Rookie Mistake #2: The Plane Has Landed

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Blog entry by Mike Lingenfelter posted 02-20-2008 04:33 AM 1637 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: A sad day for Mike Part 2 of Rookie Mistake series no next part

After telling my heartbreaking story I said I would post pictures after I got my plane back from Lie-Nielsen. Well it finally showed up.

Over the long weekend my wife and I were doing some painting in our house. Monday afternoon we were working in the front hallway, and I heard a truck pull up in front of house. I said to her, did you hear a UPS truck pull up to the house? She said no. I said I’m sure I hear a UPS truck pull up. I said I haven’t ordered anything lately, did you? She said no. I said, oh wow it could be my plane coming back home. A few seconds later the doorbell rang. Sure enough there was a long box just the size of a #7 hand plane. I came back in the house with a big smile on my face. She said, you heard the UPS truck pull up, do you salivate whenever you hear a UPS truck? I have to admit I stop and listen whenever I hear the UPS truck, to see if it’s stopping at the house :). I haven’t started to drool yet, but that may happen someday.

Even though it still hurts to look at the pictures, I will post the pictures anyway. Here are the before pictures. The pictures don’t really show it, but the scratches were pretty deep. They left marks on the wood, even after I cleaned up the nicked blade.



Here’s how the plane came back, you can’t even tell there were scratches. They did a fantastic job. There was even a hand written note from the guy that did the work. He said he also made sure the sides were still square after grinding the scratches out.




The lesson to learn from this. Don’t store your wood on the floor and always exam your lumber before working it with any tools.

13 comments so far

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4109 days

#1 posted 02-20-2008 04:45 AM

Now that’s customer service! Interesting story.

-- Happy woodworking!

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4223 days

#2 posted 02-20-2008 05:49 AM

At least everything came out alright. A lesson learned.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Tom Adamski's profile

Tom Adamski

306 posts in 4006 days

#3 posted 02-20-2008 06:27 AM

That’s great news. It just makes me feel better about buying their planes, and recently their chisels. Imagine, a company that makes a great product and know how to treat their customers. Happy to see all is good again.

-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes.

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4232 days

#4 posted 02-20-2008 08:20 AM

I’m glad everything worked out as well as it did! Looks brand new once again. I was tracking a package when the ups truck showed up today. I thought that was good timing…

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 4031 days

#5 posted 02-20-2008 12:35 PM

Live and learn, right? At least Lie-Nielsen made it right, which is pretty darn good customer service, since it wasn’t their fault! Can’t go wrong with them obviously!

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View sharad's profile


1117 posts in 4039 days

#6 posted 02-20-2008 02:46 PM

Can’t believe my eyes the way the plane was restored. What a great service ! Let many other companies follow such traditions.

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4320 days

#7 posted 02-20-2008 03:47 PM

Wow, they did a great job. Next time I’m in the market, they will be top of my list of companies to deal with. I don’t put with poor customer services like used to…must be getting grouchy in my old age, or perhaps its just a fundimental pricipal of doing business, take care of the customer. There are quite a few companies out there that could take a lesson from them.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4197 days

#8 posted 02-20-2008 04:54 PM

Good for L-N.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Greg Salata's profile

Greg Salata

129 posts in 3997 days

#9 posted 02-20-2008 05:52 PM

The plane looks great.

You must feel better now.


View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4035 posts in 4299 days

#10 posted 02-20-2008 07:25 PM

Bright and shiny! Great story, Mike. I am glad to hear I’m not the only one whose ears satnd up when the UPS/FedEx truck lingers at the end of the driveway!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View TomK 's profile


504 posts in 4109 days

#11 posted 02-20-2008 07:25 PM

Great customer service like that justifies the cost of L-N ! And is was enough for me to make up my mind on which low angle block plane to purchase to replace my cheap Stanley. Thanks for the post.

-- If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free! PJ O'Rourke

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4301 days

#12 posted 02-21-2008 10:33 AM

I just love stories with happy endings, I also love new tools and great customer service after the sale. Happy all ended well.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View RickH's profile


18 posts in 3983 days

#13 posted 02-24-2008 02:12 AM

It seems the other major lesson learned is that it can pay to buy quality goods fro a quality manufacturer!

I have had similar great experiences with Lee Valley-Veritas – who also stand behind their products.

-- Rick - OC, CA

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