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Member postings for Paul Sellers

Here is a list of all the postings Paul Sellers has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Advice Needed
08/05/2008 05:26:00

It's hard to imagine how we got here, but one of the greatest disasters in woodworkering was the development of biscuits for jointing longgrain to longrain boards. Like many modern concepts, before they were invented we didn't need them so I agree with Ben Plewes. Why fall into that pit. You must remember that not many machine manufacturers are woodworkers. They want to make something that sells. Biscuits are more expensive than digestives and sometimes modern methods are hard to stomach. The same goes for loose tonges, dowel joints and so on.

Sorry I'm late in on this one, but I recommend you leave the biscuits alone and just rely on the glue. It worked for centuries and we still have panels glued up two-hundred years ago.

Paul Sellers 

Thread: Planes...
02/05/2008 04:51:00

Hi again,

There are dozens of variables in long planes like the #7. They do of course flex under pressure, no matter the maker. They have enough memory to spring back to their former condition, flat or straight. That said, your personal plane becomes intuitive. As a boy in the fifties and sixties, the men I worked under had planes that were not flat and ever one of them was different. I seem to recall that they could each make their personal planes plane true and yet could not plane straight with each others. It's that intuition that only comes through the using of your own plane. I don't always understand it, but it's there. I guess some things are beyond reason. I've used my planes every day of almost forty four years now. Stanleys, Records, Marples and their more modern counterparts, Lie Nielsen, Veritas and of course Clifton. The difference may be the difference between a Ford and a Rolls Royce but I still turn to my favorite first. I am indeed thankful that these latter plane makers have taken the effort to up the standards for our benefit. Some say that they are pricey, but I remember buying my first Stanley #4 and it cost me a weeks wages, which as an apprentice wasn't much I know. Not many people are spending a weeks wage to buy there plane today. I think they are all good vale for money.

Regards,

Paul Sellers 

28/04/2008 18:26:00

Just to follow up. I have Stanleys and Records that match all of the best known planemakers simply because through the years I have worked with them and kept them flat. I don't think anyone shoud abandon their old Stanleys or Records. Before the modern makers I referred to above came along, the old craftsmen made some of the finest furniture using less than perfect planes. Many people believe that these old planes didn't work well yet thousands of woodworkers in every arrea of the craft used these tools for over a century and all of that without fault. Its all to do with intuitive flexing and pressing as you plane, the like of which you won't find mention of in text books and articles. Only the old wooden planes were without noticable flex. From the era when they were used, the pre metal-cast plane, pre high-tech engineering age,came some of the finest woodworking ever accomplished and, that said, with no machines, minimal lighting and poor working conditions. Discovering that thin irons rarely cause chatter may contradict what magazines and catalogs selling hand tools tell us, but before they invented thick irons from ultra hard steel alloys, planes rarely found time for idle chatter. Chatter is a term given to most surface defects caused by bad planing and poor set-up, but true chatter is more a rarity than the norm.

Paul Sellers 

28/04/2008 17:58:00

David,

A #5 is a good choice from the bench plane range. I prefer the #51/2 because the extra width gives me better balance and more width on the iron is a boon too. A #4 or #41/2 smoothing plane has become something of a workhorse to modern-day woodworking because most people use machine jointer/planer to true up stock. You still need the longer plane for making that perfect edge. The #5 and #51/2 works great for this, but the smoothing plane is great for trimming, levelling and much more. Since the advent of machines, many longer planes are now obsolete except when you want perfect edges for meeting edges of boards. But not all planes are created with with flat faces. The more you pay the better the plane. Three best worldwide plane makers are Lie Nielsen (USA), Veritas (Canada, sold in the UK) and Clifton UK. Anant planes (India) are secondary quality, but you can make them work. Anant and some of the other Indian planemakers producing cheaper planes, could upgrade even slightly to make a better plane to match the old Stanleys and Records. I think that Anannt has done this at times.

 I have had good success buying second hand planes on ebay.co.uk. Take a good look at the description and the record history of the seller before you buy and examine each photograph so that you know what you are buying.

Hope this all helps.

Paul Sellers 

Thread: Advice Needed
08/05/2008 05:26:00

It's hard to imagine how we got here, but one of the greatest disasters in woodworkering was the development of biscuits for jointing longgrain to longrain boards. Like many modern concepts, before they were invented we didn't need them so I agree with Ben Plewes. Why fall into that pit. You must remember that not many machine manufacturers are woodworkers. They want to make something that sells. Biscuits are more expensive than digestives and sometimes modern methods are hard to stomach. The same goes for loose tonges, dowel joints and so on.

Sorry I'm late in on this one, but I recommend you leave the biscuits alone and just rely on the glue. It worked for centuries and we still have panels glued up two-hundred years ago.

Paul Sellers 

Thread: Planes...
02/05/2008 04:51:00

Hi again,

There are dozens of variables in long planes like the #7. They do of course flex under pressure, no matter the maker. They have enough memory to spring back to their former condition, flat or straight. That said, your personal plane becomes intuitive. As a boy in the fifties and sixties, the men I worked under had planes that were not flat and ever one of them was different. I seem to recall that they could each make their personal planes plane true and yet could not plane straight with each others. It's that intuition that only comes through the using of your own plane. I don't always understand it, but it's there. I guess some things are beyond reason. I've used my planes every day of almost forty four years now. Stanleys, Records, Marples and their more modern counterparts, Lie Nielsen, Veritas and of course Clifton. The difference may be the difference between a Ford and a Rolls Royce but I still turn to my favorite first. I am indeed thankful that these latter plane makers have taken the effort to up the standards for our benefit. Some say that they are pricey, but I remember buying my first Stanley #4 and it cost me a weeks wages, which as an apprentice wasn't much I know. Not many people are spending a weeks wage to buy there plane today. I think they are all good vale for money.

Regards,

Paul Sellers 

28/04/2008 18:26:00

Just to follow up. I have Stanleys and Records that match all of the best known planemakers simply because through the years I have worked with them and kept them flat. I don't think anyone shoud abandon their old Stanleys or Records. Before the modern makers I referred to above came along, the old craftsmen made some of the finest furniture using less than perfect planes. Many people believe that these old planes didn't work well yet thousands of woodworkers in every arrea of the craft used these tools for over a century and all of that without fault. Its all to do with intuitive flexing and pressing as you plane, the like of which you won't find mention of in text books and articles. Only the old wooden planes were without noticable flex. From the era when they were used, the pre metal-cast plane, pre high-tech engineering age,came some of the finest woodworking ever accomplished and, that said, with no machines, minimal lighting and poor working conditions. Discovering that thin irons rarely cause chatter may contradict what magazines and catalogs selling hand tools tell us, but before they invented thick irons from ultra hard steel alloys, planes rarely found time for idle chatter. Chatter is a term given to most surface defects caused by bad planing and poor set-up, but true chatter is more a rarity than the norm.

Paul Sellers 

28/04/2008 17:58:00

David,

A #5 is a good choice from the bench plane range. I prefer the #51/2 because the extra width gives me better balance and more width on the iron is a boon too. A #4 or #41/2 smoothing plane has become something of a workhorse to modern-day woodworking because most people use machine jointer/planer to true up stock. You still need the longer plane for making that perfect edge. The #5 and #51/2 works great for this, but the smoothing plane is great for trimming, levelling and much more. Since the advent of machines, many longer planes are now obsolete except when you want perfect edges for meeting edges of boards. But not all planes are created with with flat faces. The more you pay the better the plane. Three best worldwide plane makers are Lie Nielsen (USA), Veritas (Canada, sold in the UK) and Clifton UK. Anant planes (India) are secondary quality, but you can make them work. Anant and some of the other Indian planemakers producing cheaper planes, could upgrade even slightly to make a better plane to match the old Stanleys and Records. I think that Anannt has done this at times.

 I have had good success buying second hand planes on ebay.co.uk. Take a good look at the description and the record history of the seller before you buy and examine each photograph so that you know what you are buying.

Hope this all helps.

Paul Sellers 

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