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Use of thumb planes


H.R.Fisher
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I am buying a few tools for violin making and I would like to know what size thumb planes I should be buying as a beginner?I noticed they are quite expensive and I don't want to spend more money than I need to.I would appreciate any info you can give.

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Yes, it is quite expensive for these thumb planes. I have IBex 8,10,12,18 mm planes. It all very useful depends on the width and conditions of the surfaces. What I will suggest you should call the supplier see if they could replace the regular blade for toothed blades(this the blade I really need) to save some money. You do not need the regular blades at all in my situations.

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Don't rush into buying them.Get some more opinions on what type to buy.I also agree with the toothed blades that Tsenglo mentions but normal blades are also useful at times.

I have the Ibex planes which I got when I was beginning but now find them too wide and clumsy for alot of jobs. I'm slowly replacing some of them with Herdim finger planes.

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Here's a picture of a few of my planes.

The one on the far left is a Herdim.Next to it is a Chinese plane.The 2 on the right are ESE planes;made in England I think.These ESE planes are excellent,very heavy and precisely engineered. I friend picked them up in London for me some years ago but I can't find out where to buy more. If they also make arched soles I'd really like to get some.

Anyone know where to get ESE planes???

[image]cam2470s8pn.jpg[/image]

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ok! Let us know what they say.

I have been searching the net and find nothing on ESE planes.I remember a few years ago I did come across only one site selling them but the selection was limited to a few sizes only.I also recall their prices were much higher then Buck and Ryan.

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I have a fairly odd collection of thumb planes I have collected over the last twenty years, but don’t have any ESE planes which look great. I find the IBEX ones rather clumsy as well and my favourite are the Gewa ones which I’ve adjusted quite a bit to get them working the way I like. In reality I only use about three of my curved sole ones and always with toothed blades and I also use a small flat one quite a bit with a normal blade.

Unfortunately the ESE planes are no longer available as the original supplier no longer exists as far as I know. Buck and Ryan used to stock them but have not had any for a while as far as I’m aware.

So if anyone wants to sell me some just get in touch

:-)

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Hongda: I looked into buying some ESE planes a while back and was told that they were no longer being made and once the current stock was sold that was it. I believe the guy who made them had retired. I wish I would have bought some when I had the chance. They were only available with thick flat soles, the idea being that you shaped them yourself however you desire.

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That's sad news about the ESE planes.Now I,ll kick myself in the a## for not trying to get more earlier.well at least I have 2. I'd imagine if Buck and Ryan had any left they were quickly snatched up by collectors.

Daryl, I think I was told they were meant to be reshaped if prefered that way--they certainly are thick enough!

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………….. Now I'll kick myself in the a## for ………….. That sounds tricky :-)

I called Buck and Ryan just now to double check if they had any left over, unfortunately like I thought their few remaining are long gone (except one rather odd sized one ………long and narrow………… which they still have)

Theirs a guy here in the UK called Brian Hart who makes some rather nice specialist violin makers tools including thumb planes which should be very good, but I’ve never tried one my self. Unfortunately Brian doesn’t yet have a web site but if you call him I’m sure he’ll send out his little brochure which has some information and photos of some of his more popular items.

His number is 44 (for the UK) 1685 886004

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Planes are actually quite easy to make yourself. Here's a picture of a palm plane I completed a few days ago. I epoxies ebony pieced that I had presawn with the correct blade angle in a sandwich of thick brass, I then band sawed the outline, drilled holes for the copper rivets and viola. All told it took me a couple of hours but several weeks to get all the parts together. I pitched the blade at 50 degrees which I highly recommend. I've modified the shape slightly since these piectures, rounding the back and the sole on a belt sander.

Oded Kishony

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