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Because people can work wood in so many weird ways, I’ll admit that what follows is equal doses of traditional workshop practice, personal preferences (formed by years of planing) and stubborn opinion that comes from growing up on a mountain. But before we jump headfirst into describing each plane, let’s first divide the tools into three broad categories: smoothing planes, fore planes and jointer planes. mary job of jointer planes is to straighten the wood, a task it excels at by virtue of its long sole (the longer the sole, the straighter the resulting work).

And holding the tool makes you feel like you’re an awkward giant. I do hear occasionally that the No. 2 is a good smoothing plane for children. It’s usually big enough for their hands, and it isn’t terribly heavy. The vintage ones were 21 ⁄4 lbs. And I’ve heard from maybe one woodworker in all my years that they had abnormally small hands that were suited for a No. 2. But other than that, I think it’s best to avoid the No. 2 bench plane unless you stumble on some unique application – or you just want a complete collection of bench planes.

If the frog still has the solid cast face, it’s worth considering. However, be sure to ask for a discount. So how much should you pay for a Type 11? That depends on how pretty you like your tools. Nice examples fetch $30 to $40 on eBay. 50. I’ve bought all mine for between $12 and $15, but each one needed a little work. Many of these Type 11 planes have corrugated soles. The thought was that the corrugations would reduce friction while planing. The corrugations do make it easier to flatten the sole of the plane.

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