In the interests of full disclosure, reviews marked with indicate items that were either on loan or subsequently given to the forum for competitions/sold for funds. Stanley’s higher quality planes came from the Bedrock and Bailey lines, with the Bedrock being considered their elite line, but Stanley also offered a Handyman” and a Defiance” line that weren’t quite to the Bailey standards, as well as other non-Bailey” economy planes under just the Stanley name. Wood is not velveeta, and contains internal stresses as well that can pinch the wide round blade aggravating the problem.
In order to maintain even pressure throughout the stroke, apply more pressure with the hand at the front of the plane during the beginning of the cut, and follow through with more pressure on the hand at the rear of the plane at the end of the cut. I have a Stanley, which is entirely good enough as long as I keep it adjusted and sharp (which you have to do with any plane). All these types of plane are known as bench planes, and have cutting irons set at a 45 degree angle to the work surface, with a downward facing bevel to the cutting edge.
If, on the other hand, you buy a cheap hand plane, you may get frustrated with it or it may break in some way that can’t be fixed, which will lead to you either giving up on using hand planes or buying more of them. It takes a fair amount of work to rehabilitate a plane but there are many available excellent planes that do not meet the conditions needed to make them collectible.
There’s always the option of buying a Lee Nielsen, Veritas, or Clifton hand plane, which nearly assures you a flawless performer right out of the box, but if you can’t justify the price, or just enjoy resurrecting an antique, the older planes offer a great low cost alternative. I love them now and wouldn’t trade them, but I could have saved myself at least 5 hours by buying a higher quality hand plane set to start with. I’ve been doing a Roy, marking with a knife, then using my shoulder plane or rabbet block. Most block planes have a blade that is adjustable with a knurled wheel for depth of cut.
Bench and block planes are available in rabbet versions, also known as rebate planes. I think we can safely say a good deal more than just a sliver of light was seen between the relevent reference surfaces. Incidently, that Woodcraft (Stanton, CA) has been selected as one of very few stores in the US which will be selling Lie Nielsen planes for the upcoming year. That is why a larger Jack plane, or better yet, a jointer plane is used rather than a short smooth plane or a block plane. The set-up time is substantial, but once properly set up, the planes take abuse well. For the short edge of a door a good block plane should be ok unless you need to remove a lot of material.
I agree about the Groz planes but I was at Woodcraft today and spent some time looking at the WoodRiver bench planes. Groz planes are manufactured in India and you can pick them up at Woodcraft or other retailers. I decided to make the plane as opposed to buying one as good used square rebates are hard to find and new wood ones are pricey or metric sizes like those from ECE. Wooden planes are best for some uses, like smoothing a hull; E.C.Emmerich can’t be beat. If there is a Groz tool you need that you can’t find, let us know and we’ll get it for you at the best value. I gave up on the Groz because the Groz gave up on life, did my research and picked the WoodRiver.
Groz planes are manufactured in India and you can pick them up at Woodcraft”: or other retailers. I bought this ugly lot of planes to refurbish, mostly for the Sargent jointer and the parts. I am a hobbyist woodworker, looking to sharpen my skills (and my planes) and have some fun along the way. I have other L.N. planes and a hand full of Stanley’s and others and do use them all but if I were only to have one it would be this scew plane, especially for boat work.
However, that’s just 1/5734th the price of a Veyron, so from that perspective it’s well within the means of even the most penurious supercar enthusiast (though based on the ratio of the Veyron’s 1020 brake horsepower to the roughly 0.1 hp sustained output of a human, the car is a better deal, dollar per unit of power). I suppose it really comes down to how much your time is worth and your skill level in tuning hand planes.
Like I said i am new to hand planes but once i adjusted the depth of cut i am getting a whisper cut. The average person reading this article will be nearly clueless about sharpening, adjusting or using a hand plane. But since workers got all uppity in the 20th century and decided three and a half farthing pence wasn’t enough for 12 hours of work and stuff those planes cost a metric donkey ton more than an antique plane that can be fixed up and is plenty good enough.
You could save a heck of a lot of money by buying an old Stanley from an antique dealer and working on that instead of wasting money on a new Groz that requires ridiculous work to tune up. I bought this as part of a 2 plane set, the other plane being a Groz #4 smoothing plane. Take your favourite cross cut saw and accurately cut a kerf in the maple block that is square to the face.
I got everything reassembled and put a little wax on the sole (just a block of paraffin—canning—wax I got at the grocery store) and tried some test cuts on a random piece of hickory laying around. I spent three to five hours in August getting these three set up. I followed this method set the planes up. Since then, I have only sharpened the blade. While the plane arrived in no condition to be used and the craftsmanship was not top notch, the results make we feel like the $25 and half-hour or tuning” were completely worth it. I would not hesitate to buy another Groz plane. Mr. Lee has done a great job of bringing back, or inventing tools for hand woodworking.