Type of sharpening?

Water stones, and diamond stones.

How many tools are too many?

This is a fine line – are there ever too many planes? When you loose count – you probably have too many.

Are the new Woodriver “Bedrock” style Planes a blatant rip off of a Lie-Nielsen?


Are the new Stanley Sweetheart Planes worth it?


Should I make a tool or buy it?

Make a plane? Sure why not, it’s a great experience. Make a saw? A bit more challenging.

Buy new or vintage?

Depends? Are you collecting the tools or using them? In some cases a new tool is more worthwhile.

$2000 planes – a wise investment?

If you want to buy a beautiful handcrafted plane then by all means. Are you going to use it?

Smoothers: Bevel up or bevel down?

Bevel down work really nicely.

Should I sharpen my kitchen knife?

Sure, why not – use a waterstone.

How flat does the bottom of my plane have to be?

Flat enough.

Japanese vs Western whatever (chisels, planes,etc)

Again, depends on what you like to use. I have some Japanese tools, and lots of Western ones.

Best hand-made saws?

Bad Axe.

Should I restore this plane?

How badly deteriorated is it? Heavy corrosion? – forget it, unless it is a rare plane.

8 thoughts on “FAQ

  1. Jeffrey Warshafsky says:

    Just stumbled on to your nice site. Consider adding to your plane maker list some of the contemporary plane makers that Garrett Hack lists in his 1997 book “The Hand Plane Book”.
    I am always glad to see all the fantastic work being done by the current plane makers and hope that in someway my planes motivated someone to make planes.I no longer make planes but have a few ideas and might explore them.
    Jeff Warshafsky – Reed Planes.

    • spqr says:

      Hi Jeff,
      Glad you found my website. I’m trying to provide a good “one-stop-shop” of links for people to explore.
      I have added a contemporary plane makers section to the page. I wouldn’t mind doing an article on the plane makers
      that started the resurgence in plane-making if you are interested.

  2. Richard Stiers says:

    Found your site a few months back when I was searching for means and methods of restoring old planes of my father and grandfather.
    Also found out that you are the source of the Bridle Kerfing Plane hardware that Tom Fidgen shows on his ‘The Unplugged Life’.
    Is this clamping hardware available from you? Looks very nice!
    Thank you,

  3. calvin says:

    Hi there; I’ve recently been researching planemakers. I inherited a large wooden trunk with wood planes and molding planes etc etc. They belonged to my father’s great grandfather and have not be used for at least eighty to ninety years. They are stamped on the butt Melville in script. My question is would there be source material out there that could give more information as am curious to learn more? Thus far I have only found reference to a Thomas Melville, Aberdeen Scotland 1820 planemaker and a Ebenezer Melville, Aberdeen Scotland 1837 .


    • spqr says:

      Hi Calvin,
      It looks like Melville in script belongs to Thomas Melville, from Aberdeen, circa 1820 onwards. This comes from W.L. Goodman’s “British Planemakers from 1700” To be honest it’s really hard to find a lot of detail on small plane makers. With wooden planes, there were a lot of makers, because you didn’t really need equipment like that needed for metal planes. For many small planemakers, a line in a book is about as good as it gets sometimes. From some research the company may have disappeared by 1870.
      Sorry I can’t be more help… best bet is to delve through archival material in Aberdeen, and that’s no guarantee. We went to Scotland last summer and there were next to no places selling vintage tools or anything.

      • calvin says:

        Thanks for the reply. I’ll keep trundling along and see what unfolds. Your thoughts were helpful. Aberdeen archives is probably my best bet. I am not sure what I will do them, as am pretty much the end of the line interns of our family.

        thanks again

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