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Thread: Finger Planes

  1. #1
    I really look like that soliver's Avatar
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    Default Finger Planes

    So I've got some birthday money burning a hole in my wallet ...

    I would like to try a carved top instrument in the future. I need some other shop related items so I was planning a trip down into the city (Atlanta) to visit Highland Woodworking. It's probably been about 15 yrs since I've been there, and I did work there 20 yrs ago in college.

    They carry the Ibex planes and I was considering getting 1 or 2 to start the collection... so if I were to get just 2 which Which sizes would you prioritize?... which do you use the most?

    Are they worth the money? Or is it better to by the cheap Amazon knock offs and tune them appropriately?

    Love to hear your thoughts, thanks in advance.
    aka: Spencer
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Finger Planes

    Spencer, do a MC search on the subject; I did; there’s a lot on both of your questions, sizes and brands. There’s more in the current sharpening thread.
    You have to factor in on your own issues:
    like how much you would enjoy learning how to ‘tune’, how much money you’re comfortable spending, and whether or not taking the time to fuss with tools impacts your goal of building instruments. Assuming that you’re not intending production or profit, all these things are open issues.
    With planes, even in the unlikely event of one functioning perfectly out of the box, it won’t stay that way for long.
    For all I know, buying a $50,000 CNC mill might fit your ambitions.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Finger Planes

    Highland Hardware - yumm!
    NFI. It's one of those stores that I will run the gauntlet for.
    I like my 12 and 18mm planes.

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  6. #4
    I really look like that soliver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finger Planes

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard500 View Post
    Spencer, do a MC search on the subject; I did; there’s a lot on both of your questions, sizes and brands. There’s more in the current sharpening thread.
    You have to factor in on your own issues:
    like how much you would enjoy learning how to ‘tune’, how much money you’re comfortable spending, and whether or not taking the time to fuss with tools impacts your goal of building instruments. ...
    Thanks Richard, I thought of that and tried a search but didn't have great results. Must not have searched the right term. I'll try again and look closer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard500 View Post
    ...
    For all I know, buying a $50,000 CNC mill might fit your ambitions.
    ACK! No!!! If I had $50,000 I'd probably just buy a couple of Red Diamonds or Ellis's and call it a day. Not to mention the the technical acuity necessary to operate a CNC ain't my cup'o'tea... I can send an email and do online forums, and operate my iPhone, but that's about as far as it goes
    aka: Spencer
    Silverangel Econo A #429
    Jacobson Nautilus Oval Hole Prototype
    Soliver #001 Flattop Pancake style

    Soliver Hand Crafted Mandolin Armrests
    Check them out here

    "You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage
    to lose sight of the shore, ...and also a boat with no holes in it.” -anonymous

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    Default Re: Finger Planes

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Oliver View Post
    Highland Hardware - yumm!
    NFI. It's one of those stores that I will run the gauntlet for.
    I like my 12 and 18mm planes.
    Ditto!... back when I worked there was when it was still called Highland Hardware before they changed it to Highland Woodworking. Fun place to work as a young 20-something! Great people to work with too!
    aka: Spencer
    Silverangel Econo A #429
    Jacobson Nautilus Oval Hole Prototype
    Soliver #001 Flattop Pancake style

    Soliver Hand Crafted Mandolin Armrests
    Check them out here

    "You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage
    to lose sight of the shore, ...and also a boat with no holes in it.” -anonymous

  8. #6
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finger Planes

    I have several Ibex and after touching up the iorn they work great but I find myself using the wider one the most, it has a curved sole and I also find I wish it have a palm knob.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  9. #7
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finger Planes

    I use my 12mm curved sole the most and my 10mm curved sole "next most".
    I also have an 18mm flat sole and an 8mm curved sole and I use them too, but the 12 and 10 are the ones I would start with.

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  11. #8
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    Default Re: Finger Planes

    Thanks John, I am assuming the curved sole ones are for the interior of the arch?... Assuming you use other methods for carving the outside? I have a nice set of spokeshaves that never get any use, and theres a good article on spokeshaves in the recent issue of Fine Woodworking magazine
    aka: Spencer
    Silverangel Econo A #429
    Jacobson Nautilus Oval Hole Prototype
    Soliver #001 Flattop Pancake style

    Soliver Hand Crafted Mandolin Armrests
    Check them out here

    "You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage
    to lose sight of the shore, ...and also a boat with no holes in it.” -anonymous

  12. #9
    gary nava; luthier GarY Nava's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finger Planes

    I've got a couple of Ibex planes, but have recently started making my own to suit the profiles that I'm aiming for when carving the top and back. It's immensely satisfying to make and use your own plane.
    I did a kind of rough guide video, if you're interested.
    https://youtu.be/B0UJ4r6cXho
    Cheers Gary

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  14. #10
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finger Planes

    Quote Originally Posted by soliver View Post
    Thanks John, I am assuming the curved sole ones are for the interior of the arch?... Assuming you use other methods for carving the outside?...
    I use the same planes for the inside and the outside. No need to keep & maintain extra planes. The 18mm flat sole is the only one that is restricted to the outside arch.
    Last edited by sunburst; Oct-17-2020 at 12:35pm.

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  16. #11
    I really look like that soliver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finger Planes

    Thanks Gary! Love your videos. I'll check it out when I get into some worthwhile WiFi
    aka: Spencer
    Silverangel Econo A #429
    Jacobson Nautilus Oval Hole Prototype
    Soliver #001 Flattop Pancake style

    Soliver Hand Crafted Mandolin Armrests
    Check them out here

    "You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage
    to lose sight of the shore, ...and also a boat with no holes in it.” -anonymous

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  18. #12
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finger Planes

    Your tired hands and fingers will give you endless thanks when add a handle:
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  20. #13
    Registered User tree's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finger Planes

    Nicely done, James.

    I like the central piece that supports the iron all the way down to the "frog" in the 3rd shot, and the close fit to the sole that shows in the first shot (also the point at the back of the handle that goes up the curve, mostly for aesthetic reasons). It sure looks like a major improvement to the functionality of the plane (look at the shavings!) but it also looks like it wasn't a 10 minute project.

    It does look like a fun project - any time you can modify a tool to improve the function or overcome an issue, that is the kind of thing that is both worthwhile and fun to spend whatever time it takes to accomplish, because you learn so much from the attempt.
    Clark Beavans

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  22. #14
    Registered User amowry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finger Planes

    Quote Originally Posted by j. condino View Post
    Your tired hands and fingers will give you endless thanks when add a handle:
    Agreed. A handle of some kind is pretty much essential if you do a lot of carving.

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  24. #15
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Finger Planes

    Quote Originally Posted by amowry View Post
    Agreed. A handle of some kind is pretty much essential if you do a lot of carving.
    I've been thinking of the "asian style" carving planes (as seen in videos from chinese violin factories) with two handles for a long time. Perhaps one can buy them somewhere. Also a small curved travisher could be great (albeit scarce) tool for these jobs.
    Adrian

  25. #16

    Default Re: Finger Planes

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	189276. Here’s a travisher - used it for years without knowing it by that name! Plus a seri-dai-kanna, which is a little Japanese curved plane with about a 3/4” cut. The travisher is cast iron, unfortunately no name, just ‘8’ and a star cast in. Since the radius is about 1”, I guess there was a family of these, by eighths. It’s more sophisticated than the craft type chairmaker modern versions, and works well. Curved only in one plane, so no good for some shapes.
    Have three or four Japanese planes, all of which have no handles and are hard to use, but they tend to be used on very soft woods.
    My usual rant: tag sales are a far better source of tools than boutique fancy tool shops.

  26. #17

    Default Re: Finger Planes

    I'd love to see some details about attaching the wood handles. I understand the threaded rod and ball type, but I haven't found details of attaching the contoured wooden handles.

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