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A beef with Lie-Nielson

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Blog entry by Ethan Sincox posted 2664 days ago 3898 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My last entry in a forum sparked a recent sore spot I have with Lie-Nielson…

The latest tool they came out with is a mini router, based off the Stanley 271 Mini Router Plane. They are even coming out with some 1/16” irons for it, which totally stoked me!

But after an inquiry, I found out they did specifically designed their plane irons to NOT fit the Stanley 271. I find that a bit irritating. They expect me to spend the extra $75 on their plane so I can use their blades.

But I think I shant do that. I’ll probably instead stick with my own mini router and figure out a way to make due (look for another 1/8” iron and grind it down to a 1/16”, maybe).

They could have had a market for people who didn’t own a mini router, who could buy the plane and the irons – and a market for people who already owned the 271, who could use the replacement irons in their already-owned plane. Instead they created a product that would force someone to use their plane.

I guess it isn’t really a big deal, but things like that tend to bug me – probably because they put me out.

(short blog entry to make up for the length of the last one…)

-- Ethan, http://thekiltedwoodworker.com



11 comments so far

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 2739 days


#1 posted 2664 days ago

Reminds me of Apple vs. Microsoft. Microsoft sent their original O.S. to everyone who wanted it, basically for free so that everybody who could write programs would write them with the D.O.S. in mind. Meanwhile, Apple Inc. played the “Mine, Mine, Mine” game and who ended up on top? For this reason Lie-Nelson will never be “The Plane” Company. You make your product so that it will fit in every other plane, and every other plane owner will buy it. Lack of insight and wisdom on Lie-Nelson’s part.

View darryl's profile

darryl

1792 posts in 2828 days


#2 posted 2664 days ago

I’m not so sure that I agree with you on the Mircosoft vs. Apple comments here Obi… unfortunately it’s late and I really should get to bed, so I’m going to have to comment more on that later.

and I’m sure the reason that L-N doesn’t make their blades fit into the Stanley plane is the same as why my Gillette blades won’t fit in Schick’s razor. After all, L-N is not just a blade manufacturing company.

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 2739 days


#3 posted 2664 days ago

Well, Darryl, I could be wrong. It HAS happened at least once before. I just remembered that Apple was not IBM compatible for a very long time, and thats why the IBM “clones” had so many more programs. At least that’s what I was told, and I’ll believe anything. That’s why i know I was wrong once.

View darryl's profile

darryl

1792 posts in 2828 days


#4 posted 2663 days ago

no worries Obi, I didn’t mean to come off sounding like an @ss!

Microsoft had the great forsight to realize that software would last longer than hardware, something IBM didn’t understand.

I personally believe that Apple does have the superior product when is comes to an OS (looking at Windows and Mac only here). Though Apple has suffered from some of their own arrogant moments, I’m not sure Microsoft has ever given away their OS for free.

I could be wrong on some of this, I do not claim to be an expert. If you get the chance, watch “Pirates of the Silicon Valley” sometime… it shows a lot about how these two companies started out.

View darryl's profile

darryl

1792 posts in 2828 days


#5 posted 2663 days ago

my apologies Ethan, I did not intend to highjack your thread!

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

767 posts in 2676 days


#6 posted 2663 days ago

Apology accepted, Darryl. Next time you hijack a thread, however, just make sure it is still about a woodworking topic! :)

-- Ethan, http://thekiltedwoodworker.com

View caocian's profile

caocian

45 posts in 2888 days


#7 posted 2663 days ago

To get back to the original topic, let me offer a few words in Lie-Nielsen’s favor. Let me preface the remarks by saying that I have not used the router, but have several L/N planes and have talked extensively with Tom Lie-Nielsen about his business and products. (He’s a good guy, with good intentions about woodworkers and woodworking.)

LN is not in the business of making plane irons for others. While some may work with older planes, that’s not the reason they’re in business. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to make a product to a certain specification without a “backwards compatible” add-on for another company’s product.

Have you tried Hock, a company that specializes in after-market plane irons and blades? You’ll find they have a good selection whether you like high-carbon steel, A2 etc… I’ve had great luck with their products and, again, they’re great people to do business with.

Hope this helps and good luck.

Dennis

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

767 posts in 2676 days


#8 posted 2663 days ago

I fully understand that LN isn’t in the business of making blades for other tools. And I’m not knocking the quality of LN tools, nor can I really say much in the way of negative comments about how he runs his business. I’ve read several interviews with Tom and have to agree with almost everything he’s done.

But in this case, I feel like complaining.

The iron for a 271 is about three inches long and pencil-shaped, with a 90 degree bend at the end which forms the business end of the plane blade. It is a very small and very specific shape. The description of the LN mini router states it is based on the Stanley plane… I just think they would have had to work hard to base their design off of the Stanley model and still make the plane blades incompatible with each other.

I agree they shouldn’t go in to product development trying to make their tools “universal”. But it just seems like a missed opportunity to me.

-- Ethan, http://thekiltedwoodworker.com

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 2739 days


#9 posted 2663 days ago

This is all my fault, Ethan. I’m sorry I changed the subject. Please don’t restrict me from the shop, I’ll never do it again.

View darryl's profile

darryl

1792 posts in 2828 days


#10 posted 2663 days ago

here’s another possibility for L-N’s actions… and a huge guess and nothing more.

perhaps with the New L-N product being based on the Stanley they had to make incompatible to avoid any copyright type conflicts..??

don’t know for sure, just a guess.

View AitchKay's profile

AitchKay

2 posts in 1994 days


#11 posted 1994 days ago

My gripe with the new router plane is that it would have been so simple to thread the shank of the cutter, and spin on a knurled nut for depth adjustment assistance. I’m not talking about a crank-down feature, just a simple stop nut.

With that feature you could crank up from a too-deep setting, or if you want a deeper cut, raise the nut until the gap between the nut and the stop equals the desired additional depth-of-cut. Then loosen the lock, push the shank down and lock back in.

Soooooo simple, but Nooooo!

That’s my two cents.

AitchKay

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