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Bettina

Can anyone recommend a miniature hand plane?

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I know I'm coming late to the party but I too can vouch for the quality of Lie-Nielsen tools.  I have a number of hand planes and chisels and they have taken me from relying heavily on power tools to loving working with hand tools.  You can use them right out of the box but I find it best to hone them first and then add a secondary bevel on them.  That takes the planes and chisels to another level.

 

For sharpening and honing plane irons and chisels, Deneb Puchalski has done some great videos for L-N. :)

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I read through the posts here about planes and still have some question. I want a plane to use on the hull planks for fitting. Since these boards are so small, it would seem a very small plane wood be best. The ones you mentioned in the posts seem like they may be kind of big for what I have in mind. Am I wrong here? Is there a particular plane available that is good for working on the edges of these small boards?

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Er er  - sorry to intrude on this display of lovely tools - but I have always used a cheap David plane.

I often use it upside down in a desk vice with the blade set  slightly crooked to give different depths of cut across the plate when I am chamfering the edges of planking strips and just hand feed the strip past the blade at the chosen angle which you can vary along the strip

image.png.349eb748390ee04b7977288331a68bd0.png

Edited by SpyGlass

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I have a set of the brass planes from MicroMark.  The blades don't hold an edge very long and need constant attention but if better blades are available, they are a nice small size.

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I think I will try this plane. It is made of ebony hardwood for the body and the blade is hard and only 1/2" wide. The whole thing is 3" long and 1" wide. Looks like a good gamble for $10.

s-l400.jpg

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3 hours ago, mfrazier said:

I am glad I didn't order yet. I think I will go with the one from Lee. I see they also have a mini spoke shave.

Not to drive you crazy or anything, but be aware that the Lee Valley "miniature" line of planes, etc., while they are, I am sure, quality tools that "work just like the full-sized ones," are basically intended as collector's items more than practical working tools. (Hence the fancy "jeweler's" cases in which they come.) While they work like the big ones, they aren't ergonomically designed, due to their small size. IMHO, "cute" as they are, if one is looking for a "user," they'd be better off with a good "modeler's" or "gents" (as they used to be called) plane. No doubt the Lie Nielsen "squirrel tail" model is "finestkind," and I'd say "go for it" if one can stomach the price, but, frankly, good as they are, one pays a big premium for the label alone on many of L-N's products. Their irons are great, but a top quality iron, in this case, even an L-N iron, can be put in other planes and provide much the same effect for a lot less damage to the pocketbook.  Besides, their modeler's plane body is cast iron, not the bronze bodies for which they are famous.

 

Kunz (German) is the last company I know of that's making a copy of the old Stanley (and Record) #100 Modelmaker's Plane with the squirrel-tail handle. (The handle. which rests against the palm with an index finger on the finger pad ahead of the blade, makes this small plane much easier to use well than the simply "miniaturized" smaller planes.) It doesn't offer the bragging rights of an L-N or even a Lee Valley/Veritas, but for $20 bucks and a bit of honing after first taking it out of the box, it is a subtle way to make the statement that you have more brains than money. :D

 

41cdQHW3RUL.jpg

 

 

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Thanks for this tip Bob - just found on fleabay for less than £20, post free. I'll add to my collection of miniature planes, including ones by Veritas. My excuse is that the expensive planes were gifts from others, so to use your phrase, I can still claim to have more brains than money!

 

Derek

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I use a little Ibex violin-maker's plane for edge planing as you describe. By hand if the planks are larger, or clamped upside down in a vise if smaller. Works well. 

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20 hours ago, mfrazier said:

I think I will try this plane. It is made of ebony hardwood for the body and the blade is hard and only 1/2" wide. The whole thing is 3" long and 1" wide. Looks like a good gamble for $10.

 

That appears to be a Mujingfang plane, they have a huge range. I have that one plus a couple others. Steel is reasonably good, and the iron is relatively thick for a small plane, which cuts down on chatter. All in all a good plane, at least if that's not a bad copy, which I question at $10 - Mujingfang planes from Japan Woodworker are more like $40.

 

If you want one slightly bigger, try the model maker's plane from Lie Nielsen. Everything LN makes is extremely high quality, I own this plane also and use it regularly.

 

Edited by vossiewulf

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I also agree with Bob that while the miniature tools from Lee Valley are cool (and I have a few of them), they are NOT the best small scale tools for exactly the reason he cited: as they are, they're designed for tiny little doll hands and they don't work as well as other options designed to work at that scale with normal human hands. I keep the shoulder plane on my bench because it can get into places other tools can't, and I use the block plane occasionally, but for example I never bought the chisels because I don't know how you're supposed to use them with the tiny handles.

 

Lee Valley does however sell my favorite mini-planes, because they are very ergonomic, you hold them with the handle in the palm, and your index finger down on the toe of the sole- they are very precise and controllable when held this way.

05p9001s07.jpg

Veritas Detail Palm Planes

 

Mark F., you might want to take a look at my tools thread here, you may find some useful items. 

 

Also Mark, regardless of which plane(s) you get, on any straight plane remember to round the corners of the cutting edge, and even better is to relieve each corner about .001-3" (depending on width of the cutting edge, wider gets more relief) relative to the center of the cutting edge, so the entire edge is a very slight curve with rounded corners. Sharpened this way, you won't get corners digging into your work, and with overlapping passes you can plane a surface perfectly flat.

 

Example of a wenge board planed with a larger plane (Veritas low-angle smoothing plane), but sharpened the same way:

2021837759_planestesting5.thumb.jpg.14863d39d657c5c4b41268ce21816c28.jpg

Edited by vossiewulf

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This is a small plane I got from a local hardware store a number of years ago.  It doesn`t have a brand name on it, just "made in U.S.A.'  It`s 3.5 inches long & a little under 1.5 inches wide.  After a lot of use it`s still very sharp,but could still use a good honing. It`s just the right size to get a good grip on it.

 

DSCF0001.JPG.572b09fdb948568367bc846c40bac63b.JPG

 

DSCF0002.JPG.f3f2b166b880a2ff93cd2b7b8735623e.JPG

 

Mark

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Many thanks for posting the link. My new Kunz plane arrived today, so your message was very timely. After your first post I’d tried to google ‘accurizing Kunz planes’ to no avail, so I am very grateful you came back with the link. 

 

Derek

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There is nothing special about the Kunz plane, the steps you take to make it operate well are the same for all planes of all sizes: 1) Bottom of plane is dead flat, 2) bed for the iron is dead flat, 3) back of the plane iron dead flat. The biggest problem with the Kunz is the large, fixed throat opening, this is optimally much smaller but the only way you could really fix it is by welding or silver soldering a piece of cast iron/steel/brass into the throat, and then filing it to the narrow opening that you want.

 

Any of these books will help with setting up any plane you purchase.

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