Myka Guitars Posted July 6, 2004 Report Share Posted July 6, 2004 I want to post something about hand planes. I have seen so many discussions lately about alternative methods including jointers, sanding blocks, elaborate router jigs, etc. This thread is not meant to encourage anyone to stop using a jointer or planer. These tools are incredible time savers and well worth aquiring. I just want to support those who cannot afford a jointer or planer. Also there is not a better tool for cleaning up the surface of wood than a hand plane. You can use sanding blocks but if you have a well tuned plane your surface will be smoother than 800 grit with one pass. Before I had access to power tools I was building guitars with hand planes and japanese saws. I still use a block plane to true fingerboards, neck surfaces, headstocks, etc. A block plane will work for these tasks but the blade must be like a razor and perfectly square. A smoothing plane works way better though because of its length and width. As soon as I could afford one I did. While I now have access to a jointer I still do the critical joinery on my guitars with the smoothing plane (acoustic guitar top and back plate joint, arcthop guitar carved top plate joint, electric guitar body and wing joint, etc). The surface is simply smoother wih a plane and the glue joint is light-tight (hold or clamp the unglued pieces together with a light source behind it and not be able to see any light pass through). If you want good results with a hand plane heed this word of warning: DON'T waste your time with Stanley or Record planes. They may be cheap to purchase but you will get cheap results. Get a Veritas or a Lie-Nielsen (or something equivalent). If you do go with Stanley prepare to spend the next couple days f**king with it and have it still not be as good as you need it to be. If you get a Lie-Nielsen prepare to plane end grain and curly maple to a glass-like smoothness right out of the box. What I recommend to anyone who wants to use a hand plane is to get something like a low angle block plane and a low angle smoothing plane. The Lie-Nielsen low angle adjustable mouth block plane is an essential tool in any toolbox. But don't take my word for it: block plane comparison Since I first purchased one I now own 3 Lie-Nielsens (the low angle bock plane, adjustable mouth low angle block plane, and the low angle smoothing plane). Check out http://www.lie-nielsen.com and http://www.leevalley.com/. I only use my Stanley now for cleaning up glue. A task for which it is perfectly suited. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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