weights of the planes that I actually use (the infills, I use on occasion, but they're not lowest effort and I don't have any of the smaller lighter ones left because of the stanley below).
* later stanley 4 - normal thickness iron - 3 lbs 10 oz
* greaves try plane, 22 inches - 2.5 wide - 7 lbs 14 oz
* my jack as mentioned above - 4 lbs 14, it's 2 1/8th width, 17" long - my favorite pattern of all that I've tried

I have two try planes left of my own make (you've mentioned they're long enough to be referred to as long planes - both just under 8 pounds, 24" long. I would use either or the greaves - just have 3)

I haven't yet found a coffin plane that I care for, so I don't use them. Too light for quick work and I think most professional users would replace them with a stanley plane if they work more than agreeable softwoods. it's misleading to say "yet". I don't like them, it's not going to change.

There's on exception to that, I have a house-made cocobolo smoothing coffin plane that's 2 1/4" for the iron and it's 4 pounds 4 oz. It is excellent for pre-final work or early work on sticking. I made it, didn't like it at first (the iron isn't really good enough for smoothing work, but it's fine for heavier work), and found a use for it later. It's dandy to set where most people would set a try plane (e.g., 5-6 thousandths on cherry) to run the ripples off of machine planed wood, too.

There is no need for all of these planes, but I have them, so I use them. I've made and refinished several beech coffin smoothers from around 1 3/4 to 2 1/4, they just don't quite have enough density to make up for their small size. I made another in purpleheart just under 2" and inentionally mortised the mouth so that it could get an insert (to have a negative wear), and it's better than a traditional design with a single wear and heavy enough to feel and work like a stanley 4, but there's no incentive for me to use it over a stanley 4 as it's only as good. I don't like the aesthetic of exotic smoothers, either - that's a personal bias, but making those planes confirmed what it is I don't like about beech smoothers.

I can refit just about any old plane in less than an hour, iron and all - but there's no incentive to do it. I have offered once in a while when someone says they want a turn key wooden plane, but people see old wooden planes for $50 and I guess they'd rather buy a fully made wooden plane for $450 than potentially spend $100 getting a wooden plane and sending it to me and paying to have it mailed back. I suppose there's some suspicion that an old plane could be as good as a new one if the fitting is done properly ...whatever, it's not really my concern when people don't think my advice is credible. it becomes a waste of time feeling out who is actually looking to woodwork and who is just looking to buy a plane that they fancy based on pictures online.

Messages In This Thread

Light vs Heavy planes
Re: Light vs Heavy planes
I like tools from Brooklyn
Re: I like tools from Brooklyn *NM*
Infills in the UK
I'm glad you commented.
Weight Comparison
more infill weights
Re: more infill weights
initial fitting...
one more follow-up comment.
Re: one more follow-up comment.
Re: rosewood
Re: more infill weights
now there is a pearl of wisdom
Re: I'm glad you commented.
what I've found...
Re: what I've found...
Re: Calling BS
Re: Calling BS
Re: Can't argue
Re: Calling BS
by the early 19th century
Re: by the early 19th century
It's not offered as ball court...
Re: It's not offered as ball court...
I'm guessing on parts here...
I miss Todd Hughes' contributions too *NM*
Re: Calling BS
Re: Calling BS
I think we're agreeing...
Re: I think we're agreeing...
Re: Me too
Wood isn't indefinitely stable, either
Re: Facts, not assertions
Re: Facts, not assertions
I haven't seen it....
Re: I haven't seen it....
Truing Kanna
expanding on what jim said
Re: expanding on what jim said
Re: expanding on what jim said
Coupla thoughts
different methods of lapping and the bump
Re: I haven't seen it....
Re: I haven't seen it....
Re: I haven't seen it....
interesting that...
Note on a modern infill
konrad's planes...
new vs. old planes...
Re: Light vs Heavy planes
Turnover, newbies and FAQ
comment on teaching
If you get my drift...
finding out who to listen to...
Re: finding out who to listen to...
Re: finding out who to listen to...
I agree...
Re: Same
Old history
Re: Misprint?
cultural thing...
Shops using mostly hand tools..
Re: Shops using mostly hand tools..
Don felder's guitar...
Re: Light vs Heavy planes
Not a positive contribution to the discussion
Re: Light vs Heavy planes
Inertia and figured wood
Re: Jim, what is Osae-gani? *NM*
Re: Osae-gani
Note on fitting
biases for the maker...
Re:wedge fitting
Re:wedge fitting
Re: funny...
At some point..
The experiment and conclusion are both confusing
Re: Heavy and light
another factor
If you're trimming furniture...
The best case for heavy planes...
Re: reframing the issue
Friction, and more
Re: reframing the issue
not the direction I went *PIC*
5 1/4
Re: Light vs Heavy planes
Re: Light vs Heavy planes
Re: Light vs Heavy planes
Re: Light vs Heavy planes
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