A while ago I mentioned I was thinking about purchasing a Lie Nielsen no#5 Jack plane and also wanted a no#7. No one is going to debate that the LN is a better plane out of the box with superior customer service, but it comes with a difference in price. I have used a Norris plane for over 30 years and can bear witness that it is one of the most efficient blade adjustments you can find. Stretch your tool budget by using different blades in one low-angle jack plane. The functionality of the No. 5 can range from that of a larger format smoother to that of a rapid stock removal tool.
If you want a plane you can take out of the box, hone the blade & be planing with straight away, then Lie Nielsen is the one. I’ve used it to flatten my bench 3 times (doggone twin screw vise kept causing the end to sag) and I absolutely love this plane. The golden age Stanley cast iron bench planes were very high quality and the users learned to treat their tools with great respect. The blade wouldn’t reach to the bottom of my 1 inch deep mortise that I’d chiseled on a 17th century jointer plane I was building.
With a couple of these and a flat floor you should have no problem making a bench. Objective plane blade testing for durability has two basic requirements: identical blade preparation, identical test bed. If you can afford multiple dedicated planes, then I recommend that you actually purchase the dedicated planes over a combination plane (especially a plow plane, rabbet plane, & matched planes/tongue & groove plane).
Im swaying towards buying the Lie-Neilsen but im just wordering if anyone has any thoughts, advice or facts on this, i dont want to rush into buying 1 as its quite an investment of cash so i want to make the right choice. FWW had an article last year where the Clifton was the only one of these three that did not have a flat sole (and which needed to be lapped). I found this plane in some widow’s cellar in the early 60’s so who knows when the repair was made, except in a time when repairs like this made financial sense.
Supplied with a set of 24 cutters (13 plough and dado, 1 fillister, 5 beading, 2 tonguing, 2 ovolo and 1 slitting, supplied in a plastic wallet), made from Sheffield tool steel, accurately ground, hardened and tempered to 61-62 Rockwell C hardness, cutting edge ground to 35 degrees. So, quite reasonably, we didn’t see another Veritas bench plane for a very, very, long time.
If you don’t want to use your jointer plane for flattening boards, then go ahead and find a fore plane (which is shorter than a jointer plane). You can read Chris Schwarz’s review of this new plane here and buy it here I have not yet tested out either of these metal moving fillister planes, so search around to see what other people say. When allied to the extra thick Clifton cutting iron and Clifton two piece cap iron, this design probably has the most rigid and effective clamping mechanism of any Bench Plane.
From left to right we have a Block Plane, No4 Smoothing Plane, No5 Jack Plane, No6 Fore Plane, No7 Try/Jointer Plane. Changing the honing angle of a bevel-up plane (right) will change the cutting angle. My only criticism of the old Stanley planes is that the irons are a little thin and of variable quality. I have bought several of the Wood River planes and they seems to perform very well, I also have several old Stanley flea-market finds that I have tuned and sharpened and they do fine. To remove a lot of material quickly with the No. 5 you simply use a highly-cambered blade (8-10 degree radius) and open the mouth wider.
I, too, had to get used to the 2 piece chip breaker and was concerned that the groove would wear and cause it to loosen but it has really convinced me that it is a credible design. This is a plane constructed in the classic dovetail manner using traditional steel and brass, with a familiar Bed Rock profile, and an up-to-the-moment bevel up design. Meanwhile, the No.5 could be seen as the better option for initial flattening of stock prior to truing up with a longer plane: it weighs less, and so requires less effort to drive it. A guide for the woodworker to intelligently build a set of woodworking tools, starting with a bench plane.
In practice, both planes have the additional security and use of the set screws to make fine adjustments. I purchase antique users all the time- just found a great set of spar planes from MJ Donnelly auction. Some bullnose planes have a removable toe so that they can pull double duty as a chisel plane. Every year at shows I see people’s jaws dropping with amazement when they use my planes and chisels. My personal preference is to look for planes no newer than the very early 1960’s.
The Lie-Nielsen No. 60-1/2 low angle block plane and the Lie-Nielsen No. 102 low angle block plane are very popular with traditional woodworkers, although they don’t have as many uses as my rabbet block plane. This is my list of hand planes that I feel would be the first hand planes that you should buy to get started in traditional woodworking. I would not waste my time on the cheaper new planes for what they are asking for them.
Most joiner’s kept two; one with a more open throat (usually an older plane with a worn sole) for hogging off at 30-degrees to the long axis of the grain, and then a followed by one with a tighter mouth and a dead flat sole. If you decide to give the cambered shape a try, you can check out the DVD: Hand Tool Techniques Part 1: Plane Sharpening ”, by David Charlesworth, which provides excellent instruction. Their spirit, however, lives on in the new quality planes from Clifton, Lie Nielsen and Veritas. There used to be a fair few manufacturers of planes, but Stanley was always the most prolific maker of the mass-produced metalbodied plane.
It wasn’t until the late 17th century that the making of planes became an acknowledged trade. Similar in size to Western bench chisels, of laminated steel construction and in general thicker than their Western counterparts. All new bench plane blades that are sold today, whether they be from Ron Hock, or with a new plane, will come ground straight across. For the first thing that happens with any plane that comes into this workshop is that it goes on that surface plate and is checked against the manufacturers specification for flatness by placing a feeler gauge all round it. I think that three thou is the going rate for flat.
Sold in the UK by Rutlands I see – seem a good compromise between the higher end stuff and the cheapo. In addition, I don’t see spending time getting an old plane up to scratch as an obvious or always viable option. This manufacturer, which assigned its planes catalog numbers, is credited with the development and growth of the market for American-style planes. The lever arm is made of unbreakable malleable iron and fits snugly in to the body of the plane.
A particularly popular sort of groove-cutting plane is a plow plane, which generally comes with eight or more blades in different widths, each of which can be adjusted to various depths, and has an adjustable fence so it can make a wide range of grooves and rabbets in varying distance from the edge of the wood. But if you want a fantastic plow plane, go for a wooden screw arm plow plane with a variety of cutters. Although shoulder planes will easily plane rebates, they are principally designed for planing end-grain, so they are bevel-up planes. All i can say on these planes in question is that considering how little tuning i had to do to it ,i think its a fantastic plane.
So if you own a Stanley No. 71 router plane and your iron keeps coming loose, just flip the collar over! Note also that with a 30deg honing angle on a 20deg block plane the actual cutting angle becomes 50deg, a 5deg difference from the cutting angle of a standard 45deg bench plane. Maybe LN should produce a range of their planes at QS prices with steel lever caps instead of the bronze – but, I wont hold my breath! The Veritas blades are also less expensive than Lie-Nielsen’s router plane blades.
I’ve been having discussions with Kevin Ireland from Popular Woodworking in the US about the effects of pressure from the lever cap on the sole of the plane. Other plane trade names and manufacturers included Bailey, B-Plane” by Birmingham, Chaplin, Gage, Keen Kutter, Ohio, Sargent, Siegley, Standard Rule, Union, and Winchester. Plane Blade Cases Small Bevel-Up Smooth Plane Low-Angle Jack Plane Bevel-Up Jointer Plane Jointer Fence. RalphinHB writes: I just voted with my dollars by buying a #3 bronze plane from Lie-Nielsen. I check the surfaces of all planes especially in front of the handle looking for any signs of hollowness.
According to the reviews I have found on the Internet and online wood working forum discussions, the Quangsheng planes are very good (albeit made in China) both in terms of construction, finish and performance, with some people stating there is very little difference between their Quangsheng planes and their Lie Nielsen planes. Find Kobalt 9-3/4-in Bench Plane at Lowes offers a variety of quality home improvement products that are available for purchase online or in store.
I’m happy to say that when I share my views with my clients they are often impressed that things like LN planes are made here in the US. So while I am not against imports I can honestly say that in this case my using tools made here does have a positive impact on my business. Surfacing wider boards with long planes was actually much easier work with wooden jointer planes and I mean about half the effort.