Author Topic: Hand Planes  (Read 285772 times)

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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #255 on: April 12, 2014, 09:38:58 PM »
R. M. Rumbold butt mortise plane continued:
« Last Edit: April 12, 2014, 09:43:42 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline Branson

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #256 on: April 13, 2014, 08:03:09 AM »
Thanks for this!  I looked at the Stanley contender quite a while back, and wasn't impressed much, but the Rumbold looks very useful to me.  Had I found one back when, I'd probably have gotten it.  But I found a Stanley #71 1/2 and have been using it ever since. 

I suspect you're on the mark, that it came very late in the day, when power routers were coming into vogue.  Still don't like those routers for setting hinges.  I don't find a real advantage in the power tool for this job.

Offline rusty

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #257 on: April 13, 2014, 08:19:52 AM »
What a neat plane. Something else to look for ;P

>  I don't find a real advantage in the power tool for this job.

In the time it takes to walk back to the truck, get the router, get it out of the box, put the correct bit in, set the depth, find an outlet, set up the guide jig.....I will have the door hung and be getting my coffee ;P

And the few I do are done with mallet and chisel....

I can see where that plane makes sense tho, fixing the depth and the offset, you only have to worry about the start and stop point. Making cabinets all day you would certainly want one...
 
Just a weathered light rust/WD40 mix patina.

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #258 on: April 13, 2014, 10:15:09 AM »
Thanks for this!  I looked at the Stanley contender quite a while back, and wasn't impressed much, but the Rumbold looks very useful to me.  Had I found one back when, I'd probably have gotten it.  But I found a Stanley #71 1/2 and have been using it ever since. 

I suspect you're on the mark, that it came very late in the day, when power routers were coming into vogue.  Still don't like those routers for setting hinges.  I don't find a real advantage in the power tool for this job.

Hi Branson,

Thanks for stopping by!  It's always good to hear from you.  I think your Stanley #71 1/2 router is a fine tool that's about as versatile as they come.  On a narrow work piece edge like a cabinet face frame for instance, the user definitely needs a steady hand in order to make sure he/she doesn't rock/wobble off course, and outside of the cut.  I need all the help I can get, so I like the the butt mortise plane in those situations.  The little routers like the Stanley #271 are also pretty handy on small and/or narrow surfaces, and are definitely worth adding to one's arsenal of planes.  The plane that I was actually hinting at featuring down the road was Stanley's "door trim/router plane" #171.  Without going into a totally new post on the #171, it was definitely a contraption of the highest order, but designed to basically do what the Rumbold does.  The two planes look nothing alike, and go from being extremely simple to set up and use (the Rumbold), to complicated and fragile, with several little parts to lose (the Stanley #171).  At some point I'll drag out the #171 and feature it in the thread.

Jim C.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 11:16:04 AM by Jim C. »
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #259 on: April 13, 2014, 11:02:28 AM »
What a neat plane. Something else to look for ;P

>  I don't find a real advantage in the power tool for this job.

In the time it takes to walk back to the truck, get the router, get it out of the box, put the correct bit in, set the depth, find an outlet, set up the guide jig.....I will have the door hung and be getting my coffee ;P

And the few I do are done with mallet and chisel....

I can see where that plane makes sense tho, fixing the depth and the offset, you only have to worry about the start and stop point. Making cabinets all day you would certainly want one...

Hey Rusty,

I'm glad that I could feature a tool that you might find some value in owning and using.  The butt mortise plane is one of those hand tools that might actually be more efficient, and as effective to use as a powered tool, such as an electric router.  I know the pictures posted above aren't professional quality, but I think you get the point.  With just a few basic hand tools that are properly sharpened, anyone with some small amount of practice and motivation can quickly produce nice clean mortises for general cabinet, window and door hardware.  Also, I just feel like using a hand tool successfully breeds a little confidence and hopefully a desire to try another hand tool or technique that wasn't previously considered by someone.  Antique hand tools to be used are absolutely great for so many reasons, but they do have some drawbacks that pertain mostly to them being in useable condition, accessible, and affordable.  In this particular instance, the old Rumbold planes are still around, but are not too common.  I think one would have to do a little active searching to find one.  They're still relatively affordable with condition playing a big part of their price.  I've seen them sell for anywhere between $25 and $125, but more generally in the $50 - $75 range.  Lie-Nielsen is the only manufacturer that I know of who currently makes a replica of the Rumbold butt mortise plane.  The quality is fantastic to say the least.  It costs $110.  I'd still recommend an original Rumbold if one comes your way.  If you absolutely must have one now, the Lie-Nielsen will not disappoint you.  If you think you'll get some real use out of the plane, then that might be the way to go.

Jim C.           
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Offline Branson

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #260 on: April 14, 2014, 08:05:37 AM »
Looking at the 171, I'm kinda surprised it was produced as long as it was.  Way more complicated than necessary, and it looks more tricky to use.  I just can't see the advantage over the 71 and the 71 1/2.  Sure looks like it's more trouble to set up. 

Looking forward to your piece on the 171.

Offline scottg

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #261 on: April 14, 2014, 11:40:30 AM »
  I never had a hinge mortise plane. I have used a router plane a few times. I've had butt gauges and a stamped steel mortise cutter you hammer in.
 I've used an electric router for big hinges a few times, but only freehand.
  There have been dozens of inventions for nothing else but setting hinges.
 
 Modest skill with an ordinary mallet and chisel does the job quick and well enough to work perfectly. But once upon a time that was not good enough. It had to -appear- perfect as well.   

   Even when I was kid, people still had this psychotic thing about door setting. It was a really big deal back in time. I think it started in the 20's?
The fad of door inspection.
    Everyone knew, and everyone was freaky about it. People would fuss over it and measure the gap with a match cover and took a real interest in door setting. Everybody did.  It was one of those things the average person knew "just enough" to look for.
 They might not know much more. The foundation could be wonky and poorly fitted rafters up top and everything else in-between slap dash work.
 But inspecting the hang of a door?
 That was something they could wear their prissy little clean clean clean slacks for, and they felt obligated to do. They would judge the overall skill of a carpenter by it.
   So every carpenter had to hang a door with over-the-top hyper precision.
  Most of the inventions for setting door hinges, both hand and power, come from this time.
 
  The fad became much less as I became a teenager, and went totally away after that.
  Today the average person knows nothing whatever about their own doors and the average carpenter can't even understand, much less handle anything but a prehung door.   
   yours Scott

 PS.  I saw yet another door hinge setting outfit last night, on the web. A router gizmo made for fully inset multiple linkage hinges. This one had a long presentation around a small plank of wood with a hole in the middle to guide a router bushing. 
 There is still a shred of interest in door hinges with the "yuppiest" crowd.
 Today the interest is in boutique hinges.
 
 Since regular hinges were perfected about 30 generations ago, today you need something that looks complicated if you want to sell it for 22 times the price.
 Most of the complex looking hinges were actually made to be able to install faster with little brainpower required. A jig supplied by the hinge manufacturer and a power tool is all it takes.
 But they "look different" so the yuppiest pay a whole lot more to get it.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 12:01:48 PM by scottg »

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #262 on: April 14, 2014, 01:46:22 PM »
Looking at the 171, I'm kinda surprised it was produced as long as it was.  Way more complicated than necessary, and it looks more tricky to use.  I just can't see the advantage over the 71 and the 71 1/2.  Sure looks like it's more trouble to set up. 

Looking forward to your piece on the 171.

Branson,

You're absolutely right on all counts!  The Stanley #171 is every bit the "contraption" and then some.  It's fragile, it has a lot of little parts that are frequently missing, and it's nowhere near as easy to set up and use as the Rumbold.  The #171 has three different cutters, and it's usually missing two of them.  One is usually mounted in the plane and the other two are long gone.  They're expensive to replace.  Make no mistake, the #171 is the type of plane that mostly appeals to collectors.  I'll definitely feature it at some point.

Jim C.   
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #263 on: April 14, 2014, 02:06:15 PM »
Hey Scottg,

I'm not too familiar with the history of door setting.  I never knew that hanging a door was how a craftsman was evaluated.  As for hinge mortising, you're right, a mallet and sharp chisel will get the job done, and with a little clean up using a small router, or even a full size router plane, you're good to go.  Still, I do like the Rumbold butt mortise plane because it's so easy to set up and use.  It's almost foolproof and the results are better than good every time.  The butt mortise plane is really just a variation of a router plane.  On the narrow edge of a work piece, like a 3/4" thick cabinet face frame for instance, it really excells.  It's probably not a plane that I would recommend as being a "must have" but certainly one that I'd recommend as a "nice to have" particularly if one is frequently, or even occasionally, working on projects that include setting hinges and similar hardware.

Jim C. 
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 05:42:01 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #264 on: April 14, 2014, 05:33:10 PM »
While we're still on the topic of butt mortise planes, I wanted to correct myself regarding the availability of such planes being produced by current manufacturers.  Earlier I stated that Lie-Neilsen was the only manufacturer currently making a butt mortise plane.  It's modeled after the Rumbold almost exactly, and sells for $110.  Well I did a little more research and discovered that Lee Valley/Veritas also makes a butt mortise plane.  Its main body casting and handle positioning are very similar to the Rumbold and Lie-Nielsen versions, however, it incorporates an iron adjusting mechanism that's very similar to what one would find on a traditional router plane such as the Stanley #71 and #71 1/2.  The Lee Valley butt mortise plane sells for $139.  Different width cutters ranging in size from 1/16" to 1/4" are also available as accessories.  Lee Valley makes some fine tools, however, its version of the butt mortise plane seems like overkill.  I don't think that the iron adjusting mechanism is necessary and only adds to its complexity and cost.  I still think that a butt mortise plane is a nice tool to have, and I'd stick to finding an original, serviceable, Rumbold as my first choice.  If a Rumbold can't be found but you'd still like to have one, I'd go with the low tech Lie-Nielsen version.  I just don't see any reason to pay an additional $29 for Lee Valley's mechanical iron adjusting version.

Jim C. 
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Offline scottg

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #265 on: April 15, 2014, 12:13:46 AM »
I'd go with the low tech Lie-Nielsen version.  I just don't see any reason to pay an additional $29 for Lee Valley's mechanical iron adjusting version.

 I am astounded that Thomas is selling his mortise plane for 100 and change.

 For a man who sells a repoduction #4  at $400 apiece  (a plane you can get at any swap meet for a sawbuck),
 or reproduction Stanley 750 "gents" chisels, approaching 100 dollars a stem?
(again, something you get almost anywhere, with no handle, for 2 or 3 dollars)
 
  Seeing the mortise plane offered so reasonably is surprising.
 
  And cool. 
     Way to go Tom!
   yours Scott

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #266 on: April 15, 2014, 11:56:07 AM »
Scottg,

I do see your point.  Priced at $110, the Lie-Nielsen (LN) butt mortise plane is a relative bargain when compared to other products in the LN line of tools.  At roughly $300 to $400 for a LN #4 (depending on options like bronze versus iron, high angle frog, etc.) the butt mortise does seem inexpensive.  There are certainly some very good quality used antique planes on the market for literally one tenth or less of the cost.  The LN #4 is modeled after the Stanley Bedrock #604, which in good user condition, can literally cost anywhere between $25 and $150.  Assuming the Bedrock is complete, undamaged, and not rusted beyond recognition, even at the high end of the price scale, it's still a better deal than the LN #4.  Antique Bedrock #604 planes are still fairly common too.

Things start to get a little blurry when deciding to buy a less common antique user plane or a new equivalent LN plane.  Some old speciality planes like the Rumbold are still reasonably priced, but they just aren't that available.  The average user Rumbold is probably still going to cost about $60, and possibly a little more if it's in an online auction and two people really want it.  You know how that goes!  Sometimes just being able to buy a new quality tool from a current manufacturer makes sense when comparing it to the antique tool and its availability.  I think for that reason, the available LN butt mortise plane is reasonably priced in comparison to the "sort of available" Rumbold.  Based on your comment regarding the price of the LN, I think you agree.

There are also several factors that do make many of the LN planes attractive (to me at least.) Availability is obviously one factor.  A perfect example is the Stanley #9 block plane.  An original Stanley is cost prohibitive if you can find one in undamaged condition.  Suddenly the LN #9, costing a few hundred dollars, doesn't seem so bad.  Another thing I like about LN planes is their durability.  Using the #9 again as an example, it's well known that original Stanley versions were prone to cracking.  Using different materials and construction methods, the LNs are much more apt to withstand heavier use without incurring damage.  The durability factor is particularly evident in LN models such as the #9, #10, #62, #140, and Sargent #507.  The antique versions of those planes listed, even under normal use, were susceptible to cracking.  I like the fact that LN has made available old patterns that went out of production decades ago.  Some patterns that are just too hard to find, or are too fragile to use, are now available to everyone to experience, if he/she so desires.  Having those specialty planes in its inventory costs LN money.  Finally, and maybe most importantly, I really like that an entrepreneur started a company in the United States, and has managed to grow it, employ Americans, and stamp "Made In USA" on his products.  Over the years, the LN product line has expanded and the quality has remained high.  A testament to the LN quality and brand is really evident on the used tool market.  Used LN planes seem to hold their value and often sell for near retail prices.  LN planes are expensive, but in some instances they might be a better option, particularly regarding speciality planes.  There are generally more economical choices to be had among common used antique tools, like a #4 bench plane for example.  Still, I'm rooting for LN and consider myself an LN supporter.

Jim C.     
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #267 on: April 17, 2014, 09:55:53 AM »
While the butt mortise plane is still a somewhat fresh topic, I wanted to mention that there's a really good writeup in the current issue of Fine Woodworking magazine regarding butt hinges.  It's issue #240, June, 2014.  The author of the article does a nice job detailing butt hinge installation.  Although he does not use a butt mortise plane, after laying out the cut and removing the waste, he cleans up the mortise with a small router plane.  The plane is the equivalent of the Stanley #271, and perfectly acceptable for finishing the bottom of the mortise.  While reading the article, I wondered if the author was familiar with the Rumbold or not?  Again, I think that the Rumbold is a GREAT tool for doing what it was designed to do, but I still also wonder about its availability.  Small router planes are pretty common and relatively affordable.  I just wanted to present another viable option by featuring the old Rumbold butt mortise plane.  If you've been following the thread, it's probably no surprise to hear that I'm always looking for an opportunity to use a hand plane.  While a mallet, chisel and small router will get the job done perfectly, a butt mortise plane is another chance for ME to try something a little out of the ordinary.  What makes sense to me from a functional, economic, and enjoyment perspective may be totally different for someone else reading along.  Going forward, just remember that I'm a collector, and I'm motivated by old hand planes.  I'm always looking for an opportunity to find, try and buy another one.  I'll keep trying to feature planes that are useful, available, and relatively affordable.  Unfortunately, not every plane that I feature will receive high marks in all three categories, but I'll keep trying to present interesting content while keeping those factors in mind.   

Jim C.     
« Last Edit: November 11, 2016, 11:06:34 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline scottg

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #268 on: April 17, 2014, 12:16:09 PM »
 I have been behind Lie-Nielsen tools since the first month they were in public business.
 As they came along, Tom's #1, #9, #212, among several others?
      Magic on skates !@!
 These are tools the average guy simply cannot have any other way. Originals are rare, and thousands of dollars.
  When the company started this was what it was all about, and I was so delighted and proud someone was doing it. I tried to tell everyone I knew what was going on. 
 
  <sigh>
 
   I suppose it was inevitable that eventually the "more money than sense"  crowd showed up demanding to squander grandpa's inheritance or run up their credit cards out of sheer stupidity.
  This was when the "sharp right out of the box" logo, and numbered collector boxes with certificates of authenticity (same as Beanie Babies and Franklin Mint dreck) began taking over the business.
 There has become a whole human subspecies buying these now, along with John Economaki's Bridge City line of tools.

  Ecomonaki was the first to accidentally prove that you could make pretty things and put on a good sales pitch with a glossy color catalog,
  and not just gouge them for a little, you could take them down for a ridiculous amount.
  6, 8, 10 times the price.

  Johns first products were adorable and quite reasonable, but then cost overruns made one product over-the-top expensive. Instead of crashing, the product sold more than any other. Each subsequent product was released with a price reaching higher and higher past any particle of reason. As high as the market would bear.
 Proving men can be as stupid as women, paying $700 for a T-shirt because it says Chanel on the front.
 
 {If we're closed, just shove your money under the door...Chumps}

   At the carnival we called this "playing a big Mark".  That means a sucker with a lot of money willing to throw it away fast.   I once played a Mark and inside of 2 hours time,......... I ended up taking the entire show, not just the jointies, but the ride guys and even the dime pitch grunts, plus the show owners, out to dinner and drinks all around.
 
   Not that I had any choice mind you. With a Mark coughing up that much cash, that fast, in public?  It drew a crowd.  1/ 2 the show was watching the play from a short distance whispering amongst themselves.
 There I was barely 18 years old, not quite making carnival history, but at least making a small legend that would spread far and wide.
 Tradition calls to "treat the show" afterwards, and it was not exactly voluntary. 

  Once in a while I go to the places where these L-N/Bridge City "Marks" hang out, as they brag about the condition of their cardboard and low numbers on the authenticity papers, and simply tell them.............

    If I was so lousy at my craft that I had to pay $400 for a tool I can get anywhere for 10 bucks, in order to get it to work?
     I'd kill myself. 


 Lie-Neilsen still makes some really high quality tools you can't get anywhere else, for a reasonable price considering the market.  But the bottom line profit comes from the Marks whose only real skill centers around throwing money away as fast as they can.

   Somebodies got to take it. You can't blame Tom.   heeheheheheheheheheheheh
        yours Scott     
« Last Edit: April 17, 2014, 01:51:21 PM by scottg »

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #269 on: April 17, 2014, 02:06:53 PM »
Hey Scottg,

You made some interesting points.  I would have to agree that buying a Lie-Nielsen in a special box with a numbered certificate of some sort hardly seems worth the premium paid for it.  I believe the LN planes themselves are expensive enough as is.  In my attempt to present alternative option planes, such as LNs, I would never recommend buying one that is even remotely marketed as a collectible item.  Every LN plane produced should really be used.  I don't view them as collectible.  I do occasionally refer to them for exactly the reason you mentioned.....some of the old Stanley models are just too expensive and/or rare to obtain.  I guess keeping such tools in stock, and making them available to anyone who wants one, allows LN to basically set their price.  Generally speaking, the market is the market, and someone is buying enough of them to keep LN in business.  I don't think that the majority of individuals who buy LN tools are necassarily poor craftspeople or "Marks." That may be true of some, but I just don't agree that LN's bottom line profit is significantly the result of such people.  There's got to be a sizable portion of variously skilled woodworkers out there who have at least one or two LNs in their arsenal of tools.  I have a few LN planes that I bought, and some that came my way as gifts.  I use them (some more than others) all the time.  Those few that I bought for myself, I use frequently.  They're an absolute pleasure to use, and in many ways, are better made than the antiques that inspired them.  There really is some joy in using a new, high end tool, that performs beyond initial expectations.  Some people simply want that experience.  There's another sort of joy that comes from picking up a seventy five year old plane, seeing the patina, the dark cast iron, feeling the rose wood handle and knob, and knowing that you're about to do something really great with a tool that was produced several decades earlier.  I think that both feelings, both experiences, can happliy co-exist in one shop on the same work bench.

Jim C. 
« Last Edit: April 17, 2014, 07:26:36 PM by Jim C. »
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