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Trying to learn the Art of Hand-Planing, Got a few questions

Discussion in 'Wood / Woodwork / Carpentry' started by wau5, 3 Jun 2017.

  1. wau5

    wau5

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    Hello, I'm planing to make a few items which require a worktop (sideboard and a table) ,however I do not have a P/T ( I used to have but I don't have anywhere where to put one now + want to keep the noise down due to neighbors)

    I have a No4 old Record marples plane which I bought on ebay few years ago, but I would be open to idea of buying a larger no 6-7 jointer plane as well as I understand it's necessary if you want to properly do larger pieces.

    I will be making the tops from rather good quality Pine CLS
    Being CLS it comes with eased-up edges which I just ran through a P/T in past to get everything nice and square , but now I'm a bit stuck since I do not have a P/T and need a way to remove some stock off so its with square edges and the boards can be joined/glued together to form a top.


    So my questions are:
    1-What kind of size plane I would need (would be the best) If I wanted to square up and finish off for example a board that is 20cm wide and 150cm long?

    2- With a proper sharp plane how long do you think such task would take if the board would have minimal cupping/twisting (but still always there is some..)? - I guess It takes me about 10-15minutes to square up 2sides with planer and than run it through a thicknesser the normal way.

    3-In past after I fed it through a P/T I was left with a finish that needed a lot of sanding to remove all planer marks and other imperfections behind, do you think there would be less marks left if you were to do it with a razor sharp hand plane? I have heard that in some cases you don't even need sanding after planing with handplanes? It took me about 60-80 minutes to properly sand a small 40x100cm worktop in past and still I was left with some sanding marks and the finish wasn't really that perfect, that's A LOT of effort/dust and noise pollution.

    4- Can you suggest an easy to learn/not expensive system on how to properly sharpen handplane blades? I have tried to sharpen mine in past with just some regular dry sandpaper as I didn't had anything else but the results weren't really good and I wasn't really sure what I'm doing, I want to try to learn how to sharpen one so it's properly razor sharp - I have seen some articles where they suggest some crazy expensive £50 stones and you need few of them..there's gotta be a cheaper way to do that but without involving sandpaper? I have seen some cheap £10 honing guides/stone kits they sell but from the reviews those doesn't seem very good?


    6- What make/model plane/s would you suggest to do such task? I have a budget of maybe £50-£70 (used) to get a larger jointer plane, however I'm not sure what's the best stuff you could get for such budget? Under no circumstances I want to buy cheap and buy twice, I want good quality stuff that would last a lifetime and be a pleasure to use - However my budget probably doesn't stretches to get something like lie nielsen planes as they cost like £400 new and I'm not sure what's the used market for them.


    7- Let's be realistic , Is it possible to get rid of an super noisy P/T along with even noisier chip collector which takes up HUGE amounts of space in total and go do it the old-school way with just a handplane and get good results in reasonable time? There's gotta be an easier way than keeping a large/noisy/expensive Planer thickneser & chip extractor combo to use it only for maybe 1hour a month.



    That's a lot of questions... If someone would have the time to chime in that would be really helpful for a total beginner in hand-planes like myself.
    Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. foxhole

    foxhole

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    Only ever used a hand plane on hard woods, on pine it will be a struggle even if its razor sharp, pine is too coarse.If you get a lot of marks from P/T then the timbers put thru too quickly or blades are blunt.
     
  4. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    Wow! So what you are saying is that every chippy in the country is some sort of woodworking wizard? Top ho!

    To the OP -

    Firstly, CLS - if you want square edges and decent timber STOP buying CLS. It is low quality carp meant for for framing, studwork, etc. and will NEVER produce a good job. Instead go to a timber merchant (NOT B&Q!) and purchase joinery grade redwood and specify PSE (planed square edged). That will plane-up and finish better and will come with less knots, less splits, and proper square edges. Part of why you are getting poor results from your planer/thicknesset is probably that you are buyng such godawful poor timber!

    Planing softwoods in particular requires a sharp blade and a properly set-up plane. Sandpaper just won't sharpen steel - you need a sharpening "system". There are plenty around. Google "scary sharp" for one known good one which uses a sheet of float glass, a honing guide (Eclipse) and emery paper - expensive for a pro to run but if you aren't sharpening that often it does work well. TBH, we get apprentices started with a honing guide, 3-in-1 oil and a cheap 4-sided diamond stone (and wean them off the jig later on for site work). The Veritas jigs are pretty good, but not really necessary IMHO. Incidentally. if you think that £50 is a crazy price for a stone, don't look up professional Japanese water stones or even DMT diamond hones - the prices will scare you (my site diamonds were about £80 for two double-sided 8 x 3in ones - four grades of grit). Once the iron is sharpened and honed you'll also need to set the chip breaker properly.

    In terms of general bench joinery the most useful plane is probably a #5 (jack plane) which can be used to prep a lot of stuff. Don't go near jointers until you have become proficient with the jack plane. It will only cause you grief. To hand plane what you will need is a good, sturdy bench with a planing stop and where the top is set at the correct working height - Workmates are too small, too low, too light and will give you back ache very quickly - trestles don't work either. You'll also need a decent quality square (preferably an all-steel engineers one), a straight edge (I use my levels) and a marking gauge (if dimension planing) as well as a couple of home-made winding sticks if you have to take wind out - a very good reason to start with better quality defect-free timber IMHO

    Really? (said with mild surprise/sarcasm.....) You should be aware that ALL hand planes will leave a tracked surface - where you can see the edges of the blade - this is normally sanded or (for hardwood only) scraped out at the end of the process. With a properly set-up plane, capable of taking a thin, translucent shaving the tracking becomes minimal and doesn't take much sanding. More experienced tradesmen learn how to sharpen a blade with a slight camber to reduce this still further, but that's a bit much to expect from a raw beginner

    On thing I will say, though, is that hand planing is very labour intensive and will take a lot out of you, physically. That's why joiners went over to using machinery in the first place!
     
  5. wau5

    wau5

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    Thanks man,
    I wish I could stop buying CLS :D however the timber in this country is so **** and scarce that you simply don't have any other choice unless you are ready to pay oak prices for ****ty pine...
    For my timber needs I travel 90miles to pick it up and I get good quality redwood PSE, however it doesn't comes in all sizes I need so sometimes I have to use CLS as well :(

    I have old no4 Record plane with which I have been practicing a bit over time however I haven't got anything to properly sharpen it with so it doesn't really bites that good, do you think for the moment once I get a proper way to sharpen that plane and buy some no7 plane as well that would be enough for start?

    Oh yeah I understand that some little sanding is still required EVERYTIME, however if you start sanding CLS you have to sand every crap out of it and it takes loads of time, I use my sander more as a shaper :D
     
  6. foxhole

    foxhole

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  8. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    Sounds more like you need a table saw!

    Forget the no. 7. It will be an expensive boat anchor at this stage. I'll reiterate that the most useful plane for prepping timber is a jack plane - jointers are sometimes used to make the final pass or two on longer pieces only when all the prep work has been properly done. That requires a jack plane, and on the shorer stuff (up to 1.2 metres or so) a jack plane alone can do the full job. Smoothers such as the no.4 are just too short to flatten timber sufficiently. Until you can learn to sharpen and set-up a plane properly, though, hand planing isn't going to work that well for you either
     
  9. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    You stated that:
    which is simply untrue. If it were true then it wouldn't be possible to do any acceptable joinery work in softwood and that patently isn't the case. Hand planes work on softwoods providing they are properly sharpened and properly set-up. Getting decent results from poor quality timber, softwood or hardwood, is always a challange and on low grade CLS it can take more effort that it's worth because of all the knots, etc which is why a joinery grade redwood is preferable by far. But a struggle? Hmmm
     
  10. noseall

    noseall

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    Agree. My wood chisels and my old plane are touched up each time they are used. I'd say learn to sharpen one prior to using one not t'uther way around.
     
  11. foxhole

    foxhole

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    Made no mention of " all softwood " just pine which you agreed is difficult due to many knots.
     
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