|Review by Eric||posted 02-29-2008 06:31 AM||3708 views||1 time favorited||2 comments|
I found this little plane in a random hardware store just outside of Kuala Lumpur. It only cost about US$9, so why not? The plane is made by Mujingfang, a Hong Kong-based company that makes a number of wooden hand planes. The reviews I found from googling Mujingfang reveals that the planes are general of quite good quality, and most (if not all) are very reasonably priced. Despite the apparent high quality, it’s clear that these are mass-produced budget planes since, from their website, you buy the planes by the carton (of 50 or 100).
The blade is thick (as you can see in the picture) and made of high-speed steel. It got pretty favorable reviews on a site that is devoted to testing plane blades. The blade on this plane is bevel-down by default, but a fellow LumberJock pointed out that you can flip the blade bevel-up and use it as a scraper plane on figured woods.
I haven’t gotten this plane to work like I’d hoped, but it could be my own user error. First off, I sharpened the blade up very well. For all my deficiencies, I know how to sharpen a plane iron. However, I get a lot of chatter when using the plane. I’m not sure if it’s because of the small size (and weight) or because of the high angle of the iron. Regardless, chatter marks don’t really seem consistent with the results of using a “polish plane,” do they? I have found that the times I’ve used the plane, I’ve given up and just pulled out my Stanley #4.
All in all, I’m glad I gave this plane a shot, and still haven’t entirely written it off, but I need to practice with it a bit more to see if it’s the plane or just me. So, for now, a 2-star rating.
-- Eric at http://adventuresinwoodworking.com