RWW 165 From Boat Anchor Junk to Fore Plane

Hyperkitten Tool CoI hear from a lot of people who tell me they are saving money to buy a premium Scrub or Fore plane. I’m very quick to tell them that it is a waste of money to buy a modern, precisely manufactured plane to be used as a tool that required very light tolerances to do its job well. Of course I own both a Veritas Scrub and Fore plane so I’m being a bit hypocritical. We all make mistakes right? So I put my money where my mouth is and in about an hour’s work converted a beat up and rusty Jack plane into a Fore plane that will match my Veritas stroke for stroke. Its really just a simple matter of cleaning it up and cambering the blade.

Thanks to Hyperkitten Tool Co for donating the two planes in this video. Check out Josh’s tools for sale and subscribe to his email list. Its the only way to move fast enough to get some of his great tools.

Wanna Win One of These Restored Planes?

Leave a comment below telling me about your next project and how your hope to use this plane in the project. I’ll draw two names on September 9th and ship them out for free.

85 Responses to “RWW 165 From Boat Anchor Junk to Fore Plane”

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  1. Anthony says:

    I’ve only been woodworking for a few months and I’ve nearly gathered enough tools and skill to start making a proper workbench instead of the wobbly old kitchen table I’ve been using(you video about not having a workbench made it much more enjoyable though). I was just looking at getting a scrub plane to surface the wood for the workbench but I’ll definitely do this instead.

    Thanks for the great videos, Anthony

  2. Dave says:

    Nice video on setting up a fore plane. I don’t have one, but I may just try to find an old no.5 to set up. It would come in handy on my next project. I’m just about to start a desk for my son.

  3. TylerW says:

    As someone with a nearly exclusively power tool background, watching your videos is something akin to watching a magician wave his magic plane over a board and make it flat. I bought an old no name jack plane (Shelton I believe) a while back and after watching this video I’m thinking I might make it into a scrub plane (I’m certainly not having the best of luck using it as a jack plane, but that’s another story entirely.) Thanks for the video!

  4. David Costello says:

    I’m a new woodworker, and am definitely saving $$, not for a premium plane, but any planes, being new I need everything woodworking!! lol The only plane that I have is a $18 #4 Stanley from HD, but I tell you what, I have it tuned up and screaming!! lol I haven’t really built anything other then a regular workbench, and a shaker style bench, instead I’ve been reading, watching every youtube video, subscribing to anything woodworking, and getting overloaded on everything woodworking!! As far as physical work I’ve set up practice sawing, chisel, plane, and sharpening exercises, that I just keep doin over and over!! As far as my next project and how I would use the plane, that’s easy, I’m going actually on Sept.9th to South Suburban college to register, as long as things work out for financial aid, and this grant, I will also be taking fine woodworking courses, so I would be using the plane for school, and many projects!! Not only I need help with tools, but I need the experience, and info. I’m so happy I also won a e-pub copy of “The Essential Woodworker”, I can’t wait to read it!! Thanks for the chance, and have an awesome day!!

  5. Tom says:

    I really enjoy your videos and having just started collecting hand woodworking tools and have had good success lately finding some old tools that need some TLC. Thanks for all the information on this project with helpful hints I can use on other projects. I’m hoping to be able to do a couple of simple Christmas gifts for the daughters using only hand tools this fall. Again thanks for all the good information.

  6. Jason says:

    I just bought some 2×10 Douglas fir from the local home store.
    I plan on using it to make a split top roubo. I’m going with a chain leg vise and an acme screw “wagon vise”.

    This plane will go a long way in helping me get the top slabs “flat enough” to hit it with my refurbished #7 or the final passes.

  7. Roy says:

    Great video. Thank you for sharing. I finally have space to do some serious woodworking. This came at the perfect time as I’m putting together some of the essentials for my shop. I love the tip on creating templates of the irons to dublicate the cambers. Great idea. My first project is going to be a tool chest. I’m leaning towards the Dutch style. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge. It sure helps us newbies.


  8. Douglas says:

    ( I posted on G+ as that’s where my phone sent me from the link). I’m going to be doing a 6 board chest, completely from hand for the first time. That trans fore plane would sure come in handy. I’d like to get good at flattening by hand, although I’ll likely keep using my power planer as needed. Thanks

  9. Jeffrey says:

    I have some nice 8/4 maple with a live edge on it. I plan on resawing it then backing the two pieces up to each other to make a coffee table with two live edges held together with butterfly splines as well as using the splines to stop the cracks coming in from the ends. It should come together nicely. I would use the planes to smooth the table top after resawing.

  10. James Huntsman says:

    My next project is my workbench. My local lumber man didn’t have any #1 or #2 common 8/4 maple, but he had some “rustic” (#2) cherry that he practically gave me for the top. I just got the wood and started milling this weekend, surprisingly easily avoiding knots and defects for the top surface. With my glue up skills the top will probably come out like a 3 1″2 thick potato chip. I just hope I can keep it over 3″ after flattening. I’ll hopefully be using this plane along with my #6 and a bunch of carbohydrates tacking this feat. After the workbench is completed I’ll be using this plane to flatten some 12″-18″ wide Mahogany for my next project. I haven’t been able to decide what will be next either a blanket chest or a sugar chest. Thank you for all of your great content you work tirelessly on. I probably never would have bought more than a block plane, as far as hand tools go, if it weren’t for your videos and your passion for hand tools.

  11. Shannon- thanks to you, I’m getting better at using the planes I have. Would love to have either one of those, especially the transitional one. I’ve got one small wooden smoother I picked up and I love the feel of the wood on wood. Next up is steambending some maple for a round serving tray….thanks, Rusty

  12. Stan P. says:

    I find myself always looking forward to a new posting. I don’t own a fore or scrub plane and have never tried cambering a blade, but after watching you, even when I don’t win, I definitely think I will be looking for an oldie to work on and convert. The church table project I am working on now would have been perfect since the sapele tops are next. But I hope to have them both done before Sept 9.

  13. Billy Medlock says:


    Fantastic video! I really appreciate your honest and knowledgable approach… It makes a lot of sense especially for ones budget… I will be starting a French workbench project soon and could really use a couple new(old) planes, thanks!

  14. Ruth Ryan says:

    Loved this video! I am about to make an outside (under-the-eaves) bench for sharpening and other messy things with some rough cut redwood pieces I have had laying around. Will have to try this (if I win!) I’d love to have a foreplane for flattening. Keep up the good work- I love watching your vids!

  15. Ruth Ryan says:

    I love your videos! This is a great idea I never thought of. I just left a comment but it flew off into the ether so here is another one (just so you know I’m not trying to stack the deck ;) ) I am about to make an outside (under the eaves) table for messy stuff like sharpening out of some rough cut redwood I have had sitting around for too long so I hope I win!

  16. Jason says:

    I am in the process of building several dovetailed boxes out of wood salvaged from old entry doors. Since I don’t have a planer a nice jack plane would great to supplement my #3 smooth plane in getting the resawn lumber down to 1/2″ thick.

  17. John Bailey says:

    Thanks for simplifying the jargon around planes. I’ve been going to my shoulder, #3 and #5 more lately to clean up my power tool work! its helpful to see your “in action” process explaining how to adjust and use planes in more ways. I have some recently felled and milled maple at my sister’s waiting for my to build her and my family entertainment centers. I will most likely rough dimension the boards on my table saw but try to use hand cut dovetails for case building . We shall see as its most likely winter time for the wood to be ready and me too!

  18. Colin says:

    I’m planning on building a joinery bench.

    I flattened my bench with a number 4 smoother, and it was a pain. A fore plane would rock my world!

  19. Paul Troublefield says:

    I am reworking some antique furniture pieces that have been exposed to moisture. I would love to true up the tops from the bottom so as not to lose the patina on the top but allow me to reattach them to the car us of the pieces. The thickness of the tops should allow me to do this.
    Thanks for your consideration.
    The video on shaping the blade for a scrub plane was the most helpful to me I have seen. All the others made me feel intimidated. I think I can do this. Thank you.
    Paul T.

  20. Jim says:

    Nice video, sir! I am getting into hand tool woodworking through your Hand Tool School and so my next project is winding sticks … and converting my garage shop from DIY to hand tool woodworking. Thanks for the candid commentary on the premium scrub/fore planes. I know it’s a fine line to walk with sponsors but it is good to hear your experience as well as your perspective.

  21. Ken says:

    Excellent video. Thanks for the instruction. Finishing up a walnut desk right now, but my next piece will be a mahogany corner table and credenza. I have some 8/4 rough stock to work with so a Jack plane would be a great help to dimensioning the lumber. Thanks again for all your videos.

  22. Jason Young says:

    Hi Shannon,

    Thanks for the great video. I had a Veritas scrub plane on my Lee Valley Wish and just took it off since I have an old Stanley #5C that I could make in to a Fore/Scrub plane. My next project is a Ghost Bowl a la wood Whisperer fame and I could use the fore plane to establish a reasonably flat reference surface before putting through my 13″ planer. You just saved me $139. next question..Side Rabbet Plane…essential tool or gimmicky doodad?

    • Shannon says:

      Without question: gimmicky doodad. Its soooo much easier to thin out the male part of a dado joint than to try and widen with a side rabbet plane. If you MUST do it then a chisel is your friend. I base this on first hand experience. Yes I was won over by the shiny Veritas version. Wanna buy it? :)

      • Chris Wong says:


        I disagree. I borrowed a side rabbet plane from a friend and I’ve been missing it since he took it back. It was especially useful for widening a groove in certain areas which, for some reason, were tighter than others.


        • Shannon says:

          Fair enough Chris. I think I have gotten too friendly with my chisels lately as every problem I encounter seems to have a chisel solution. Was the plane you borrowed a vintage model or one of the new ones?

  23. Dennis Bauman says:

    Hi Shannon,
    I enjoyed this podcast very much. I am making a gate leg table for my wife’s crafts. So I have a whole bunch of rough sawn cherry for the table top. I don’t have a planer so I need to dimension and smooth it by hand. I could sure use that fore plane to do that job!. Thanks for the great content. Keep up the good work.

  24. Jesse says:

    Great video. I really needed a refresher course on sharpening/honing cambered blades. I’m starting a SYP Roubo, and I’ve got a huge pile that needs to be jointed by hand before throwing it though a planer.

  25. ralph tersigni says:

    hi shannon , im going to be working on a bedroom set for my daughter im going to be using rough sawn oak and doing it all by hand i was looking to purchase a scrub plane but i like the one you fixed up and sharpened thanks

  26. Damon says:

    Really cool video! I think the thing I learned most about is sharpening a curve from this video.

    I’m starting to get more interested in hand planes and am trying to build up my tool set a bit. My next project is going to be building a counter for a coffee shop out of reclaimed barn wood, so I think it’d be perfect to have a plane to help me get that job done.

  27. Jim Arnold says:

    My next project? A toy box for my first grandchild born last Monday. Happy First (week) Birthday, Allison!!

  28. andy says:

    Though I am building a mahogany display case for a good friend’s son who is in the Air Force and has earned his officer saber, I would give this plane to a friend of mine. He is a father or four girls and works two jobs while his wife stays home. He is just now getting into woodworking with the hope of making all four of his daughter a hope chests. He needs it more than I. Thank you. Andy

  29. Daniel Cook says:

    I am planning on starting my first “real” project as the G&G blanket chest build with the Woodwhisperer Guild. I have access to a lumber mill with rough sawn lumbers and have been trying the handplane route. My two children love being in the shop when I use hand tools because I don’t chase them out. They love to collect the shaving in mason jars. They currently have a collection from Williamsburg and Pennsbury Manor. Hopefully someday from the stepping stone museum also.

  30. Jerry Palmer says:

    I have never worked with freshly riven wood before. I have been given a piece of oak(its called post oak) and I already have a froe and wedges and other things I need. Except I dont have a scrub plane ready to go. That is what I will use it for. After my finish my Ouija board ….. :)

  31. Don Joyner says:

    Never done a lot of hand planing, but my experience deficit will be coming to an end. An old sugar maple in the front yard became a threat to the roof and had to come down. I sawed the main trunk (7′ and 18″-24″ diameter) into quarters and hope to mill enough 2×5 stock to build a workbench top in about a year’s time. While it dries, maybe I should do some upper body conditioning!

  32. Sydney Smith says:

    Building a stitching horse for hand stitching leather out of some rough sawn local white fir and ponderosa pine. Would use these types of planes for flattening, thicknessing the boards.

  33. Hilton Ralphs says:

    My next project is my workbench and I will be using the foreplane to surface the stock as I don’t have a jointer. On the weekend I bought the Moxon vise hardware from BC so will be using the foreplane to surface prep the chops.
    Go Shannon!

  34. Jason Reis says:

    Awesome video. I’ve restored a few Stanleys so far and really enjoy their continued life in my hands. Hopefully this fall/winter I’ll be back in my shop working with my eldest (8yo) daughter on a bedside table for my 2nd daughter. I am hoping she get the love for creating by hand that I have. And after that, I’ll be testing my patience as I tackle redoing all the cabinet doors in the house using a the remains of a friend’s downed red oak. Should be a blast as long as the tedium doesn’t get to me. Fun all the same. Again great video, keep’em coming.

  35. Justin Hulls says:

    G’Day Shannon,

    Thanks very much for the informative video. I noticed that you had a pattern with a 9″ radii for the Veritas BU jack to turn it into a fore plain, I was wondering on your thoughts on the use of a BU as a fore plain? Are you better off with a bevel down plain? I have read there is some maths involved in cambering BU plains, it as has a lot to do the the sharpening angle of the blade, something like the higher the angle the smaller the radii, or have I go that ass about? (I still don’t quite get it as you can no doubt tell). So how did you find the 9″ radius and at what angle did you sharpen you blade? I think I also asked this question on one of your Keeks a while back. I’m thinking of an extra blade as I all ready have the BU/LA jack and a spair blade is about the same price as a second hand #5 in Australia. I really don’t want to open a can of worms with this question, so have I completely over analyses things as per normal, and should I just get on with it.

    My next build is…. well…’s a George Nakashima inspired coffee table, I have a slab of Australian Red Cedar Toona ciliata that should do nicely once it is flat, it is more a case of if I can do the wood justice I’m more worried about though. I’m still contemplating if I should add a contrasting timber to it too. It might be time to hit SketchUp and bring thoughts to reality.

    Cheers and Thanks again for all the effort you go to, much appreciated.

    • Shannon says:

      Yes there is a difference when you go bevel up because of the low angle to the bed. Basically as you change the angle of the bed and keeping the depth of cut constant, the amount of blade presented to the wood changes. One of your countrymen, Derek Cohen, has the pinnacle piece on this on his blog where he does all the math and stuff to prove the theory. Personally, I just played around with whole number radii until I found one I liked. I think for the purpose of doing more with fewer planes the bevel up is a great idea as you can add in the different blades and easily switch from smoothing to rough work. However, if you want to do that then you need to expect greater precision from your plane and my process in this video will have to be deepened to include sole flattening and bedding steps. Additionally you will have to adjust the frog to close up the mouth when switch from rough to fine work. It is all doable but just requires more adjusting. A modern bevel up with adjustable mouth makes all of this much easier. Regarding bevel angle I put 25 degree bevels on all my plane blades. The only thing I adjust is the angle of the microbevel and since I do that free hand, I couldn’t tell you what that is and it changes with every sharpening because I remove it and add a new one each time. Check out my honing video for more detail on that.

  36. Nick Lariviere says:

    Always nice to see instructions on rehabilitating/re-purposing tools rather than just buying the latest and greatest.

    I’m just wrapping up the designs for a live-edge walnut coffee table, and I’m working with some pretty rough stock (most of it’s 8/4, but there will be some highly figured pieces of 4/4 on the ends for show). I’m actually re-purposing the top from an existing table I put together (though calling it a table might be a bit generous, I just milled down a 6′ slab of live-edge walnut crotch and built a very basic base for it out of 4/4 walnut, and used it as a cradle for the top…it’s not even attached!).

    My wife promises that if I go through with it she’ll stop leaving drinks on the top without coasters…

  37. Shafe says:

    I’m going to be building a horizontal shadow box that will double as a coffee table for my Brother-in-law’s wedding gift. He wanted a coffee table that could hold a small train set. I could use either of the planes for thicknessing the bottom panel and the shelf after glue-up.

    Thanks for the Video!

  38. Ray Bohn says:

    A few decades ago I was introduced to woodworking at college. I built somewhat of a reproduction of a dry sink using all power tools. I was hooked, but never had the space, $, or time to pursue the hobby. Recently. as I began to find the time to teach myself hand tool woodworking, I looked at the dry sink and decided it was an embarrassment.

    I am in the process of reusing the 5/4 clear pine ($1 a bd ft at the time) to construct a more useful piece of furniture- a hall storage chest. I will need to find suitable stock for the top and I will use what I learned from your video to convert a plane to create a scrub plane for the new stock..

    Thanks for your willingness to share your knowledge.

    • Shannon says:

      Ray, I hear this comment a lot that a past piece is “terrible” or “embarrassing”. I’m always curious what that really means. What is wrong with the dry sink and what do you wish you could have done better. This is probably a topic for a whole other blog post but I’m always looking for perspective from beginner to advanced woodworkers.

  39. Greg says:

    Thanks for the video Shannon. You make it look really easy. I’m thinking of using some mesquite reclaimed from a pile of firewood to glue up for a workbench top. I’ve never tried hand planing mesquite so I’m not sure what I’m up against yet, but if it works out I’ll have one nice looking bench.

  40. Dan Seader says:

    Just this afternoon I was scrounging through the local thrift store and found three old hand planes which she sold to me for thirty bucks, one of them being a 22 inch wood body jointer. All three show some wear and tear, but after seeing your video, maybe I don’t have to put in as much work on them as I thought. Thanks, Shannon.

    • Shannon says:

      Yes and no Dan, remember that the planes you expect to take a finer cut need more attention to ensure the sole is flat and the mouth is tight. Don’t obsess over these elements but recognize that it takes more that what I just showed for the Fore/Scrub type of plane.

  41. Chris Griggs says:

    Nice video Shannon. An excellent topic to cover. When you work all by hand you sure do come to appreciate a good foreplane! I have too many…a 5 1/4 with 4″ radius, a couple no. 5s with about 8″ or radius’s, and my favorite, 2 transitional No. 26 with a 12″ or so radius (and that doesn’t count my other 5s, 5 1/2 or 6 that are setup for finer work). I don’t even use them all, I just find a good foreplane so important, that I’m always messing with different ones and different setups. Anyway, again, its a really good topic to cover.

    If I may ask a question/make a recommendation.? Why not set the LV 6 up as a try plane? Something with a moderate amount of camber, perhaps a bit more than you’d want in your main jointer. I find 6s to be absolutely invaluable setup as such. Mine does the bulk of my flattening and often you can a very good surface using them as such minimizing smoother work. This would also allow you to keep your jointer more dialed in for edge work. Despite the name Stanley called a No. 6 and its sizing being that of a traditional for plane that, to me, is really where they are best, as small try planes/jointers. And really, if you think about the scale of *most* cabinet work, they are plenty long enough to do an adequate job of flattening. Plus, I find them too dang heavy (especially modern ones) for rapid stock removal. Anyway, I’m guessing you’ve considered this already and that there is a probably a reason you keep you LV6 setup for coarse work…just kinda curious why. Different strokes for different folks and all…

    Cheers from Philly,


    • Shannon says:

      Good points Chris. I have something similar but it is using #5s. I have several each set up for different tasks. Like you said, for most furniture parts the 22-24″ jointer is overkill and my Jack handles it just fine. My jointer has no camber and is used strictly for flattening and it excels at panel joints. My Jacks do all the medium smoothing/flattening work from the coarse work of the Fore. So essentially we are on the same page, I’m just using a couple of Jack planes for the task. And really a couple of them isn’t necessary, it just ended up that way as I’m sure you can relate to.

      • Chris Griggs says:

        Indeed! Sounds like we are working pretty much the same. But it hurts my heart to see such a fine piece of machining being used for such coarse work…please re-purpose it for my sake ;-). And yes, I can relate to the multiples. Which is odd because with everything other than jacks/fores I tend to be a minimalist. For whatever reason though, those planes seem to multiply like bunnies.


  42. Brenton H. says:

    Great content. I have been wanting to purchase a flea market find for a while but didn’t know how much work would go into getting it tuned up and ready to do some rough work. I wont shy away next time I see one. Next project is a large wall hanging spice rack from reclaimed lumber that is pretty rough, one of these hand planes would come in pretty handy!

  43. Daniel K. says:

    Excellent video! I’ve just recently aquired 4 old Stanley’s in need of a restoration. This video is exactly what I needed to “see” what the steps are.

  44. Harry Walles says:

    I really appreciate your teaching style. As one who is new to woodworking, I am learning a lot. Ever since I have found your site, I have seen all of your videos and they have been very helpful.

    I plan on building a sharpening station and workbench for my shop. I am retiring in December and plan to spend a lot of time there.

    Thanks, again

  45. Jeremy says:

    Over the next two months I’m moving my shop across country, and that means using up most of the lumber I have and building a whole bunch of shop furniture/fixtures when I arrive (my shop is growing in size by a factor of five, can’t wait). I’m 100% hand tools and a fore plane would speed things up considerably!

  46. SteveR says:

    Nice – now that I see how easy it is, I’ll be repurposing one of my #4 or #5. I think I have the same hand grinder with the same stone, btw.
    My next project is a moravian stool ( for the workshop) starting from a tree in the forest and riven boards. Scrub/fore planes are essential for starting with a split out board. but I’ve made do with some side axe work and then using a regular jack plane to dimension small boards in the past. Fore plane seems the way to go!

  47. Waymore says:

    Another workbench builder here…. Waiting for my wood to dry and collecting a few tools. It would be great to have something to flatten the top.

    thanks for the video!

  48. JustinH says:

    Thanks for the video, I’ve been wondering about the process to correctly camber a blade.

    My next project will be an end table for our living room. It will be replacing an old junky one that I got for free during college. We’re just about to get all of that furniture replace with respectable versions. I’m going to be making the table out of cherry, and the lumber from my sawyer is usually about 1/8″ over what he marks it, so the fore plane would make quick work of it.

  49. Jake Stutesman says:

    Cool video. I’m a scenic carpenter trying to get into furniture making. I just graduated college and am trying to set up my self with the tools I need to create custom furniture I design. I’m making a coffee table i designed, out of walnut that fell during a storm at my parents house 6 years ago. Great video thank you.

  50. Paul E Fowler says:

    Do not really need one of the planes. As I have been using a set of my Greatgranddads woodies. I replaced the iron with a thicker one, and cambered the old one. The smoother needed thicker iron to close the mouth, this one was split and repaired with cut nails long ago.

  51. john s says:

    I need to get my bench flat! I bought a woodworking bench for real cheap from a guy moving. I was new and didn’t realize about how wavy the top was. I would like to flatten the top by hand and be able to say that I had a hand at making it a true woodworking tool. Great video!

  52. Travis Buehrer says:

    Hey great video, I have been looking for a scrub plane for some time to help on the top of a toy box/Blanket chest that I am building for my daughters. Your hand tool techniques have helped a ton with this project so far and I’m sure to continue to grow as a hand tool worker with every project. Thanks for the inspiration.

  53. Keith Nine says:

    I sure do find your Blogs informative,I don’t need either of the planes seeing how my workbench runnith over with both antique wooden planes and old stanleys.But it is nice to see so many fellow woodworkers turning to hand tools.Using hand tools(initially) can be very frustrating but in the end when the project is done the satisfaction of doing it by hand makes it all worth while,keep up the good work.

  54. justin bonnell says:

    Thanks for the tips, need to find me a clunker and try to do the same. Been using reclaimed red oak beams from a house I dismantled to build my first workbench and have to dimension with planes, have no powertools. Lots of crud to scrub off the boards and hate using my good restored Stanley’s.

  55. Eric Anderson says:

    Great video Shannon. It reminded me that I’d purchased a Groz #4 & block plane set for dirt cheap that I never could seem to get to work right and stuffed in a corner. I decided to find it and make a scrub plane. My cambered blade isn’t pretty, but it works, and pretty isn’t the point.

    In the process, along with everything else I’ve learned about planes since I tuned them both up and realized just how much was wrong with them to start. So thanks! Now I’ve got a decent scrub plane, a good block plane and a heck of a lot better understanding up why my other planes work so well right from the manufacturer.

    And a pile of chips and shavings that used to be a board to prove they work. The board is probably less happy with the situation…

    Totally off topic, but I was reading some of your older posts and you raved about some tools like JointMaker Pro. I’m guessing that you don’t still use any of those, but I’m curious how you feel about them as tools with what you’ve learned since.

    • Shannon says:

      Eric, I’m still a fan of the Jointmaker Pro. I have only played around with it in the WIA marketplace though. I really like the idea but also tend to feel now that it would only be helpful for smaller craft type projects rather than furniture. I could be wrong but over the past few years my personal working style has tended towards doing more with simpler tools like chisels. These days I’m more prone to pare a dado to the line than reach for my router plane and this same “back to basics” approach extends to the Jointmaker. Very cool tool, but not necessary for my style of working.

  56. Mark Norquist says:

    Thanks for the great info. I just picked up a 605 off ebay that will be going through this treatment tomorrow getting ready for my first project… a workbench… I have 2 6×12 timbers for the top, and 6×6 timbers for the legs. hoping to bring the 5 1/2 inch thickness down to 5. lots of work, but now I know how to set up the plane right to hog it all off.

  57. Peter Howell says:

    This post was creepily timely for me. I hit an estate sale this weekend and picked up a Stanley plane and a wood plane that were almost identical to the ones in this post. The price was right too: $17 for both and a carving adze. My thought was now I had an excuse to learn how to refurbish them and start some projects from the lumber from an oak and a maple tree I had taken down a few years back. (The maple was curly. Score!)

    To start simple, I have a live-edge oak oval that were cut oblong off the tree. I thought to seal it when it was fresh and then lucked oat by drying it in a slightly damp basement for the first few months so there’s almost no checking at all. It should be a “fairly” quick job to plain it down to a nice finish. It’ll probably take me longer to come up with an appropriate design for the legs, and even longer to figure out what furniture to part with so I have room for it in the house.

  58. I have just gotten my shop re-organized and am gearing up to start getting Christmas Presents made. I am trying to show the wife that I can make quality gifts that can be far more meaningful than throwning money down at a store for something mass manufactured.

    Since this will be my first year, I thought that I would work on some cutting boards. I don’t have a jointer or Thickness planer, so having a good fore plane to quickly get materials close to the rough thicknesses would be invaluable.

    Your videos are very motivating, as usual, and I enjoy following you on Keek as well! THank you for all you do!

  59. Paul Arrowood says:

    Hey Shannon:

    I have just begun doing woodworking. Some of my honey-do projects have been making built in book shelves, end tables, a storage chest, and refinishing a bed for my wife. I am on a fixed income, social security disability, so I buy my wood from a local sawmill and hand sand my planks smooth. I don’t have very many tools yet.

    My next project is making shelves in our laundry room for my wife to store canned foods. I have about 14 boards that I am going to have to hand sand since I don’t have a planer. The tools you are offering would be a tremendous help to me.

    I enjoy watching your videos and especially appreciate you taking the time to explain what you are doing and why.
    Thanks for all that you do and keep those shows coming.

  60. Chuck R says:

    Thanks for the guidance. This is great.

    My next project is an electric guitar. I found a slab of walnut that is going to be the basis for the body. The thing is 10/4 and 15″ wide. It looks like it has excellent figure and will be spectacular. I am one of those hybrid guys and would normally use a planer to thickness this down. However, this is just too wide to fit! I was looking at having to rip this piece down to thickness it. Using one of these would let me handle it in one piece and keep the beautiful figure intact.

    I’ve never seen a fore plane in action before and didn’t realize how efficient they really are. I’ve always looked at my planes as finishing tools taking razor thin shavings. Didn’t realize they could be so adept at the rough stuff too. I’ve always relied on power to do that for me. As they say, ya learn something new every day.


  61. Bill R says:

    I am currently midway through a set of kitchen cabinets for the mother in law. Nice gift, I guess. Next up is a bookcase for my son, I just can’t bear any more particle board in my house. This plane sure would help with some of the rough old boards I have scavenged.

  62. Alex Borins says:

    Hi shannon. I’ve just started woodworking, but i’ve been turning for a year. my next project is a recycled barn wood coffee table. If I won the plane, I’d use it to put a hand planed effect on the legs.

    cheers, alex

  63. Lee says:

    Just stumbled on this blog, and boy I’m glad I did. I’m such a rookie that I have yet to actually buy any tools yet (although I have done a ton of reading, and I do have a purchase list that looks pretty close to what is recommended here). Definitely going with hand tools…money, space, minimal cleanup, and kid friendly are all important to me. Refurbing old planes is a great idea. Looks like it can save a lot of money.

    Haven’t decided on my first project yet. I’m leaning towards a workbench, but a platform bed (the wife’s choice), and an office desk are all on the short list.

    Great blog…will definitely add this to my reading list.

    • Shannon says:

      Welcome Lee. Like most things you can swap money for elbow grease and time. Getting tools ready to work is no different. Be picky when you buy and you can relegate your work to just clean up and sharpening.

  64. Kathryn says:

    Great demo. I’m new to woodworking and have discovered a clear preference for the elegance of hand tools and the calm quiet of their use. I’ve started making mallets from beech firewood and whatever dead tree branches I can find. Apple, cherry, and red oak have been lucky finds. A very old mini-broadaxe (there must be a proper name for a 5″ single bevel broadaxe but I don’t know it) is used to rough the wood to something approximating flat. I’ve managed to put one old plane into useable condition, a Record #4 and have used it for everything from there onward to the point of using chisels for the mortise. The mallets are great practise pieces, helping to build a feel for the tools and for the wood. I’ll soon start making small projects with some rough cut butternut squirelled away in a shed. Your video has shown me there’s a better way than just the #4, so now I’m hunting for old planes I can turn into a scrub and a fore plane.
    Please keep up the good work on the blog and the videos, it’s a real motivator and I have learned a lot.

  65. Shannon says:

    Thanks to everyone for participating, great to see the interest in these old planes. I have drawn 2 winners and am waiting on shipping addresses to ship out the planes. I’ll be doing something like this again in the future based on the response on this one!

  66. Andy Aust says:


    Thanks for putting out such great content. I was wondering what the top of your sharpening bench was made out of? I am working on building one right now and was thinking about using a different medium than wood (for the top) for water resistance. I was also wondering where the best place to look for a hand cranked grinder is? Thank you in advance for your help.


    • Shannon says:

      It is laminate picked up at Home Depot. It worked pretty well for a while but the textured surface does hang on to gunk over time. I’m working on a new sharpening station for some time in the future that will probably incorporate a granite top or possibly stainless steel that will be much easier to clean up.

  67. Harvey says:

    Awesome. Can a blade be cambered without the use of a grinder? I don’t have one, and buying one just for this ruins the economics of it.

    • Shannon says:

      Sure but it will take a long time so use a really coarse stone. There are many more uses for a grinder though and they are cheap enough that it might be worth considering. If you restore any tools you will want it to establish a fresh primary bevel on your blades and then refresh that when your microbevels get too big or if you nick the blade on something. I went for several years without a grinder myself thinking I didn’t need it but now that I have one, it gets used all the time. Food for thought anyway.

  68. tom goldsmith says:

    this is a great video. I learned a lot. I use a lot of hand tools, especially now since my table saw broke down and I sold my jointer. I have to make a table of rough hickory and some benches from pine, Those planes will come in handy.

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