Plain Advice

The old newsletters that some of you may have missed out on contain some great information. Hopefully some of this will be of use to you:


Dear Mr. Savage,

I appreciate your unbiased and unforgiving assesments regarding the current offerings of hand tools available on the market. I have been getting by for the last five years with two planes: restored #4 and #5 baileys. I recently purchased an e.c. emmerich ‘primus’ smoothing plane. I find it superior to my vintage metal planes in every regard, and I’m contemplating buying their jackplane, jointing plane, rabbet plane and possibly scrub plane. This represents a serious investment to me, and I was wondering what your thoughts are on planes of this style, and e.c. emmerich planes in particular. Are there any disadvantages I have yet to discover?
Gavin MacRae, Canada.


Hi  Gavin,

I have three of these wooden planes in the workshop. I have a smoother, a long try plane, and a rebate plane. I must admit I don’t use then much. I love the quality and I love the nature of having a wooden bodied plane. Sure it needs attention keeping it true but it’s soooo light to use, with the lignum sole, they just slide about so sweetly. But, and it’s a big BUT, I would rather have them without the adjustment mechanism which I find to be a pest to set up. If these were just simple tap and try planes they would be great. But that is just too simple isnt it? However, if you are happy setting up the smoother and fiddling with that pesky adjustment then they are very sweet tools. Let me know how you get on.



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