Joined: Sat Jan 29, 11 8:20 pm Posts: 2 Location: Olathe, Kansas
Wow...there are so many possibilities open to you for your first plane.
Be warned...you get one and then another and pretty soon you'll be looking for projects to build so you can justify buying another plane!
If you are currently doing most of your work on power tools (table saw, jointer, planer, etc), I'd recommend a low-angle block, skewed-blade block plane (with the nicker, if possible) from Lie-Nielsen. That was my first plane. Low-angle helps to trim end grain for over-long tenons and tongues fit a little better.
The next plane I bought was the Low-Angle Adjustable Mouth Block Plane (again from Lie Nielsen). both of these planes get the most work for "just the little tune-up" of a piece of stock.
Next, from eBay, I bought a #5 Stanley/Bailey and later a #4-1/2 Stanley/Bailey. With a little rust removal and fine tuning, they cut like a dream. You'll see T-Mac use his #5 quite often on the show.
Now, I've got about 10 planes that I use regularly. With a mix of power tools and hand tools, yours skills will improve dramatically, in my humble opinion. They did for me.
I'm hopeful that I haven't scared you away from using planes, because next you'll need scrapers, too. Tommy gave me a lesson on scraper use when he was in Kansas City. No plane or sandpaper can put a smooth finish on wood like a scraper.
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 12 10:24 pm Posts: 12 Location: Lake Worth, Florida
If you could only have 2 hand planes you should have a #4 and a low angle block plane. Look on Ebay- Stanley/Bailey, Record, and Marples are all good bets. A filister plane and a spoke shave might also come in handy.
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 09 3:23 pm Posts: 710 Location: 20 miles west of boston
A #5 can be picked up cheaply on the used market. use that to teach yourself how to sharpen, tune and use a plane. by changing the configuration (depth of cut, mouth opening, and blade) it will work as a roughing, jointing and smoothing plane.
A low angle jack plane is another good option if you want to buy new.
That being said It's really hard to go wrong with a #4.
the planes I tend to use the most are the #4,#7 #5, low angle jack, and a shoulder plane.
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