Favorite Woodworking Planes–Smoothing Planes

Generations

I have lost track of how many posts I have written about planes, so I am just going by category now. What we have here are five very nice smoothers. Right to left again, Chinese style.

The best is the little Bailey type Stanley #3, BECAUSE it has been upgraded with one of those Lee Valley O1 steel blades. It will leave things seriously smooth. I actually bartered for this with a tool seller at a flea market in Atlanta. Price: one Rosewood knob from a Stanley #45.

The Millers Falls plane is the size of a Stanley #4, but in their numbering system it is a #9c (corrugated sole). Great workmanship, and actually came with a high quality blade, which I also use on my Stanley #5.

The two wood/metal “transitional” planes are a Stanley #35 and a #24. The #35 was my go to plane for years, before I bought the two Bailey types. I love the size of the #24, but I have to resole it. Someday.

Last is a classic German Ulmia Ott plane. Someone in the distant past had the genius idea of resoling this with some really hard linoleum. It will last until the cows come home.

Millers Falls planes are a bargain on the interwebs, and their quality is arguably superior to the Stanley planes. But if you want the best, take my usual advice–buy German.

Fall Blooming Camellias

Camellia “Yuletide”

We’ve had the best Fall weather in memory, despite the fact that three hurricanes have blown through (we only get the rain). The result is that our Fall blooming camellias are spectacular.

I don’t even know how many varieties we have, so this is just a sampler. That first one is “Yuletide,” which usually blooms later. It is obviously one of the Camellia sasanqua hybrids, as are most of the rest.

Singler Flower

A pink version of Yuletide, which reseeds like crazy. We have enough volunteer seedlings to create a camellia grove. Now we get to the fancier hybrids.

Double or Triple?

I think pinky here is triple petaled, but it also reseeds. There’s going to be some serious transplanting this fall and winter. This is the really fancy.

Multi-petaled

These really fancy hybrids never make seed, and have to be grown from cuttings. We also have a double petaled white, that is twenty years old and very large.

We grow these Fall bloomers because our notorious late frosts kill the buds on the more famous Spring bloomers, which have enormous blooms. It doesn’t hurt that these require no fertilizer, and very little water.