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#4s – don’t abandon them yet!

At one time, decades back, I heard comments between plane owners about how one plane was better than another. They gave good reasons; I sat and listened to them. Back then the reasons were simple. There was no question then of thick plane irons, diamond paste, micro bevels, cryogenic steel and such like that. As I said, it was simpler. Of late, since Internet capacity for all occurred, I have seen increased masses of information about planes. You would think that armed with this marked increase of free information we would be better informed, our confidence would be increased and that we could handle them competently, yet I see more confusion about planes now than I have ever seen before, which may seem strange until you add into the mix a few other ingredients. Regardless of whether it be a Stanley or a Record, the most basic #4 is equal to all smoothing plane tasks and will perform 90% of planing functions excellently.

If you want this or this is what you have been looking for I will take you step by step to setting up a basic #4 plane that will work so well it will knock your socks with no need for any retrofit. Watch this space! Coming soon! Extra, extra! Let’s do it together. Even if you own a fancy plane you may want to do to yours what we do to the plane-janes of abandoned planes.

1 Comment

  1. David Kirtley on 20 December 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Thanks for being a voice of reason. The one last remaining metallic bench plane that I occasionally use is an old hardware store brand #5-1/2 (probably made by Stanley). No, it doesn’t have a fancy frog adjuster. I would have to move the frog manually if I ever dreamed up some reason that I would ever need to move it now that the mouth is closed up to match the iron. I have never taken a micrometer or a feeler gauge to it. I have never checked the sides of the sole with a machinist’s square. It has never chattered or had any difficulty planing any wood it comes against.



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