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Thread: Compass planes - Kunz?

  1. #1
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    Default Compass planes - Kunz?

    I’m in the market for a compass plane and have been looking at second hand ones on line, however they seem to be somewhat overpriced and it’s difficult to get a real idea of what their condition actually is and, to be perfectly honest, I don’t know what to look for in terms of what may be wrong with these planes.

    The only new planes that seem to be available are by Kunz, has anyone here got any experience with Kunz planes? Any opinions? They are not cheap.

    Last edited by Larks; 04-30-2021 at 02:43 AM.
    Larks

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    They're a bit of a pain to use. Not Kunz, compass planes in general. I have an old compass plane with a new Hock blade, but it sits on the shelf. I did just buy a Kunz curved spokeshave but I'm disappointed in the quality.

    Jim

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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    I bought a small Kunz bullnose plane a while back and am unimpressed with the quality. It required more than a little fiddling prior to use and has never really performed well.
    I wouldnt mind so much if it hadnt been so expensive.

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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Ledger View Post
    They're a bit of a pain to use. Not Kunz, compass planes in general. I have an old compass plane with a new Hock blade, but it sits on the shelf. I did just buy a Kunz curved spokeshave but I'm disappointed in the quality.

    Jim
    Quote Originally Posted by willin woodworks View Post
    I bought a small Kunz bullnose plane a while back and am unimpressed with the quality. It required more than a little fiddling prior to use and has never really performed well.
    I wouldnt mind so much if it hadnt been so expensive.
    Thanks Jim, Willin. That’s good information and clearly settles me on not thinking any more about buying a new Kunz plane.

    I’ve got a lead on an old Union plane that appears to be in reasonable condition with two good blades and at a price that won’t upset me too much if it doesn’t do the job as I expect it to ($100) - I’d been drawn to trying one to shape the base of my cabin structure to the curve of my deck. I’ll give it a go and see what it can do.

    [IMG]178843397_2781923738804237_2499854753559445601_n by Greg Larkin, on Flickr[/IMG]

    [IMG]180974616_989164205154482_2288624531052315745_n by Greg Larkin, on Flickr[/IMG]
    Larks

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    Jim is right, they are a pain to use, especially on concave surfaces. But you have to admire the ingenuity and creativity that went into the design.

    The Kunz version does seem expensive. Do you have local dealers in used tools? It may be possible to see a tool IRL and handle it before committing to a purchase.

    I found a Stanley #20 with a Sweetheart iron at a local flea market for $95 USD. I thought that was a fair price, but not a bargain price. It's in good user condition, but not collectible.

    Some people prefer the #20 to the #113 which the Kunz copies. The #20 has a setscrew that is supposed to make it hold its adjustment better than the #113. The illustration below is an Internet photo, not my tool.

    Stanley No. 20_LI.jpg
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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    I have a Stanley #20. I will admit they are a bit fidgety to get the hang of (need to take light passes), but they do a job like nothing else.

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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    About thirty years ago I read a recommendation for Kunz spokeshaves,it could have come from James Krenov. I asked a German friend if he could buy one on my behalf and he commented that he didn't rate them too highly but if I wanted one... So the next time we met I came away with a spokeshave and a very small amount of cash went home with him. It was OK but not remarkable and still sees some use.The compass plane looks like a very close copy of the Stanley I have (might be a 113) and while it might not be the most comfortable thing to use I rate it above the Record pattern,which is quite similar to the Stanley 20 above.I can go for years without picking up a compass plane but there sometimes is no alternative tool for the job that needs doing.

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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    The metal compass planes like #113 can have problems with the sole attachment to the body as well as the curve adjustment mechanism sticking and being odd & old planes seem more susceptible to miss fitting non-appropriate replacement pieces. I own a couple Kunz spokeshaves which aren’t top tools, but are available. Unless you buy a LN or Veritas (who don’t make compass planes) the few other new makers seem to take fettling.

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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    Thanks for the replies gents, forewarned is forearmed - I’ve gone ahead and paid for the old Union one that I got a lead on, I’ll let you know what the condition is really like when it turns up next week........
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    I have used a few different compass planes and have found that while they can be fiddly they certainly make a hard job easier. But there's a few techniques that can make them work better. First, only use them on concave surfaces as you can easily use a standard plans on the outside of a curve. Second, they are easier to use if you put more curve into the sole than the shape you are planning, this then means that you need to balance the plane on the area forward of the mouth but gives good results. Third, keep it very sharp and make light passes. For the most part I consider it a tool for fine tuning curves not cutting them.

    Nicholas

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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    I'd much rather lay in my bunk all freakin day lookin at Youtube videos .

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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larks View Post
    I’m in the market for a compass plane and have been looking at second hand ones on line, however they seem to be somewhat overpriced and it’s difficult to get a real idea of what their condition actually is and, to be perfectly honest, I don’t know what to look for in terms of what may be wrong with these planes.

    The only new planes that seem to be available are by Kunz, has anyone here got any experience with Kunz planes? Any opinions? They are not cheap.

    I've tried one, but much prefer, on the very odd occasion that I use one, my English Record compass plane. Its a lot more solid, seems to hold its radius better and feels nicer to use.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    Quote Originally Posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt View Post
    I teach basic woodworking skills at the NZ Traditional Boatbuilding School, maybe three or four weekend courses a year. I ask students to bring a plane and a chisel, and there are people who will purchase such in order to have them when they come into the classroom. We see the occasional Anant plane, and the quality and fit on two of those has been so poor Ive told the unfortunate owner to take them back and get a refund as they were unusable.

    John Welsford
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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    I've tried one, but much prefer, on the very odd occasion that I use one, my English Record compass plane. Its a lot more solid, seems to hold its radius better and feels nicer to use.

    John Welsford
    Thanks John, I did look at an old Record plane for sale on-line but it was one that looked overpriced for its condition - or at least as it appeared in the photos - and the seller wasn’t prepared to offer any description on its quality other than “ photos show description, what you see is what you get”, so I dismissed it. Have you had any experience with “Union” planes of any type, or Union compass/circular planes like the one that I posted above?
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larks View Post
    Thanks John, I did look at an old Record plane for sale on-line but it was one that looked overpriced for its condition - or at least as it appeared in the photos - and the seller wasn’t prepared to offer any description on its quality other than “ photos show description, what you see is what you get”, so I dismissed it. Have you had any experience with “Union” planes of any type, or Union compass/circular planes like the one that I posted above?
    The Record number 20 is the only one I've had cause to use so I cant comment on the Union one. I have sat the Record alongside a Stanley #20 though and apart from the colour there isnt a lot of difference, and I'd imagine that one colour would perform about as well as the other.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    I have an old Stanley "Sidewinder" (which the green one is a direct copy) and it is a good tool. Concave or convex I can't count how many dutchmen I have mede in frames, rails and etc. Even in spars it will cut both the male and female parts in an exact match. I like it, but it has to be sharp, you cant "bull it through" like you might with a block plane. Just stop, and sharpen it....

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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    E. C. Emmerich still lists their 113. I haven't used one, but ECE makes some great things, so I would imagine they wouldn't tolerate low quality on this one.

    https://ecemmerich.de/en/portfolio/planes/
    Heute ist so ein schöne Tag...

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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    I passed mine on to Bernie for use on the boat she's building Greg.

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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    My experience with Kuntz planes is that the quality is extremely uneven and there is no system to the unevenness. No type nor year model that can be relied upon to be good quality. Just awfully uneven quality and non-existant quality control.

    I have an elderly Kuntz 113 which is decent except the blade which should be rehardened and as it is surplus I haven't gotten around to do it. My side rebate plane is a Kuntz and if became all right after I made some new parts for it. My scraper plane is a Kuntz and it was all right from the start.
    Some other Kuntz planes I have seen and one that I bought have been too badly made to be rebuildable by any means short of recasting mayor cast iron parts.
    Amateur living on the western coast of Finland

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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    The "side-winder" knob is located conveniently to turn as you move so that a changing curve or ellipse (not a radius) can be cut and tuned open or closed as you are moving along. That detail alone makes it very useful.

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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    I have a Kunz compass plane, which I bought second-hand. Production quality is excellent and it is very easy to use - if properly set up (see above). Particularly useful when shaping new deck beams (both sides).
    Nick

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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    I saw two Stanley #20’s the day before yesterday in an ‘antique’ store in Tannytown MD. They were in pretty good shape too,... $100 each. Not a bad price.

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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    Nice Record here if your still looking..the better older flat top cast steel (laminated) blade and flat frog seat. With the lateral lever detail, this will date to 1945-52. £90. I’ve bought a fair few tools from Tooltique, one of the main resellers of classic tools here in the UK. Has a new items section...always worth keeping an eye on, usually updated list every few days...most planes sell in days with current supply situation.

    https://www.tooltique.co.uk/shop/vin...eady-to-use-6/



    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 05-28-2021 at 04:19 AM.

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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    I see compass planes on ebay etc. in the UK and US for about 90-120 GBP and USD but anything here in Canada is in the $300 range. I'd love to get my hands on a decent one in good shape. But not for $300. And I'm not getting a cheap knock off which seems to be all we can get these days for new compass planes.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    This thread inspired a local CL search:

    https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/t...322692813.html

    Seems a good deal for someone in the market. $150 USD for NIB Record plane.

    RE: Anant. I have big jointer plane from them that has worked just fine for me. Castings might not be as good as old stanley, but the parts that matter are flat and true. It's a #7 or #8. That's my single datapoint.

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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    Nice Record here if your still looking..the better older flat top cast steel (laminated) blade and flat frog seat. With the lateral lever detail, this will date to 1945-52. £90. I’ve bought a fair few tools from Tooltique, one of the main resellers of classic tools here in the UK. Has a new items section...always worth keeping an eye on, usually updated list every few days...most planes sell in days with current supply situation.

    https://www.tooltique.co.uk/shop/vin...eady-to-use-6/
    Thankyou Edward, I bought the Union plane that I posted above, for AUD100.00 (about GBP55), and after “servicing" it and sharpening the blade I am very happy with it.
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    I thought t hat this would have been mentioned by now WB #258. Greg Rossel did a review on the Kunz.
    basil

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    Default Re: Compass planes - Kunz?

    I don’t have that edition any longer Basil, what was his conclusion?
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

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    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"

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