What can you do with a No. 6 plane?

What can you do with a No. 6 plane?

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Lots of people hate the No 6 plane. Others just don’t know what to do with it. It all comes from confusion about what the plane was intended for and what it’s actually good for. In this video, I’ll explain why the 6 may be the worst of Stanley’s bench plane line, but only for its intended purpose as a “fore” plane. If you use it as a short jointer or a panel plane, then its excellent and cheap.


  1. k3ith29 on April 21, 2022 at 6:19 pm

    I just picked up a no 6 for $44 dollars at an antique store. I dont have anything larger then that yet.. But my plan was using with a shooting board.

  2. John Robinson on April 21, 2022 at 6:19 pm

    Nobody wanted the Walkman in the first place, either. Salesmanship.

  3. Jack Sparrow on April 21, 2022 at 6:21 pm

    N°6 is the only plane I have. I use it for everything. It’s like a jointer more easy to use. A little bit heavy when it comes to flatten a little board but it does the work. I think I’m going to buy a n°4 1/2 for smoothing

  4. Charles Campione on April 21, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    I have been contemplating purchasing a 5 and 1/2 for quite a while but haven’t wanted to spend the money. I have a lie Nielsen 6 sitting in my draw that I have used occasionally as a jointer as I do not own a designated jointer 7 or 8. Thanks to this video now my number six will be used as the 5 and 1/2 that I haven’t purchased

  5. Ben Stradling on April 21, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    Rex I was having a rummage around my dad’s garage with him the other day and he pulled out a Stanley No 6 that he kept from his pattern makers apprenticeship 50 year’s ago I don’t think he’s used it since .

  6. Trevor B59 on April 21, 2022 at 6:24 pm

    I was given a Wood River no. 6 last Christmas. It’s great and I use it most days. I can’t remember the last time I picked the no. 51/2 I’ve had for 44 years. I have a no. 8 I sometimes use but the 6 is my go to. I does give me a bit of a workout but it’s such a pleasure to use it’s worth it

  7. James Benton on April 21, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    As a full time working professional woodworker, I love your videos! It’s taken me almost 50 years to get to my personal Holy grail. I can build anything I want without plugging anything in, If I choose to do so. I love ALL of the tools you show us…Kudos, sir! 👍

  8. justin woods on April 21, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    My number 6 has the jack plane bottom with the rotted in it

  9. Harrison Braden on April 21, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    ive used a #6 on door edges my entire life, works great. is there one that is better? lemme know

  10. Lyster1ne on April 21, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    A old wartime no. 6 was actually my first proper bench plane. I bought it because I was just getting started on building a proper workbench, and I needed something that would flatten and joint larger parts, without as much fatigue on my little 13yo self. It works super well, and I’ve never felt the need to upgrade to a 7. In all fairness though, I don’t do a whole lot of jointing work, mostly flattening panels or shooting thick boards

  11. Mark Sexton on April 21, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    Ok boss….you just spun me around…
    Lubricate the plane…😳😳
    It’s touching the wood surface, what in the world do you use to lubricate them….?

  12. Wouter Janssen on April 21, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    I love my number 6. It fills the otherwise empty spot in my plane till 😀

  13. Alex Ziółek on April 21, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    I am hestitating between purchasing a low angle jack stanley sweetheart and a modern bedrock style no.6 The main purpose of the plane would be to build my first, moderately sized bench and definately intended as an all purpose tool (jack, jointer, smoother in one). In the future I am planning upon building or restoring a set of wooden plane I love the simplicity of hammer and tap adjustment and I` m perfectly fine with that. My concern is which one to buy? The main problems are: is the low angle jack long enough to true up a wooden jointer plane, will a bevel up plane do well enough to finish my initial projects with tear- out free results (no chipbreaker)? Thanks in advance!

  14. shuyang zhang on April 21, 2022 at 6:30 pm


  15. Jim Jam Shimmy Shatts on April 21, 2022 at 6:31 pm

    Today a #6 I was bidding for on eBay ended up selling for over $200. I quit bidding around $60. Not sure they’re a good cheap option anymore

  16. Andrei Danel on April 21, 2022 at 6:31 pm

    Are $20 Stanley planes still a thing? I’m not having any luck finding them that cheap. They all seem to have become collectibles. I’ve been looking at FB marketplace, craigslist, eBay but no luck.

  17. Chad Jazeera on April 21, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    Just picked up an old 6 for cheap. No maker’s marks on the body. The iron is the only thing that is stamped. Reads: Black Diamond Fully Warranted. Does anyone know the origins of this plane? Looked online but could only find info on "Diamond Edge" planes. Did Nicholson ever make planes??? Any help is greatly appreciated!

  18. upside downdog on April 21, 2022 at 6:33 pm

    I rather like my no. 6 but would gladly pay $50 for a 5 1/2.

  19. Shannon Brown on April 21, 2022 at 6:33 pm

    I prefer my #6 to my #5.

  20. GRUBS GRUBS GRUBS on April 21, 2022 at 6:33 pm

    You are the white version of Jo Koy

  21. Motoben BH on April 21, 2022 at 6:33 pm

    I got a No. 6 because I wanted a No. 5 1/2 and a No. 7 ……
    I use it very often, but my work means it’s usually just one or to edges at a time, so I never have to push it around for too long. I like the momentum it has, but that’s because I don’t sharpen as often as I should.

  22. Stephen Nicholas on April 21, 2022 at 6:34 pm

    I’ve had a Sargent VBM 18" long for nearly 50 years. Bought 2nd hand and obviously old in early 1970s. Hardly used. Had vast gaps in woodworking time since teens but retired, bought, gutted, rebuilt old house. The plane is brilliant for shaving width off a door. Also for flattening panels of softwood. But you need a heavy duty bench and vice to cater for the momentum resulting from pushing its mass through the material.
    Looks to be £80 on Ebay which would go towards a track saw for MDF cabinets and wardrobes. Thanks for reminding me

  23. SkylersRants on April 21, 2022 at 6:36 pm

    Two years later I’ve come across this again and saw my own old comments below that I had forgotten. I’ve been making table tops since then and I have found that my #6 is the best of all my planes for flattening the board. I have a #4, #5, #6, and #8, plus a block plane and various specialty planes. The #6 is very good as a panel plane, and a good jointer for smaller boards. My #5 is from 1918 and it works fine, but I’ve not found a consistent good use for it yet.

  24. cheserex on April 21, 2022 at 6:36 pm

    "… more or less exactly the same size…" LOL

  25. 1st in Last out on April 21, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    No 6 fore plane ie the before plane is my first on large timbers great for knocking back , very underated today sad to say ,if you don’t have arm’s like tree trunks you can step down to a 5 1/2., the 5 1/5 I got for £10 UK with very little restoration luckily lol

  26. Jean-Paul Baudet on April 21, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    100% agree Rex, it’s too heave for fore work. Even the stanley jointers are too heavy.

  27. Magnus on April 21, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    Hey Rex, been loving your videos. I’ve been a power tool guy for a couple decades now, and finally have a dedicated shop space and started looking into hand tools. I went to an estate sale picked up a bedrock (old round side style)no 605 1/2, and a bailey no 6, for $48 bucks each. Both are in pretty good shape, some light rust and dirty. I’m cleaning them up now, and I’m on the hunt for a no 4 and a no 5. the 5 1/2 and the 6 are very similar as you say in this video. How would suggest I set them up/what task to use them for?

  28. mystang 89 on April 21, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    What are the ridge in the bottom of a plane for?

  29. amo757 on April 21, 2022 at 6:38 pm

    I use my No. 6 for flattening tabletops and benches. I have tried to use it to joint long pieces of wood, but it doesn’t seem to work well for that (it may not be the planes fault, it might be a technique issue).

  30. Tyler Bryant on April 21, 2022 at 6:39 pm

    Hey Rex I recently inherited a no. 6 but it is a gage variant. Any chance you can offer some pointers as to how to set the silly thing up. I would end up with a dang unicorn.

  31. Josh .Adcock on April 21, 2022 at 6:40 pm

    I have a Makita electric planer and find it difficult to not have large ridges. Would you consider having a series of videos for power planes? I got it watching your videos and thought I could mimic the work, just with power.

  32. Scott on April 21, 2022 at 6:42 pm

    Makes a great shooter

  33. tellthemborissentyou on April 21, 2022 at 6:46 pm

    My brother picked up my No.6 at the dump. I cleaned it up and it lives on its side on my shooting board. It is 110 years old and works perfectly.

  34. Kenton Ward on April 21, 2022 at 6:49 pm

    I love my number 6 and I use it a lot for bigger surfaces that I want to smooth when I don’t really need the bigger #7 or #8. I also use mine for shooting as the weight is just right as to not cause so much work. Of course a #62 would be a better shooting plane but I can’t afford one right now so my #6 works well for that. A 5 works too but I like the 6 better.

  35. Robert Underdunk Terwilliger on April 21, 2022 at 6:50 pm

    I have a No4 and a No7. Doubt a 5 ½ or 6 would improve things a whole lot!?

  36. Jeff Cheng on April 21, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    Why was the 6 worried? Because 7 8 9… sorry for the dad joke.

  37. Jacob Minnich on April 21, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    I just got started with a borrowed #6. Didn’t know anything about it until today. This channel has inspired a love of hand tools. Planes especially.

  38. R. Parker on April 21, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    Great video. I love my no. 6. I built electric guitars as my main woodworking hobby, and it is perfectly suited to joint neck blanks, flatten bodies, and plane in neck angles for certain models (like carved top Les Paul styles). I’d never heard of a panel plane or seen a direct comparison between a 5 1/2 and a 6, but it turns out I use it just like that. In truth, I got my 6 mostly because it felt better than any of the no. 5s the dealer had that day. But I’m super glad I did.

  39. Jaecen White on April 21, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    I originally got a 6 to use as a jack plane because they were cheap, and now I like it better than 5s which feel short to me.

  40. Kenneth Nielsen on April 21, 2022 at 7:02 pm


  41. Tim List on April 21, 2022 at 7:02 pm

    Rex, I have two planes I inherited from my Father-In-Law upon his passing. They sat idle for years. I have no idea what specific type they are other one says sargent. Where can I go to find out their types and perhaps values?

  42. blank blank on April 21, 2022 at 7:04 pm

    I just got an old 5 1/2 for 30 bucks to restore. I was wondering what that size would be useful for. This helped give me a better idea.

    Do you think I should just go ahead and set it up as a smoothing plane? The only other plane I have at the moment is a block plane. So I was wondering if setting it up as a jack plane would be a better idea.

  43. Scott Gates on April 21, 2022 at 7:05 pm

    What about using a no.6 as a shooting plane?

  44. Brandon Ford on April 21, 2022 at 7:05 pm

    The No. 6 was a favorite among shipwrights who used it for fairing the edge of a plank and cutting in the bevel for the caulking.

  45. Walter Rider on April 21, 2022 at 7:07 pm

    thank you Rex

  46. toadamine on April 21, 2022 at 7:07 pm

    Idk why you’d need a plane much smaller than a 5-6 for most planing work, making dollhouses or birdhouses maybe… I never use my block plane or #4 theyre tiny and you can barely take anything off with them without a shitload of effort or spending all day making more passes… 🤷‍♂️

    The heavy weight makes it easier to use, not harder, light planes are hard to use, they dont keep gliding, they wanna stick and stop and take a mot more muscle to keep them cutting.

  47. More Fiction on April 21, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    Thanks. I just found my grandfather’s old #6. At first I thought it was a jointer bug clearly the jointer is mucb larger.

  48. aus71383 on April 21, 2022 at 7:12 pm

    I’m cutting timbers on a bandsaw mill, and want to use a plane to make a smooth surface so the exposed framing doesn’t collect as much dust and cobwebs. Roughly 4 to 13 inch wide surfaces, pretty flat to begin with, up to 16 feet long. What would be a good plane for this purpose?

  49. ronnie sahlberg on April 21, 2022 at 7:14 pm

    I got one for 30$ at a local place. Best plane ever for longer/larger surfaces.
    If you do woodworking, you have to have a #6

  50. ejd53 on April 21, 2022 at 7:18 pm

    My grandfather was a joiner. During the great depression he would carry his toolbox around the city looking for work. He carried a Stanley Bailey type 13 No. 6 as a jointer, not a No. 7. The weight savings was significant when you had to tote the thing around every day. I still have his planes and they work perfectly.