In some ways I was right. But it took some work.
I ran down to Lowes. Actually I took a leisurely drive to Lowes. I found a Kobalt bench plane for about 30 bucks. I bought it, took it home, opened the plastic and started planing.
Of course I chipped the blade on the first go, catching a nail on the edge.
For a short time I was pretty depressed, thinking I just ruined my plane. So I jumped online and after several fascinating hours of research, I realized there is a lot more to planing wood than what I had imagined.
For starters, there are some pretty entrenched schools of thought when it comes to how to set up a plane, how to sharpen, and what brands are best.
The Kobalt is generally not regarded very highly by plane "purists", because of the cheap machining on the plane.
Here's where I'm going to help you out.
Yes, you can drop a couple hundred dollars on well put together planes, do the maintenance, and keep them going for years.
Spend 30 bucks like I did, and put in a little work to prep the tool and get your money's worth on the first go around. For now, in my situation, economical is better.
I took the plane completely apart.
I started with re-sharpening the blade that I ruined. Check.
I then went through each piece of the plane and checked the machining, sanding down irregularities, smoothing the parts that needed it, and generally fine tuning a cheap plane to bring it to life.
Once I put everything back together, things were great. 30 bucks well spent.
So for the DIYer I would absolutely recommend the Kobalt. Just be prepared to spend a good hour setting up the plane once you unbox it. Down the road, if hand planing becomes a big part of your craftsmanship, go ahead and spend more to get a more professional grade plane. For now, save the money, and use it to get the rest of your workshop set up.
Good luck, and feel free to message me with any questions. Thanks for stopping by!
Thread: Planes by Kobalt??
Probably originates from the same place as the buck brothers #4.
There are too many decent vintage planes available for that or less to make it worthwhile. Best thing for a beginner to do is to luck out and get a vintage plane from someone who was using it and who know how to use it to its potential.
I have never been in places necessarily where inexpensive planes are available on a reregular basis (I don't go to auctions, I don't go to yard sales, and while I've been at the local flea market here, I'm not looking for planes and it's good I'm not because usually there is something like a broken off-brand #4 sized plane for $40 or so). BUT, I have gotten off of ebay 3 millers falls 14s for $10 each, two used 9s for $10, a nearly unused #9 for $22, two MF 18s for $23 and $35, and locally (at antique malls) have gotten a $15 nearly unused #6 and a $25 little used #6.
It took about an hour combined to set up a search and get all of those cheap MFs, and the stanley planes I just ran across while I was wasting time. Personally, I would sooner help a beginner get a decent vintage plane and help them set it up than have them spend $31 on one of those planes without me lifting a finger.
The woodcraft planes (mostly through their labors) and the mujingfang planes (because of muji's philosophy) are the only good planes I have seen from china. The mujis are made by professional planemakers rather than replaceable factory cogs.
Kobalt Wood Hand Plane by Lowes Building - No. 4 Size
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Seller:billquese✉️(109)100%, Location:Stuart, Virginia, Ships to: US, Item:253822423281Kobalt Wood Hand Plane by Lowes Building - No. 4 Size. Kobalt Bench Plane sold by Lowes Building. Has small chip on the edge of the rear handle. It can be seen in the 3rd photo. This is a No. 4 size plane and is 9 3/4 inches long. The cutter is 2 inches wide.Condition:Used, All returns accepted:ReturnsNotAccepted, Brand:Kobalt, Modified Item:No, Country/Region of Manufacture:Unknown, Original/Reproduction:Contemporary Original
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109+ items sold. 0% negative feedback. Great seller with very good positive feedback and over 50 ratings.
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And asked: Where is my order, maybe I'll drive up to the store for it myself. After a few seconds of deliberation, he agreed, warning that I would still have to pay for the delivery. well, this is understandable and so. I quickly got dressed, took the car key and went out into the yard.
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