A Trip to Maine

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Blog entry by SPalm posted 05-13-2008 07:03 PM 3233 reads 3 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Wow. I am one lucky guy. My wife and LOML just returned from a trip to Maine. She was taking her aging father on a trip through his childhood home (he now lives in Arizona). They were driving around and all of a sudden she spotted a building with a Lie-Nielsen sign. Being the spouse of a Lumber Jock, she stopped and they went inside to take a look-see. It actually was THE factory. She was treated to a personal factory tour by the very friendly staff. They were so impressed with the workers, the level of attention to detail, and the whole environment. She snapped some pictures of the factory and the store. To honor the occasion, she bought me a Low Angle Smoothing Plane. It is truly a work of art. Both the mouth and Bailey adjusters make it a joy to set up. To quote their literature:

“The Low Angle Smoothing Plane is based on the rare Stanley 164, and is essentially a shorter version of the Low Angle Jack Plane — with an adjustable mouth, and a massive 2” (5.08cm) wide, 3/16” (4.7mm) thick blade, set at 12°. However, this tool is only 9½” (24.1cm) long and weighs 3¾ lbs.

We call it a Smoothing Plane because of its size (the same as our No. 4 Smoother). But like the Jack, it excels at both rough and finish work, and can be converted from one mode to another very quickly. The unique overhead Bailey-type blade adjuster provides smooth depth adjustment at your fingertips.”

Here are some pics of the place:

Here are some returned planes being restored:

And here is their company store complete with wood and benches that allow you to try before you buy:

I am one happy jock. I’ll post a review once I have played with it some more.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

13 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3791 days

#1 posted 05-13-2008 07:11 PM

That would be a wonderful experience for most of us. I can well understand that this would be one of the high points of the trip. It is wonderful that your wife went along too. Mine would be bored stiff. She would only get excited if it was a Coach or Coldwater Creek outlet.

Thanks for the post. I am sure that you enjoyed this. I know I would

By the way you didn’t ask for any samples did you? :)

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4216 days

#2 posted 05-13-2008 07:11 PM

Great story about your wifes trip and a nice gift, and what a wonderful thing she did for her father. My brother and I did something similar for our mother, she was losing her eyesight to macular degeneration and we took her on a color tour to Northern Michigan before her sight was lost. She never forgot it. Can’t wait for the review. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View SPalm's profile


5318 posts in 3851 days

#3 posted 05-13-2008 07:13 PM

Hey Scott, I was stuck at home. She did this all on her own. That even makes it more special.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4369 days

#4 posted 05-13-2008 07:14 PM

Praise your wife for the trip she took with her father.

You are doubly blessed with a wife like that and a wealthy one also to buy you such a superb gift.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3713 days

#5 posted 05-13-2008 07:21 PM

The Lie-Nielsen store/factory is a great place to go. They will treat you like you’re the only customer in the world. Who ever comes out to show you around will fill you with so much information. They have fee based classes on a schedule, but if you ask the right questions while you’re there, you get most of the class for free. I lived in Maine for ten years and I didn’t go into the store until right before I moved back to Texas. Good thing, because I’d probably have a shop full of their planes, etc. Which really wouldn’t be a bad thing. Thanks for the post, Steve, and congrats on the new plane. That’s a nice one.

View BrianM's profile


116 posts in 3722 days

#6 posted 05-13-2008 07:35 PM

Living a few miles below the factory and making a trip up route 1 once a month to visit my mother-in-law my car now tries to pull into Lie-Nielsen’s all by itself. It turns right and my wife pushes the wheel left.

I took a class there once and had the low angle smoothing plane for a while. I mentioned to Tom that after using it I could see no reason to own another plane since that one did so much. He said “I agree, but don’t tell anyone” so I’m not going to tell anyone. He didn’t mention that I could not type it. :))

Just a side note to anyone making that trip there are some interesting things in that area for woodworkers. Without going into detail you will find Liberty Tool (tons of old tools), Center For Furniture Craftsmen (Rockport Maine), and a couple of shipbuilding museums. The one in Bath and Searsport are very interesting to a woodworker. Searsport also has an annex of Liberty Tool.

Liberty also has the Davistown museum

Last but not least in that area is the Maine State Prison Store in Thomaston with some pretty amazing woodwork.

Check this carving that was at the store (sold now). It’s all wood carving of David Mann who used to do drawings for motorcycle magazine. When this guy went to prison the word was he didn’t know he could carve. He has since done another that you can probably find on the page. This one of Mann had reflections in the rear view mirror and tattoo’s on the driver’s arm. It took my breath away.

Here it is Neptune's Ride which was taken from a David Mann piece of artwork.


-- There is no such thing as scrap wood!,

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4275 days

#7 posted 05-13-2008 07:43 PM

Very cool and a very lucky guy…thanks for the tour and thank your wife for us too.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3957 days

#8 posted 05-13-2008 09:11 PM

Great inside view! Thanks.

That’s one heck of a wife you got there.

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

View ShannonRogers's profile


540 posts in 3757 days

#9 posted 05-13-2008 10:18 PM

I vacation in Downeast ME every summer and I keep telling my wife that we are going to stop by the factory this year. How cool that your wife thought to stop there on her own. I think I will print out this page and leave it laying around the house for my wife to read. BrianM thanks for the tour guide tips. I’ll check some of this out this August.

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

View TomK 's profile


504 posts in 3843 days

#10 posted 05-13-2008 10:25 PM

What a serendipitous turn!

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

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4046 days

#11 posted 05-14-2008 12:42 AM

very cool…great story!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Kipster's profile


1076 posts in 3722 days

#12 posted 05-14-2008 01:50 AM

Very cool. I ‘ll be studying those pictures for a while.

Thanks for the post

-- Kip Northern Illinois ( If you don't know where your goin any road will take you there) George Harrison

View blackcherry's profile


3337 posts in 3792 days

#13 posted 05-14-2008 02:31 AM

Great story and your wife a keeper in my book…Blkcherry

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