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I have purchased an old butcher block that has extensive damage to the top. I want to flip the block over and plane the other side smooth to be the new top. The butcher block is constructed with the end-grain as the working surface.

I am new to woodworking and wanting to buy a plane that will work well for this job and last me a lifetime. From my reading so far, I want a jack plane (like a Stanley #5). Is this right?

Thanks for all the advice.

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    Welcome to WW.SE. Your main question is fine, as it asks for advice about tools for a specific purpose. You might want to check the historical Q&A to see if your question is already answered, as refinishing/resurfacing butcher blocks is a common subject. Your follow-up questions about sources for new or used tools is probably off-topic. SE sites do not generally encourage shopping questions as that information would rarely stay relevant. I recommend you edit this question and keep to the single question about tool advice for this job. – jdv Jun 5 at 14:44
  • Also, make sure you take the tour if you have not already done so. SE sites are very different than many other online forums-style sites out there. Specifically, SE sites are not threaded forums, but rather are collections of Q&A. – jdv Jun 5 at 14:48
  • Examples: woodworking.stackexchange.com/q/741/5572 and many of the other auto generated "Related" Q&A in the sidebar of this page. – jdv Jun 5 at 14:54
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    Hi and welcome. "From my reading so far, I want a jack plane (like a Stanley #5). Is this right?" No, not really for such a large end-grain surface — end grain presents a particularly difficult planing task, and just the end of a single board can be challenging. An entire butcher block is an order of magnitude more difficult! Just to be clear, it IS possible, but I wouldn't wish the task on any first-time user for multiple reasons. I think really what you want here is a belt sander.... but these also require some practice to wield well enough to leave a good surface on such a large area. – Graphus Jun 5 at 17:54
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    "Also I want to be able to sharpen it and will need stones, so recomendations are appreciated." You'd have to be able to sharpen it (likely before first use) so sharpening stuff of some kind is mandatory, from day 1. But the subject of sharpening is extremely fraught with personal bias as you'll discover if you do even a surface scan of Q&As here, and threads on woodworking fora anywhere in the world — there are good English-language woodworking forums in America, Canada, the UK and Australia, many of which have been going for a long time so there's loaaaads to read in their archives. – Graphus Jun 5 at 17:59
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Technicaly, you would be able to do it with a good smoothing plane with very tight mouth and really sharp blade - low angle plane could help (but only if the real cutting angle was lower than on "normal" plane - which it often isn't - because of bevel up blade).

But as was pointed out in comments (which I think should really be answers), sanding may be much easier option and I would recommend that.

If you decide for hand-planing - sharpening (again, as was pointed out in the comments) is really essential - almost every new plane blade needs sharpening no matter if it's new or used (some new low-quality plane blades will in fact need more sharpening than well maintained used ones). And sharpening is very, very complex issue, and mastering it may take a long time. I would suggest just searching "how to sharpen plane" on youtube - there are many ways, and it's up to you to find out what will work for you - so just go and watch some - https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=plane+sharpening

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    Good summary of the stuff from the comments, +1. One thing, a tight mouth is not needed for this work. And the iron being more fully supported with the frog in the 'default' position will help reduce the risk of chatter (already high given the type of planing being discussed). – Graphus Jun 13 at 9:44

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