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.