New toys #3: Planes - maybe it wasn't me

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Blog entry by Webb posted 01-02-2010 08:19 PM 968 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: The vegan is here! Part 3 of New toys series no next part

I am going to make a couple of Morris chairs over the next year; as prep, I purchased a Lie-Nielson medium shoulder plane.

Wow – that thing works! So I went back and picked up the low-angle block plane as well. that also works. I have come to the conclusion that if you are beginner at hand tools, you have to buy really good ones – or at least use some – to even know what is possible. If you are a pro, you can probably save a bunch by doing other things, but for a beginner, it is kind of like diving in the deep end where the sharks are. Suddenly, I understand the comments about using a plane to get rid of machine marks – previously if I used a plane I would need to do the other way around :-(

I had a small ‘Bailey’ block plane, but after several afternoons spent lapping the bottom is still not flat, nor is the blade. The blade is also about 1/2 the thickness of the LN blade and I have a really hard time getting the blade in that one or in the other Stanley (also from home depot) to stay put while I plane.

If you are a beginner at hand planes, I recommend splurging – my eyes are opened to a whole new world.

I’m off to the workshop to go make more shavings.

3 comments so far

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3313 days

#1 posted 01-02-2010 08:29 PM

yea i just wish i had the money to get lie nielson planes. i know there the best though, someday i will get a set starting with the #62 then the #4-1/2. i don’t really like their shoulder plane though so i’ll get the veritas medium shoulder plane, i like the way it’s supposed to be held with your finger through the hole drilled in it’s side. i feel like i would have more control with that one but anyway back to reality, one day i’ll get em.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View mike85215's profile


127 posts in 3169 days

#2 posted 01-03-2010 12:38 AM

Webb…...I took the plunge and bought a LN #4 smoother just before Christmas!! WOW is the only word that I could come up with….you are definitely correct in that you should start off with a plane that is fully tuned and ready to go out of the box. It is so worth the money and is such a pleasure to work with! But the good news is that back in October I found an old beat up but useable Stanley #% jack plane at the local Goodwill store for $4.00 I bought it with the hope that I could use it but if not it would still be nice decoration in the house. I tried using it but couldn’t figure it out. After having my LN I took the old number 5 back to the shop, put a piece of 6o grit paper on the counter and started to sand (grind ?) then I took the blade to my worksharp and after a half hour or so have a plane that works every bit as good as the LN. But I would still like more LN planes the are awesome!!

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3847 days

#3 posted 01-03-2010 04:26 AM

I agree with you that, when it comes to tools, you get what you pay for. When I first got started in this hobby a pro advised me to not be shy about spending money on tools. He said to buy the most tool that my budget would allow. The few times that I have let only the cost of a tool determine its purchase I have come to regret it later.

I have always been impressed with LN tools. They definitely are quality tools and well worth the money that they cost.

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

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