Well, mainly the big ones.
I have become very frustrated with my beautiful old Stanley/Bailey jointing planes.
The problem is that I can not get the soles to stay flat. I have spent many hours getting the soles on both a #7 (22 inches) and #8 (24 inches) flat only to find that something as simple as taking out the blade for sharpening and replacing it can cause the sole to become concave.
Many woodworkers think a plane need not be dead flat. I agree, but only for certain types of work. When I am leveling a fretboard or jointing the back or soundboard for a dulcimer a reasonably flat, long plane makes the job go very quick and easy.
I am aware that these trusty old metal planes were not intended for work requiring this much precision. This is why I thoroughly researched how to tune-up these planes for fine woodworking. I made sure the frogs were well seated. I flattened the sole with the blade installed so the plane would be under the tension as if it were in use. I added thick after-market blades. I chanted mystical incantations, etc.
This has worked well on the smaller planes but the big ones just don’t stay flat.
If anyone has suggestions as to how I could get these big planes flat and get them to stay that way please let me know!
There are currently made metal jointer planes that are made for fine work. They are expensive but friends of mine who have them say they are worth ever penny. I may go that route someday but I hope to resolve the problem by either getting these old Stanley’s to work or switching to wooden jointer planes.
My experience with wooden planes has been very positive. They are easy to keep flat and I like the feel of wood against wood when planing.
I use several wooden smoothing planes, both with high angles and 45° and love the results. I also fixed up an old wooden jack plane that is very comfortable to use. I have an old 22 inch wooden jointer plane that works well but is a bit too bulky for some of the finer work I do. I also would prefer the blade to be at 55 ° ( as I would on several of my metal planes) so I would not have to sharpen using back-bevels.
I am thinking I will make wooden high-angle jointer plane. With instruments to finish and gigs to play I probably will not be able to get around it until next month. It should be fun!