Monday, 4 May 2015

Monday Again!

Okay Monday. So we meet again.

A quick update after the weekend.
My topics today:

  • Birthday
  • Why I hate my No. 3!
  • What's on the bench?

My shop time was again rare this weekend. It was my birthday yesterday and I had to care about my guests and friends.
But I have received some nice presents, which will we be good for a small unboxing feature.
In one of my next posts I'll let you know about it.

Why I Hate My No. 3!

When I started woodworking, I bought a No. 3 plane.
It is made by Kunz, which is a German manufacturer. I think I have to support our economy and in those days I had no clue what I should have bought instead.
I did not want to spend much money for this plane, because I didn't knew at this time if woodworking is the right thing for me.

So I made my first tries with it and to make it short, I desperate with this sucker.
I spent hours and days to find out what went wrong. Yup, I made every possible mistake and I had to learn how to plane right. But after all it was far away from fine shavings.
I ordered a JUUMA No. 4 (Woodcraft/Quangsheng in the US/UK) and now it started to be fun to make some shavings.

Meanwhile I can proudly say that I know how to plane even if I'm not as perfect as many of you are.
And additionally I've learned to sharpen. Today I'm able to get some paper fine shaving out of my plane.

One thing that always bothered me is, that the No. 4 is really heavy and I often thought that it would be nice to have a lighter plane.
Every time I'm finishing a surface I'm thinking if it wouldn't be good to have something which is more handy.
Last week I read two Blog post as most of you will have too. The first one was posted by The English Woodworker. It totally make sense to me what Richard is writing.
The second post was from Mr. Schwarz. That is an interesting idea to renounce on a tool for a time.

This weekend I decided to give my No. 3 a second chance. I opened my tool cabinet grabbed for the plane and sharpened the blade taking into account all I now know about sharpening.

The result is that I still hate it. Yes, the plane works. But with all sharpening and adjusting it is still far away from fine shavings. I wouldn't use it for finishing my boards.

All that came at the right time. I received some vouchers for a tool shop as a birthday gift and I'm thinking about to spent it for another plane. Either a No. 4 Veritas Custom or a No. 3. Kunz Plus.
But I'm totally unsure about the Kunz Plus. Anybody out there who has got experiences with this plane? Then please let me know.

What's On The Bench?

In general I'm working at the Mid-Century Table. I started rough cutting the boards this weekend.
Nice work to cut 40mm thick oak boards by hand. But with a bit of calm and patience it goes pretty well.
More about it on Wednesday.

In parallel I'm building a small packaging box. A simple box with simple joints.
A few touches yet, then it will be done. I also make another post about it. 

Packaging Box

And last but not least I think I have to start some birthday gifts in the next days. 
A Garden Lantern and a Surfboard. Yes, right. A Surfboard. It will be for decorative purposes only but it seems to be a fun project.
The Garden Lantern should reflect some South Sea feelings. For the moment I haven't got a clue how to do that. And the pages of my sketch book are still white.....

So, that's it for this Monday.
Hope you all will have a great and productive week.

Please let me know if anybody has got a Kunz Plus plane.

Keep on making!



  1. Hi Stefan:

    My name is António and I'm from Portugal

    I'm going on a similar road - about planes - quite some time ago
    At the present time I only have one very old metal (similar to the SB #3) and a very old 36mm tapered iron wooden one.
    My search is getting me in another directon - not quite decided yet-

    Have you considered the alternatives?

    Dick from Dictum (although I think it is almost twin to Jumma)
    ECE and ULMIA wedge and reform ones (the ECE secundos cought my eye)
    or the cheap Czech PINIE

    1. Hi António,
      nice to meet you (even it is virtual).
      You are right the Dick and Juuma planes are the same tools (same manufacturer with some special details for the seller. Like different colors, different material for the lever cap, etc.). Unfortunately from both sellers there is no No.3 although Quangsheng is manufacturing one.
      I have got no experiences with the ECE or Ulmia planes, but I try to get one second hand. But until today I didn't find a nice one for a reasonable price.
      I think they are really well made and very traditional in German woodshops.
      But honestly I like the metal planes more than the wooden ones.
      Let me know if you will have made your decision.


  2. I have seen and held the Kunz Plus plane. It is nicer than the regular Kunz plane but not has nice has your current Chinese Bedrock plane. The finish of the metal is rough, also I disliked the shape of the knob and tote.

    I have also seen a No. 4 Veritas Custom it is a step up from your current plane and on par with Lee-Nielsen and Clifton planes, but I do not believe that it is lighter than your Chinese bedrock, so if that is your reason to replace it will not address that problem. If you want a light German made plane I would look at ECE wooden planes, their top of the line has a very precise vertical adjuster and an adjustable throat. I liked how it felt to hold.

    I saw most of these plane in 2011 went Chris Gochnour brought them to a class he teaches, he was working on a test tool of smoothing planes for Fine Wood Working at the time.

    1. Hi Brent,
      thank you very much for your detailed feedback. Frankly spoken that's what I'm expecting or fear. If they were as good as the description is then there would be more users.
      The weight is just one aspect. What I really want is a dedicated smoother. If it would be lighter than my No. 4 then it would be great.
      Do I really need it ? No. Maybe I will have a look if I can get a Chinese No 3 from somewhere else, because in Germany it is not available.
      As described above I don't like the wooden ECE planes very much. But I will give it a try if I can find a nice second hand one.