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What a difference !

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Review by b2rtch posted 1608 days ago 2913 views 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
What a difference ! No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Last week I received by mail the set of three Footprint planes I bought from Sears on the Internet.
I bought them because the price was right and it seemed to be a good value. IN the last month or so I spent countless hour son the Internet reading about hand planes; what the different planes are and what are their respective use, how to tune and how to use them. Of course I have used hand planes before but I really never paid attention to them, I just used them.
Lately I found out that they are fascinating tools and, if I may say so : I felt in love with them.

So when I received the Footprint I took the #4 apart to look inside.
What I saw was quite ugly.
The machining was rough, the blade quite thin and this plane just did not feel right.
I took my wife with me and I drove to Sears to return these planes.

I had read very good things about Wooodriver planes and also I have read about the controversy saying that Woodcraft shamelessly stole the design from Lie-Nielsen.
May be so but since LieNielsen “stole” the design from Stanley I do not feel too bad about it!
When arriving at my local Woodcraft I immediately felt “in love” with the planes; they just are beautiful objects!
I decide the buy#4, I might buy the #6 later. I also wanted to buy a Woodriver block plane but I was told that it is no longer available.

At home, after admiring it for a few minutes, I took the plane apart: what a difference with the Footprint: beautiful and nearly perfect machining.

I checked the sole with a straight edge and a dial indicator.
Right out of the (beautiful) box it is almost perfectly flat.

The blade is thick and sharp, the chip breaker is thick and beautiful, everything about this plane says :quality.

I sharpened and polished the blade according to LieNielsen instruction: just creating a micro edge both on the front and on the rear of the blade, going down to 0.5 micro!

At my very first try, I effortlessly had a full width 0.001 shaving.
What a beauty this tool is!
I very strongly recommend this plane to anyone who want a high quality plane for a very reasonable price ( -20%,now on sale at Woodcraft)

Right out of the (beautiful) box it is almost perfectly flat.
The blade is thick and sharp, the chip breaker is thick and beautiful, everything about this plane says :quality.
I sharpened and polished the blade according to Lie_Nielsen instruction: just creating a micro edge both on the front and on the rear of the blade, going down to 0.5 micro!

At my very first try, I effortlessly had a full width 0.001 shaving.
What a beauty this tool is!
I very strongly recommend this plane to anyone who want a high quality plane for a very reasonable price ( -20%,now on sale at Woodcraft)

-- Bert




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b2rtch

4294 posts in 1654 days



19 comments so far

View DragonLady's profile

DragonLady

298 posts in 1613 days


#1 posted 1608 days ago

I bought the WoodRiver block plane at the store just a month or so ago, I guess I must have gotten one of the last stock. The one problem I’m having is finding a replacement blade for it.

I also have the WoodRiver #4 and #5. They are nice planes, especially for a beginner. Not TOO much tune up to do to get into a usable state, without a lot of frustration.

I second the recommendation on these planes. I’m hoping to get a longer one sometime, but I think I’m good for a while with the ones I have.

-- A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12256 posts in 2703 days


#2 posted 1608 days ago

Sounds like a nice plane Bert.

DragonLady, I would check Hock replacement blades to see if one would fit your block plane.

http://www.hocktools.com/BL.htm

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View jeffl's profile

jeffl

283 posts in 1916 days


#3 posted 1608 days ago

I was told that there was a third generation of the Woodrivers coming out in a couple of months that had all the bugs worked out and they would have IBC blades.

-- Jeff,

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112002 posts in 2183 days


#4 posted 1608 days ago

Thanks for the review Bert It sounds like a winner I know Charles Neil recommended Wood river planes.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View RichClark's profile

RichClark

157 posts in 2036 days


#5 posted 1608 days ago

DL… IF you just bought it why are you replacing the blade? Just to make a spare on a different bevel?

Bert, They are inconsistant at best… Ive seen wonderful ones and really junky ones. One was cupped and took the poor fellow hours to hone out. Another was misaligned and would never hold the blade square.

Folks,
Read up on learning to Fetter out the problems and from that, how to look at the planes your buying.
YOUR allowed to take it out of the box, go over to the Sarrett area and check the Bottom for flat and the Sides for Square to the bottom. Good shops will let you test drive it. If it cuts good at the store then your shop is cursed.. Send me all your tools!

Rich

-- Duct Tape is the Force! It has a light side and a dark side and it Binds the Universe together!

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Shopsmithtom

780 posts in 2801 days


#6 posted 1607 days ago

I’ve always wondered about the logic in buying something new that needs tuning up before it can be used for it’s intended purpose. Would anyone buy a new car that you had to then take to your mechanic to get it to run right?
A used car, maybe, because they’re older & cheaper, but not a new one.
Why so with planes, then?
It appears that to get a good one out of the box, one needs to look to Lie-Nielsen or Veritas priced planes.
I should say, by the way, that I don’t own either of those brands…to expensive for me.
I do, however, have a bunch of planes I use in my shop. They are all old Stanleys. Because I’m not a collector, I don’t buy rare ones, I buy to use & therefore they have all been relatively inexpensive, ranging from $5 to about $75, depending on condition & type. This includes a 92 shoulder, 95 edge, 78 rabbet, a #4 & 5 bedrock, several low angle & regular blocks & several other bench planes.
Some needed varying degrees of cleanup & sharpening which I figured was ok since they were used, but truing up was minimal to not needed for the lot.

They all work exceptionally well. I can’t speak to a comparison to the high end planes on the market, as I don’t have any, but it just seems to me that, if you’re on a budget, buying an older Stanley might be money better spent than on the current low to mid cost planes.

Just my opinion…and it’s free…but always remember, you get what you pay for in planes…and opinions. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4294 posts in 1654 days


#7 posted 1607 days ago

Thank you very much for your “article” comparing infill planes and the Stanley.
certainly buying used planes doe snot guaranty the you will not have to tune them and I am sure that many users use brand new planes and do not know that they need to tune them.
Really the Woodriver was ready to be used out of the box.
I did what I did more for the fun of it and to practice what i I had learned than out of necessity.

-- Bert

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12256 posts in 2703 days


#8 posted 1607 days ago

Relative to the block plane, I wonder if you were to purchase the Lie-Nielson 60 1/2 if you would have a similar “what a difference” experience.

http://www.lie-nielsen.com/catalog.php?grp=1216

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View dfdye's profile

dfdye

372 posts in 1643 days


#9 posted 1607 days ago

Bert,

I’m not sure what you are referencing with the infills. I have heard nothing but good things about the well made classic infills, but I am not sure where your comments fit in. Was something deleted that I didn’t see? Was this in the infill plane thread?

Just trying to keep up with the conversations

PS Glad you like the WoodRiver planes, even if you were dogging them in a different thread just a few days ago! :)

-- David from Indiana --

View Sean's profile

Sean

156 posts in 2221 days


#10 posted 1607 days ago

I went 2 weeks ago and test drove a woodriver 5 and 6 at woodcraft. They worked fairly well, but I probably wont buy one…we have 2 antique shops in the fort that stock several bedrock stanleys for the same price, and I may be able to haggle those down a touch. But thats just a personal preference, I enjoy owning and using a piece of history. the woodriver’s certainly worked on the poplar and oak they let me practice with. And I’ve heard better reviews of them then i have of the new generation stanleys that just came out, which are more $.

-- "Democracy is by far the worst system of government. Except all the others that have been tried." ~ Winston Churchill

View DragonLady's profile

DragonLady

298 posts in 1613 days


#11 posted 1607 days ago

I tried a Hock blade, but I didn’t know about the different slot types, and it doesn’t look like any of them would work.

Buying a new blade because I nicked it, badly, and didn’t have a grinder. Was impatient to use it, but it didn’t work out. Still have a nicked blade, but just got my grinder today!

-- A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4294 posts in 1654 days


#12 posted 1607 days ago

” I’m not sure what you are referencing with the infills. I have heard nothing but good things about the well made classic infills, but I am not sure where your comments fit in. Was something deleted that I didn’t see? Was this in the infill plane thread?”

This is for Shopsmithtom who wrote an article about infill planes after I started the conversation:
http://lumberjocks.com/marcb/blog/14326#comment-615718

-- Bert

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b2rtch

4294 posts in 1654 days


#13 posted 1607 days ago

“PS Glad you like the WoodRiver planes, even if you were dogging them in a different thread just a few days ago! :)”

I do not remember I did that.
What I said and what I still say is that I do not what to pay for “brand names”.
Certainly Woodriver is a brand name but this is different from Lie-Nielsen ( same as Chevy and Cadillac)

-- Bert

View Sean's profile

Sean

156 posts in 2221 days


#14 posted 1607 days ago

Chevy and Mercedes, anyway. There’s no doubt about what WayneC said above, use a Lie-Nielsen and you will definitely see and feel the difference. Whether that difference is something you are willing to pay money for is a personal choice. For a #5, though I’d love to buy a LN, I’ll stick with my Stanley; it’s for roughing out, precision, although appreciated, isn’t needed to that great a degree. For nice finishing, I am way happy i saved for the LN #4….that thing is a dream….perhaps if I did this for a living, the extra cost might be considered a waste, but I do this because I love the process…and the process with the #4 is enough that after using it for the first time, I gleefully went around the shop looking for more stuff to plane.

-- "Democracy is by far the worst system of government. Except all the others that have been tried." ~ Winston Churchill

View dfdye's profile

dfdye

372 posts in 1643 days


#15 posted 1607 days ago

Hey Bert,

You referenced a review in which the Footprints were supposedly rated better than the WoodRivers. It may have been a misinterpretation on my part, but my impression was that you were implying the WoodRiver planes were junk. My bad if that was not your intent.

-- David from Indiana --

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