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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:53 pm 
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As most of you know, I have a small shop and no space available for an Aircraft Carrier Jointer. So I've been looking a jointer plane. These are usually pretty expensive, but WoodCraft has their Gronz hand planes on sale this month, including a #7 jointer plane at 22" long for only $66. That falls easily in my budget, a little too easily and that's my consern.

What are your opinions on the Gronz planes? If they are crappy, can they be brought up to a workable level through some fiddling of the sole and a good sharpening of the iron?

Yes, I know that an LN jointer plane would be MUCH better, but I just don't have $400+ burning a hole in my pocket right now.

I also saw that WC has a Wood River #6 Bench plane for $139 Would that be a better plane?

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Last edited by Ice Pirate on Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:57 pm 
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Frank - in my opinion you would do better to buy a used Stanley 7 or 8, clean it up and invest in a new blade and chipbreaker from LV or Neilsen; that's what I did and I think that my total investment was less than $100. Ican't rmember if mine was an ebay plane or if I bought it from one of the used tool vendors (good sources but tend to be a bit higher).

Its hard for me to imagine that anyone can produce a good quality new plane that you would be happy with in the long run for $66. And I LOVE my old Stanley!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:46 pm 
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Yeah, Ice. I hear some people have mixed luck with the Groz and Wood Rivers.

At the Woodworking in America conference last October, Chris Schwarz did mention that if you were going to splurge on a plane, the jointer would be the right one. It's darned near impossible to true a sole on such a large plane.

The Veritas Bevel Up jointer tips the scales at $269.. considerably better than the $450 you quoted for a L-N and not terribly far from the $139 Wood River...

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:51 pm 
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Frank,

I don't think you'll be able to fettle a Groz plane into submission. The amount of time/effort isn't worth the end result (i.e. a somewhat working plane).

Between the two, I would buy the Woodriver.

However, I agree with Ben, a vintage Stanley (or Miller Falls, Union, etc) will perform admirably even without a new blade.

Walt Quadratto has at least 3 #7s for $75-85:

at Brass City Tools.

I've bought a few things from him in the past. He is as honest as the day is long; a wealth of old-tool information and a genuinely nice guy.

I have an extra Stanley #7 lying about. But it has a small crack at the mouth. You're welcome to it for the the price of a case of good micro-brew (and shipping ;) ). I'll post pics later on ...

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:53 pm 
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Yep, take a good straightedge and go flea market shopping. I got a 7C for 40 dollars that hardly required any lapping at all. Iron was chipped up, but the grinder took care of that.

Don't pass the transitionals by in your search. I used a transitional (wood body) for a number of years.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:04 pm 
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Hey Frank,

I second the vote for a Stanley #7. Still a good choice for the money after all these years.

Tom

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:17 pm 
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Check the pawn shops, etc. for an older Stanley. Get the corrugated sole if you can find one. I love the #7C I picked up at a farm sale a couple years ago for $12. Also check out what's available from Patrick Leach - http://www.supertool.com/index.htm . Sign up for the newsletter to get the monthly lists of stuff for sale. http://www.supertool.com/oldtools.htm

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:43 pm 
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+1 on Ben's opinion if a LV or LN are out of reach price-wise.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:56 pm 
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Thanks for the advice guys. I just got back from the Dr.'s office, Broncitice and inflamation from moving in the winter in WYImage, and on the way back to the office, descided I needed a little "Me Time." So I stopped into Woodcraft and compared the LN #7 ($426), the Wood River #6 ($139, they don't make a #7 yet), a Stanley Sweetheart low angle #62 ($175), and the Gronz #7 ($66), all side by side. I have to say that the Gronz really doesn't measure up in any way to the other 3.

The sole was noticably wavy and very light weight compared to the WR and the Stanley #6's both smaller but heavier. I'll be honest that I've seen card scrapers that were thicker than the Gronz iron. There is no way I'm wasting good money on a Gronz.

I've used some Wood River (WR) stuff before, and never considered them bad for the price. Some of the WR stuff is re-manufactured, like their clamps that are really Bessy clamps that are green instead of red. :wink: Their Router bits aren't horribly bad, but they are certainly not CMT's or Amana's or Infinity's. They are cheap and work OK but nothing to write home about. However, I was plesantly surprised at the fit and finish of the WR #6. It was heavy, very flat on the sole and had an iron that was almost as thick as the LN. Though made in China, they look like somebody really took their time in producing a good plane for the money. Now if they could just pull out a #7 or #8, I'd be sold. Granted, the iron would have to be sharpened and honed, but what do you want for $140. I don't have a problem with sharpening, so long as the sole is flat and the parts all work and fit properly. From what I've just seen, the WR is just that. A good looking heafty plane with a good iron at a reasonable price.

No, I didn't buy a plane yet, but I am seriously considering the WR#6 as a stop-gap until I can lay my hands on a good Stanley #7. I'm also SERIOUSLY considering going ahead with saving a little more and going for the Veritas low angle jointer. It is 22" long, and for an additional $38 I can get a fence for it to keep the edge square to the face, if you've ever seen me with a plane in my hand you'd know that this is a problem with me :roll: .

Oh, before I forget, What is the purpose of a corrigated sole on some of the mid to large sized planes? Reduction of friction?

Anyway, still weighing my options and you're opinions are very helpful. I'll let you know how it goes and if you have any more pointers, keep them coming.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:26 pm 
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I'm also SERIOUSLY considering going ahead with saving a little more and going for the Veritas low angle jointer.

You won't get any complaints from me. A fantastic choice for many, many reasons.

:D

However, let me add that most of the work the you're doing can be accomplished with a #6. The size and weight are both less than the #7s and your arms will appreciate it at the end of the day.

Now if you were jointing the edges of 8' long boards, or flattening table tops all day then, sure, go for the #7. But IMO you'll be just as happy with a #6.

You're gonna end up with both sizes, so may as well get started.

:D :D

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:14 pm 
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Hey Frank,

I have both and standard Stanley #7 and a #7C that I inherited from Pop. I use them interchangeably and notice very little or no difference between them. The only difference that I can discern is that the #7C is slightly heavier, so it gives a little more stability.

Tom

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:20 pm 
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Thanks Gene. Kind of what I was thinking. I didn't realize that the friction increased with the flatness of the workpiece. I just thought I was getting tired. :D :D :D

I hadn't really thought about waxing a plane's sole before but it does make sence. What about Pam? I've heard of using spray Pam on BS blades for smoother cutting. Would that work on planes, or would it be best to stick, (no pun intended), with wax, like I use on the TS and BS Tables?

Also, Patric seems a little negitive on the #6. Dan has a point though, most of the work I do is small boxes and furniture. It's not every day I'm squaring 8' timbers for large pieces. Do you think that for boards 3' to 4' long, a #6 would do just as well as a #7 or #8?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:31 pm 
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Hey Frank,

I think that you would probably fall in love with a #6, but it's easier to find parts for a #7. A #8 is uncomfortably long and heavy for me and I'm 6'2" and wear a size long shirt.

As for wax, you've probably heard [read] me say that waxed paper is one of my favorite shop accessories. I rub it on anything that's metal, and anything that needs to slide. It's cheap, clean, controllable, and disposable. Try it, you'll like it.

Pam is vegetable oil, which will eventually polymerize just like tung oil, or linseed oil. Rancid oil can be a problem for finishes, I would stick to wax.

Just my 2¢
Tom

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:38 pm 
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Thanks Tom.

As for the wax paper, I've read many of your posts on that, and I've been following suit. Every time I'm finished with a glue-up, I'll take the wax paper and rub down the TS and BS tops. You're right, it really helps to keep them slick between tune ups. I'll give it a try with the planes and spokeshaves as well. 8)

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:58 pm 
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Call Walt Q at brass city, at the number given in the link above. An older #7 will work beautifully, and cost less than the alternatives. Walt will discuss what you want, and if he doesn't have it he'll keep an eye out for you.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:37 am 
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Hey Frank! Pawn shops, swap meets and garage sales can sure surprise you.
http://www.woodworking.org/InfoExchange ... hlight=ece
I also used our swap forum to pick up a #8 Stanley.

good luck,
Don


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 Post subject: Handplanes
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:47 am 
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For all of you that are checking 2nd hand market for used planes I´d like you also to look out for old Swedish brands. I have a few at work. They were bought in late fifties and still working beautifully even after generations of teenagers use and abuse. OK screw, hobs and handles are replaced but still on original blades, very hard E.A Berg ones. The planes are al made in the little town Eskilstuna but have different names: "Hellstedts", "Memo", or "Anchor" depending when and where they were exported. They are of old Stanley and Record quality, or at least I think so. I have picked up a few in English car bootsales for almost nothing at all, just because the English dont know the brand.
I learned alot of taking care of old planes from the Taunton Book "Working with handplanes".. It is not much about collectors items- more for us that use old tools just because they work better than new ones. The book offers many tips how to get your plane excel in the workshop.
/Anders


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:28 am 
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Hey Frank,

A few comments:

- The Veritas planes are really good. I know LN gets better press and are regarded as better. However, I've got both LN & Veritas planes and prefer the Veritas. For example, I like the ability to adjust the throat on the fly on the Veritas planes. Not possible on LN. I think you'd be hard pressed to find any differences in manufacturing quality between the two brands as well. If you get the Veritas, it will be top notch.

- Veritas fence - Don't spend the $38. I'll sell / trade mine if you really want one. I bought the fence and screwed around trying to get it to work. Never could. Then I figured out how to end-joint a board square and haven't used the fence since. In this case, I think technique trumps the tool.

- Check out the metallurgy on the old Stanleys before committing to truing a big #7 or #8. The old Stanleys were made out of gray iron whereas the Veritas & LN are made out of ductile iron. Gray metal is more brittle and may crack if dropped. Ductile iron is also supposed to stay flat over temperature changes whereas gray iron may not.

As someone who hand-joints all of his boards, I really like the Veritas planes. I use a combination of the low angle jack plane and jointer plane. They work well.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:38 pm 
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Frank,
I use a circa WWI #6 as my most used bench plane. Very versatile.

I also agree with what Anders said about swedish tools very high quality and
good steel.

Good luck with your quest!

eric


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:10 pm 
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Frank,

Wax paper is a great thing to use if you have it handy.

But for cost of a box of wax paper you can buy a box of parafin wax:

Image

These blocks are approximately 1/2" x 2.5" x 4".

Look in your store where the canning supplies are located.

A squiggle or so along the sole and hold on tight ... you might push yourself right onto the floor!

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