Plane plain facts?

tvrgeek

Scott
User
Ok, I have what I think is a perfectly good Stanly #4 rib sole with Hoch iron. No trouble with it. Not the easiest to adjust but gets the job done.
Was teasing myself with maybe stepping up. That is if a step up is really a step up. Keep my Stanley for rough stuff, carpenter etc., and have the "premium" for cabinet work.
Doing a bit of searching, watching a bunch of videos, looking at catalogs.

It seems traditional English planes are either the Stanly/Bailey "Preston" with a toggle cap, or the Record thumbscrew cap. Difference? None really.
So, between a $20 HF POS to the $800 Bridge City, what do you actually get?
Obviously, fit and finish. No reason to start below the standard Stanly 12-904 for $51 ( Zoro) and spend $40 on a decent iron. Made in china and Probably as good as a worn out vintage one with a bit of a tune up. I can bet the castings have not sat in the yard a couple years to relax.

So that means to get serious, we are talking above $100.
Bridge City, $800. OK fine if they say so. I assume they work. Not on a retired civil servant pay scale.
Clifton looks like a polished up Stanly 904 with a cryo treated blade. $390. Bedrock frog though from of the 604, not the Stanley 904.
Bronze L-N is not available but iron is. $300 Again, the Bedrock frog.
Veritas $230 seems pretty nice.
Stanly Sweetheart for $150 might be nice if the iron is good. No idea on the frog design.
Then the all the clones of the Record or Stanley. Wood River, Bench Dog, Kuntz, Tray, etc. Nothing says they are any better than the basic 904 Stanley. Maybe they have better fit and finish, but none of the descriptions suggest any actual performance.

Am I missing anything in particular?
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
OK, I tracked down the difference between Bailey and Bedrock. Both my Stanley are Bailey and two Handyman planes, but they are a big step down. Bailey without the fine adjustment screw. My #7 does not have the screw either. The Sweetheart frog is fixed and has an adjustable throat like a block plane. I think I like that. I think the Record frog is like the Bailey. Still looking.
 
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jlimey

Jeff
Senior User
Scott,

the wood river has a bedrock style frog at $200. I personally find the standard Veritas tote to be less comfortable than the LN versions.

If I was going to spend $200 on the Wood River, I wood spend a little more on the Veritas.

I don't think that you would be disappointed in with the Veritas or LN.

I have a LN #4 with a 50 degree frog if you want to give it a try.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
Nice to look at Mike, but way out of not only budget, but cash!
Noticed a comment on Hock WEB about "does not fit ill-advised Sweetheart". Answers that question.

So, why the steeper frogs?

I am gathering I would be happy with either the Veritas or LN. But sometimes there is a sleeper out there. I have largish hands, so the tote may matter. The Kunz looks like a nice bit of kit, but like many, does not say what the iron alloy is. For a smooth plane, I am thinking O1 is a better choice than A2. My old Hock irons are all O1 and they can cut with just their shadow.

For the price, it might just be worth my while to run over to Graham in a couple of weeks I get my second shot Thursday, so a week from... At this level, intangibles like fit in the hand matter. I see the bronze is out of stock due to casting supplier problems.

Also looking at shoulder planes. I actually NEED a medium one where I only WANT a new #4. About the same batch of companies.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
If money was no object!
He does not even list the price. I guess it is like a 100 foot sailboat. If you have to ask, you can't afford it. At least B-C has a price.
Actually, I suspect cast iron or bronze to be more non-resonant than plate steel and all those fabrication connections. Pretty, but maybe not actually the very best plane. I know some still swear by their old Primus planes for that very reason.

I wish we could do the annual woodworking show as Veritas always has a booth. I never had time to really look at planes last time (Baltimore 4 years ago)
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
At the other end, a marvel in manufacturing cost, HF sells a "Windsor" for $14 We know it is junk, but it still begs the question about some of the other prices.
 

jlimey

Jeff
Senior User
So, why the steeper frogs?
A higher angle of attack can help with reducing tearout in tricky grain. Over the last several years there has been a discussion of the best way to work difficult grain. Higher angle (from a steeper frog or low angle plane with steep blade angle) or chip breaker very close to cutting edge. Of course, sharp and small depth of cut are the starting point.

I am gathering I would be happy with either the Veritas or LN. But sometimes there is a sleeper out there. I have largish hands, so the tote may matter. The Kunz looks like a nice bit of kit, but like many, does not say what the iron alloy is. For a smooth plane, I am thinking O1 is a better choice than A2. My old Hock irons are all O1 and they can cut with just their shadow.
I am not in love with A2. Probably should have ordered my new plane with O1. I can't seem to get quite the edge as I can on 01. I love the Veritas pm-v11. Great edge that lasts forever.

For the price, it might just be worth my while to run over to Graham in a couple of weeks I get my second shot Thursday, so a week from... At this level, intangibles like fit in the hand matter. I see the bronze is out of stock due to casting supplier problems.

Also looking at shoulder planes. I actually NEED a medium one where I only WANT a new #4. About the same batch of companies.
I have a thing for shoulder planes. :) So you are welcome to try a few of those too. I may have to come to you. As I mentioned, I can barely move in my shop after the move so I won't subject anybody to that.
 

Oka

Board of Directors, Vice President
Casey
Staff member
Corporate Member
The Steeper frog compared to the low angle is not that much different when you added up all angles, only a few degrees. To me if you are worried about twisty grain, then hone @ 30 deg. Koa, Monkeypod and Robusta all have inconsistent grain and planing ... I just set the iron angle higher and keep them sharp... sharpness is the primary problem,
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
Holty planes range from £2500 to £7000. Each is custom handmade to order so a lengthly discussion is required to determine exact price.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
Craziest things are out of stock. Decided it was time to tune up the #51 spoke shave I picked up for $5. Iron is cracked. Ok, OUT OF STOCK everywhere! A spoke shave blade! Lee Valley has them in your choice of steel but I'll have to wait until fall it seems.

I can see one advantage to staying with "Staney" type tools. Aftermarket blades and wil likely to remain so. As much as I trust Veritas and L-N to be around, will they in 50 years? A lifetime tool for me is not very long, but these things should last many lifetimes.
 

jlimey

Jeff
Senior User
The Steeper frog compared to the low angle is not that much different when you added up all angles, only a few degrees. To me if you are worried about twisty grain, then hone @ 30 deg. Koa, Monkeypod and Robusta all have inconsistent grain and planing ... I just set the iron angle higher and keep them sharp... sharpness is the primary problem,
Casey, I assume that you are talking bevel up planes. 30 + 12 = 42 degrees, which is different than a 55 degree frog. You can change the bevel angle to 43 and you are at 55 degrees. Of course, then you don't have a chip breaker on those blades.

Not trying to start yet another "best way to avoid tear out" discussion in this thread, as I don't believe there is one answer. You are correct, sharpness is step one.
 
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jlimey

Jeff
Senior User
I can see one advantage to staying with "Staney" type tools. Aftermarket blades and wil likely to remain so. As much as I trust Veritas and L-N to be around, will they in 50 years? A lifetime tool for me is not very long, but these things should last many lifetimes.
I do thick thicker blades for L-N planes will be available. They are a simple blade, with no recesses for a Norris style adjuster, for example.
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
I think you're worrying about things too much. LN planes are basically copies of the Bedrock, so are WoodRivers. The irons have/will be around forever.

WR should be on your list. I have a 4, 6 and 7 as well as a LN 4 1/2. I'm way past the "made in China" thing. They are excellent planes. I'll put them up against LN any day.

I've tried putting a thicker iron on a Stanley & had to file the mouth open.

Bottom line it all depends on how much hand planing you do, and what you expect. I can tell you without a doubt in my hands, both WR and LN are notches above Stanley.
 

Cuthriell

Cuthriell
User
You can look at Patrick Leach's tools. He puts out a monthly list of used tools in all price ranges. He is a Stanley expert. None of his tools are refurbished, but they can be used as is. You have to request being added to his mailing list. He is what he has for April. Real tools at realistic prices.
He also has web pages related to everything Stanley with good descriptions. I once purchased a plane from him and was satisfied with the condition and price.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
Casey, I assume that you are talking bevel up planes. 30 + 12 = 42 degrees, which is different than a 55 degree frog. You can change the bevel angle to 43 and you are at 55 degrees. Of course, then you don't have a chip breaker on those blades.

Not trying to start yet another "best way to avoid tear out" discussion in this thread, as I don't believe there is one answer. You are correct, sharpness is step one.
Step one, two, three... But then again, I only own 4 planes, so I don't think my view qualifies. :)

Really need to put a medium shoulder on order so I quit messing up with chisels. Choices seem to be:
Wood River #92 I do not know much about MN65 steel. It is hard, but is it sharp? Knife makers like it. Not sure it is really the best for a plane.
A BenchDog for half the price seems to have a softer higher carbon iron.
Or do I just suck it up first time and go Veritas or Clifton? ( L-N out of stock indefinably. A2 steel) Kind of leaning Clifton.

Logically, I want the sharpest and durability is not that high as it is just for trimming tenons or a rebate. Not like the workout a #4 gets, or the abuse my block gets. ( Just checked it. Edge looks more like a bread knife. My bad. )
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
You can look at Patrick Leach's tools. He puts out a monthly list of used tools in all price ranges. He is a Stanley expert. None of his tools are refurbished, but they can be used as is. You have to request being added to his mailing list. He is what he has for April. Real tools at realistic prices.
He also has web pages related to everything Stanley with good descriptions. I once purchased a plane from him and was satisfied with the condition and price.
Sweet. Bookmarked. I could get in trouble in a site like that. No #92 this week though.
 

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