The last plane I’m ever going to buy



This is a plane that was meant to be. I first saw this wooden jack advertised on Gumtree which is like Craigslist in the US for $40. I looked it over and saw a few things I didn’t like and made him an offer of $20; he refused. One year later he lowered the price to $20. I sent him a message to pick it up. The look on his face when he saw me, no words were exchanged I simply handed him the money and took the plane.
The sole had a twist which I planed out and then flattened it. Since I’m not going to use the plane for shooting, I left the sides as is. I moved onto the iron and the back had some small pitting, but in general it was in a good state. It took me about an hour or so to get it ready for work.
I love it, it’s easy to plane with and light. I’m going to curve the iron some time in the near future so it does serve as a true jack. I have many planes but I only really need three. A  Jack, a jointer and a smoother. There’s no need for an LN 5 1/2 or 5 nor any other high priced brandname, to curve the blade on my LN 5 1/2 would be a serious waste of money.

What I don’t like about them they are heavy and the blades are thick. Since you will be using it for heavy planing, you will be sharpening often. The last thing you want to do is sharpen for long periods of time that’s just a waste of productive time. Old Stanley’s are good and so are Records because they are light and the blades are thin and easy to sharpen either by hand or with an sharpening aid.

I don’t plan on selling my 5 1/2 ever, period, as all my tools are dear to me, but I’m just saying that you don’t need an modernday expensive one full stop.



To point or not to point your index finger during planing

I was sifting through the net of some old woodworking photographs when I came across this one below that took my interest.


I was contemplating on how simple their shops were and how minimalist in tools they were too. In fact, I haven’t yet seen an antique photograph or drawing with any more tools on their walls as to what you see here. Oh well each to their own, I love my tools and just like clamps you can’t have too many.  As I was about to click off the image I noticed something else, something peculiar and evidence to what was developing into a myth is now proof it’s not a myth at all; the pointing index finger.


The idea has spread like a virus among my small circle of friends that extending the index finger whilst planing is a modern day invention. Whilst many argue that there is no need to extend the index finger during planing, no one yet has come up with a plausible argument to dispute their theory. Their claim that this practice probably begun over the last 100 years. Well, now I have the evidence to prove they are wrong.  A photograph taken in 1848 of two woodworkers showing that one worker has his index finger extended during planing. Whilst I agree that it serves no purpose in hand planing, I however continue to do it out of habit.

I would like to know your thoughts on the subject.