About planes – revisited

I have for years been concerned about the grand push of heavy planes and have spoken against those misinforming us that thin irons don’t work and that lightweight planes such as Record and Stanley #4 and #41/2 are somehow so inferior that we should avoid them. For over a century craftsmen and women were content with these planes and they were indeed used by the millions very effectively. They get the job done and do not cause chatter. They need no retrofitting with thicker irons no matter the maker of the irons. You and anyone can use a thin-ironed bog-standard plane no matter the age very effectively. It is unlikely to come out of the wrapper ready to go and will possibly take some fettling.

I will follow up with more on this to help you pick through to the truth shortly and provide some images and impressions from my findings.

In my book, I spend a lot of time on this and sharpening and adjusting this plane.

Also, there is much misinformation about Bed Rock versus Bailey pattern. Thos is another sphere if misinformation. I still use the latter even though the others sit in my cupboard. This begins a weight issue we should address and we will talk this through too.

Got to get to the workshop for now.



  1. Luke Townsley on 24 November 2011 at 4:33 pm

    I’m looking forward to the discussion of the merits of the Bailey design.

    • Paul Sellers on 25 November 2011 at 1:30 am

      Hi Luke,
      I started today with the first part. Hope you enjoy. In the book you can follow the patterns ffor getting the Bailey pattern plane fully fettled, sharpened and set correctly. Fancy planes work too and I am not saying they are not nice to have and to hold, but rather than wait, or should i say weight, you can be way down the road to real woodworking.
      Your friend,

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