Can a cheap smoothing plane be good?

Can a cheap smoothing plane be good?

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  1. Christopher Mencel on July 9, 2023 at 2:19 pm

    why not drill and file out a new slot to get the chip breaker up close?

  2. Christopher Poole on July 9, 2023 at 2:19 pm

    I am just getting into hand planes. frankly, I have been pretty frustrated. your videos have helped. I just bought a grizzly smoothing plane. however, it 22 inches long. I would think that would be a jointer not a smoothing plane. Why would grizzly call it a smoothing plane? also, while I went through the set up process you provide. I still ended up with a lot of gouging while trying to smooth a hard maple dining table top. I eventually reverted to a sander.

  3. Walter Rider on July 9, 2023 at 2:24 pm

    thank you Rex

  4. Less Talk, More Delicious on July 9, 2023 at 2:26 pm

    The Bailey #4 is $45 too and similar price. How does the Great Neck compare to it?

  5. hendu3270 on July 9, 2023 at 2:27 pm

    Hey Rex, sharpening smoothing plane yesterday after I accidently hit my steel rule. Dumb mistake for sure. After sharpening and reassembling, I get little shavings that are like accordions. Sometimes cramming and getting stuck at the front of the blade. Any quick tidbit of info on what will cause this?

  6. Neil Bradley on July 9, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Second-hand Stanley number 4 smoothing planes are really cheap and easy to come by. Best option I think.

  7. BobMuir100 on July 9, 2023 at 2:29 pm


  8. Scundoor Sup on July 9, 2023 at 2:29 pm

    Terrible grade of cutting steel for blade , not good

  9. Norman Frost Jr. on July 9, 2023 at 2:29 pm

    What is the light brown piece under the blade? Mine did not have that. Did you add that? If so I would like to know what it is because that blade surface is really bad. It was not even and twisted the blade and made it impossible to get an even shaving. I ended up filing the mouth surface until the blade made even contact along the mouth. It cuts fairly well but still lacks good thin shavings. In my judgement it still lacks something. Any thoughts?

  10. Thomas Fuhs on July 9, 2023 at 2:30 pm

    This video diagnosed my crappy Kobalt that put me off of planes for years. Same chip breaker issue. Looks like I’ll have a scrub plane by next week

  11. Robert Lord Zimlich on July 9, 2023 at 2:31 pm

    I recently purchased a vintage Sears 9½" plane on eBay for $30, plus $10 shipping. With minimal tuning, I’m getting paper-thin shavings.

  12. JMadison on July 9, 2023 at 2:33 pm

    The Lowes brand (kobalt) plane seems to work quite well and looks virtually identical to this model.

  13. Sean Porter on July 9, 2023 at 2:33 pm

    I would love to see you try and review a stanley handyman #4. It gets a lot of flack from, well everyone. Funny thing is no one tries it. And they go for about $10 on ebay.

  14. Jakub on July 9, 2023 at 2:35 pm

    5:17 Would it be an option to drill a new hole 1/4" further back? Shouldn’t be that difficult to replicate the oval shape. Just guessing.

  15. Michael Espineira on July 9, 2023 at 2:35 pm

    Amazon basics has a smoothing plane for about $40.

  16. Daniel Joyce on July 9, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    You want a true garbage plane get the one from Harbor Freight. Nothing is salvageable. I bought it on a lark.

  17. Jess ric on July 9, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    Why not buy another chip breaker

  18. Wolfman on July 9, 2023 at 2:38 pm


  19. Joe Kirk on July 9, 2023 at 2:44 pm

    I make allmy planesand they all work greaty..

  20. Mr. Meds on July 9, 2023 at 2:44 pm

    Can you review the new Stanley 4-1/2 that they sell in Amazon?

  21. Timothy Mallon on July 9, 2023 at 2:44 pm

    So Rex, I wanted to give you somewhat of an update on your cheap plane idea. I bought a Kobalt from the blue box store recently, found out that it appears to be identical in manufacturing as your Great Neck. In fact, it is likely the same factory, but just got a different cap iron for Kobalt. As such, I ran into identical problems that you encountered so I decided to take my Stanley #4 apart and compare it, apples to apples. What I noticed was, the chip breaker that you discussed in the middle of your video isnt necessarily cut in the wrong place, it comes down to the angle of the end near the edge of the iron. I found that it was far too steep and with the cap iron tightened down, it forces the chip breaker to slightly push on the iron in a way that makes it bow. To resolve that, I took the chip breaker out, brought the angle down by pressing it in my vice slowly until it matched the height of my Stanley, then I deburred the edges and BAM it worked! It went it properly and the blade came out. It is ALL the cap iron angle at the end.

  22. alochrome on July 9, 2023 at 2:45 pm

    I have an Axminster Rider No 4 that almost has the same problem of not getting the cutting edge to protrude without setting the chp breaker back a bit, say to about 1/8" – this is supposed to be a mid-range plan! I have trouble in getting the blade to centre too, despite tweaking the frog. I have a really old Stanley that works so much better.

  23. audigex on July 9, 2023 at 2:47 pm

    Could you just flatten the chip breaker curve, eg in a vice or press? That would give you the extra 3/8” or so needed, I’d have thought?

  24. Jesse Christensen on July 9, 2023 at 2:47 pm

    Love it. Have the same problem often with my cheap planes since I’m a poor beginner. My background is a farm boy though and I manged to get my kobalt, taytools, and stanley 12-960 blades to breach the mouth by moving the depth adjuster all the way back then move it to about 90%. Then set the blade in and push it as far forward as you can. I think the issue is that the depth adjuster is loose moving forward and backward in addition to side to side. How flat is the sole on this?

  25. Minos C on July 9, 2023 at 2:47 pm

    I noticed your chipbreaker on your stanley is rusty. Best solution I’ve found so far: remove rust and apply, generously, bees wax.
    I can confirm it keeps iron parts rust free for years.

    I use the bees wax that’s intended for polishing furniture (liquid, dries up and you rub it with a cloth). There’s a spray too but it makes a complete mess

  26. Andrea and Joe Kaplan on July 9, 2023 at 2:48 pm

    Has he posted a video yet comparing all affordable smoothing planes? I am starting a hobby shop and love these videos! Does anyone have a suggestion for a smoothing plane to buy as a first. I dont mind sharpening and honing it considering i would need to learn eventually. Thanks in advance for the advice, this is channel is the best

  27. Peter Werner on July 9, 2023 at 2:48 pm

    I don’t know if you are going to cover it later in the summer or not but I have found (bought new) at Menards a perfectly awful smoothing plane. Brand is "Anant". ($40.00)
    I have watched numerous "how to" and trouble shooting videos and wasted several hours on this and no good result. Problems are just as you noted: misaligned hole on the chip breaker and a useless ineffective adjusting toggle.

  28. undefeated_mc on July 9, 2023 at 2:49 pm

    Where I live another blade this size with the right fittings costs only 3$ so for 40$ I think this could have been a nice smoothing plane.

  29. General Gerard on July 9, 2023 at 2:49 pm

    I have to agree with Kitsurubami- you are on another level and its a pleasure to watch and learn from you. Ive only watched 2 of yours so far, but im looking forward to seeing what other content you’re doing. There are so many useless channels, but yours is exceptional, you’re a natural. Thanks !

  30. Grumpy Old Sod in a Cellar on July 9, 2023 at 2:50 pm

    I managed to get a reasonable plane, secondhand, of eBay, it had the opposite problem. I couldn’t get the blade to retract far enough, this was fine if you wanted a scrub that would take cardboard thick shavings, but I didn’t. I solved the problem by moving the frog back farther than what I normally would, now it works fine. I bet if you advanced the frog for a really tight mouth it would cure the problem. !!!

  31. K. Levi Rusco on July 9, 2023 at 2:50 pm

    A needle file should widen the slot on the screw. A punch, a drill and that same needle file should also fix the adjuster/chip breaker relationship

  32. justin woods on July 9, 2023 at 2:52 pm

    The chip breaker could of been fixed if it’s either too much back you crimp it more to get a bigger curve to make it over all shorter. Then if it’s too short and petruded too much you can squish it and make it longer which makes to blade go in farther. Or you shave it with a grinder to make the chip breaker shorter to make the blade come out more

  33. JCB Customs on July 9, 2023 at 2:53 pm

    I bought an irwin plane, its pretty much a no. 4. It had the same issue with the blade not being able to come out when I set it up for smoothing. I just did exactly what you do with a wooden plane, and hit the back of the blade with a hammer, and it worked perfectly! You should seriously try it!

  34. Creek Tilghman on July 9, 2023 at 2:54 pm

    Woodprix is full of amazing tips. It helped me a lot.

  35. Charlie Mack on July 9, 2023 at 2:55 pm

    I bought a Kobalt smoothing plane at Lowes and cannot get the blade to go far enough out the mouth without pushing the chip edge so far away from the blade…very dumb – glad you addressed this in the vid, thank you

  36. Aedian Ulfhamar on July 9, 2023 at 2:57 pm

    I recently got one of these to set up as a scrub plane, and it looks like they’ve addressed some of the issues here

  37. JRK on July 9, 2023 at 2:57 pm

    why not flatten a bit of the curvature on the chipbreaker ?

  38. David Meyers on July 9, 2023 at 2:59 pm

    rex: what if you take a rubber mallet and "gently" flatten the bump in the chip breaker. Can that advance should be able to squeeze another 1/16-1/8th of an inch. Still not enough?

  39. David Willard on July 9, 2023 at 2:59 pm


  40. Deqster's Killer Lab on July 9, 2023 at 3:00 pm

    Same thing with the harbor freight cheapo plane… Convert it to a scrubber!

  41. Henry372 on July 9, 2023 at 3:02 pm

    Just get a vintage Stanley

  42. Tom Snitch Crafting on July 9, 2023 at 3:02 pm

    Since I started watching you, I have come to learn that I enjoy doing woodwork all by hand instead of using machines and I have learned that even without machines, I can still do everything that I need to be able to do. You have also inspired me to buy my own hand planes. I don’t have the most money so I decided to get the cheapest possible one I can get. I ended up buying a $13 AUD block plane. It doesn’t have any chip breaker, depth adjuster, and it doesn’t have a lateral adjuster. I have to do everything by hand. I also had to spend hours on the wet stone to get any edge on it and I just gave up and used a strop. Even though it is no where near the best possible plane, I have managed to get it to shave the wood very nicely.

  43. Rich Andersen on July 9, 2023 at 3:03 pm

    Personally I think Rex should check out the Irwin Record #4, i bought one and am QUITE PLEASED with my purchased new $25 investment

  44. motors on July 9, 2023 at 3:04 pm

    what’s against just drilling two holes next to each other in the chip-breaker, file those holes to be a simple slot, and thus have the required 1/2" offset for the adjuster locating interface?

  45. Josh MayO on July 9, 2023 at 3:07 pm

    Been watching a lot of your videos over the last few days, and I decided to search up my particular plane that I bought at Home Depot years and years ago and came across another video of yours! Mine is branded "Buck Bros.", and I’ve done a lot of these fixes (had to file down the lateral adjustment as well) and I just can’t be happy with the thing. I should have just cried once and sourced a quality, vintage plane.

    Definitely loving the content!

  46. Robert Langley on July 9, 2023 at 3:07 pm

    Good info, great video.

  47. Weekend Warrior on July 9, 2023 at 3:09 pm

    Well, Chinese copied a plane without knowing how it worked. The original one had the chip breaker misadjusted, so they copied that too. Mr Sh. Holmes here.

  48. tlw on July 9, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    where is this cheap hand plane guide?

  49. tHOUGHt Thru on July 9, 2023 at 3:11 pm

    Would there be any downside to buying this when I need a scrub plane?

  50. Larry Corron on July 9, 2023 at 3:13 pm

    Fantastic! I’ve been wondering why no one has done a comparison of inexpensive hand planes.