American Woodworker A April

Spend some time with a well-tuned jack plane and you'll have no trouble understanding how this age-old tool earned its title as a "jack-of-all-trades." The jack, or No. 5, bench plane is easier to handle than a large jointer plane (No. 8) and only slightly less maneuverable than the smaller smooth (No. 4) plane. At 14 in. long, the No. 5 is conveniently sized for cither jointing an edge or smoothing a surface. If forced to pare their plane collection down to a single tool, most woodworkers would hold onto their versatile jack.

For this buyer's guide, we tested and compared seven metal-bodied jack planes from six different manufacturers. Prices ranged from $29.95 for the Anant, manufactured in India, to $69.95 for the Stanley Bailey. Just for fun, we also tested a couple of old-timers—a 1935 Stanley Bailey, and a Stanley Bed

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Wood Working 101

Wood Working 101

Have you ever wanted to begin woodworking at home? Woodworking can be a fun, yet dangerous experience if not performed properly. In The Art of Woodworking Beginners Guide, we will show you how to choose everything from saws to hand tools and how to use them properly to avoid ending up in the ER.

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