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Old 09-10-2011, 10:57 AM   #11 (permalink)
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If you want to get into carpentry then you really should have at least two planes.

One in the shape of the upper one, but ideally a little longer that that one appears, at least 12". Beyond 16" you're getting into the slightly unwieldy area for a lot of projects. (You can find hand 'table planners' that are 2-3 feet long, but if you're going that route you either have to really love using hand tools to justify using one instead of a floor mounted power tool.)



The lower one is the general style for a simple hand plane. They're small, easy to use (once the blade is properly set, which is a skill in itself), and perfect for a range of applications.

Use the proper sized tool for the job, buy quality tools and take care of them. Personally I own Stanley planes, but they were my father's and are nearly as old as I am, so I have no idea what current production quality is.


Three things to remember about planes:
Never set them flat on the blade! When you set them down, lay them on their sides.
Always take time to adjust the blade properly and make sure it is sharp.
Always use them when the piece is secured and doesn't move. Using a light tool bench like a Workmate just makes you work ten times as hard as it flexes. Putting the money into a good, solid, weighted work bench with a sturdy wood clamp will save you frustration, broken projects, and broken tools. Not to mention a good one can last generations. (Assuming you don't keep cutting into it with a skil saw, or setting it on fire.)


And remember: No smoking/flames near wood shavings!

Good luck with the project.

Oh, and one last tip: If you develop a blister or something while using hand tools to make something for the wife/girlfriend, don't mention them. Let her see them and comment on them, and reply with something along the lines of "Oh, well you know. Making something just for you is worth more than a few blisters/cuts/minor blood loss/etc". Women seem to love that.

However, if you chop the end of your finger off, or worse, with a power tool, then you have no way of talking yourself out of it. Classic hand tools > power tools for most women I've met.
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dundadun View Post
I'm considering combining the dremel bit with a bunch of 60 grit on the orbital.
It wouldn't be the first time I spent days doing something really monotonous(like turning plexi into a pegboard).

But I will think about the notching, not sure I can pull it off with all the sliding bars. Maybe I could make sure the taller ones are on the edges and use washers to raise the lower middle ones.



huh, shouldn't be too much effort to rent one...
If you try to level all that hardwood out with an orbital i suspect you will spend about 5 times the cost of an electric planer in orbital disks. In case you havent those are expensive and dont last very long
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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lol nice taste, i want one now too.

not that i would even try making it though
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Old 09-10-2011, 02:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckless View Post
The lower one is the general style for a simple hand plane. They're small, easy to use (once the blade is properly set, which is a skill in itself), and perfect for a range of applications.

Use the proper sized tool for the job, buy quality tools and take care of them. Personally I own Stanley planes, but they were my father's and are nearly as old as I am, so I have no idea what current production quality is.
Sadly, I can't drop the money for planer that can last a life time, so it would be harbor freight for now, but is that even worth spending the money?
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Originally Posted by Luckless View Post
Three things to remember about planes:
Never set them flat on the blade! When you set them down, lay them on their sides.
I thought you were supposed to store them down on pieces of wood? Keeps yourself, other tools etc from making contact with the blade, and wood can't hurt the blade.
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Originally Posted by Luckless View Post
Good luck with the project.

Oh, and one last tip: If you develop a blister or something while using hand tools to make something for the wife/girlfriend, don't mention them. Let her see them and comment on them,
Ha! Awesome!
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Originally Posted by dukie View Post
If you try to level all that hardwood out with an orbital i suspect you will spend about 5 times the cost of an electric planer in orbital disks. In case you havent those are expensive and dont last very long
They don't last very long. Especially Micro Mesh and polishing 1" acrylic to be completly clear :P

So far I'm thinking renting a floor sander or using a cheapO planer is the best way to save money and/or sanity.
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:21 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Yea I'd rock the hand plane if you can't get access to a thickness planer or jointer. Personally I love hand planing work, great finish, hand cut, and really not that hard if you get your technique down (and use a good tool).
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Old 09-11-2011, 02:08 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Setting the plane properly is honestly the hardest part of planning wood. Getting the edge ground to the correct angle, setting the blade in the plane to the proper angle and depth. The difference between taking an even long shave that doesn't require extra muscle, one that digs too deep, and one that keeps skipping is an annoyingly small fraction of an inch.

And setting the blade down on a piece of wood isn't good for it. You put pressure on the edge, dulling it, and can shift your blade setting, which changes all the above annoying task of adjusting it properly.

Really the ideal way to set a plane down would be on two blocks of wood so the blade is isn't resting on anything, but just putting it on its side and being smart about how you're moving is often easier.


And wear a strong toed boot while working with wood! Dropping a block plane or a heavy C clamp on your little toe hurts.
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Old 09-11-2011, 06:58 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Alrighty, I will be giving the hand planer a try next.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:37 AM   #18 (permalink)
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For the raised effect, you could also lightly dampen the surface, over a number of days. I do that when I'm turning to raise the grain while sanding, which ends in a much smoother finish. Im not positive on the end effect though because I've never done it solely to raise the grain, but it works in theory. I suggest experimentation on scrap. Sand roughly smooth first, then begin daily dampenings.

The hand planer will work, it will take some effort though. You will want to draw a "lowest surface" line across the ends of the boards, and match each individually in turn. Table saw really would be the best option, check with neighbors (if you have any) its not a rare tool many people own one or know someone that does.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:55 AM   #19 (permalink)
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If it was me, i'd leave the boards different thicknesses, keep them all together tight like they are on the floor, have them bead blasted to give you that wavy raised effect, put a border around the set like the one thats for sale but make the border about 1/4 inch higher than the highest board to it makes a slight bowl shape then fill with a clear epoxy stuff, will still give you the smooth top, but also that asymetric look. It would atleast save you the trouble of hand planing everything, its dam hard to get it perfect
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:59 AM   #20 (permalink)
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TryCool Idea Jluke, if done neatly the effect would definitely make a good conversation starter. Very "outside the box idea. I'm going to have to try that one of these days to see the effect.
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