|Review by mcase||posted 12-07-2011 06:01 AM||5891 views||1 time favorited||25 comments|
I posted a poor review of Woodriver planes a couple of years ago. However Woodcraft has come out with a much improved version called the V3. Woodcraft had them on sale so I picked up a #4. Arguably it needed no tuning and with a quick honing could have been used right out of the box. I did however strip it down and tune it for my own compulsive reasons. The sole was very true and it hardly took five minutes to get it to within 1.5 thousands. The blade which is A2 steel was slightly dished in the center. But because the low was behind the edge I could have left this alone too. All parts were well machined and the handles were done nicely as well. The lateral adjuster is much nicer than the original, having a solid tang and a bearing like the Lie-Nielsen. The V3 also has a Lie-Nielsen style improved heavy chip breaker. The blade came flat ground at 25 degrees. I prefer a steeper angle than this particularly with A2 steel and wanted to get past the new steel edge anyway so I put it on the Tormek and gave it a 33 degree straight hollow grind with a honing to 6000 and a very shallow back bevel using the ruler technique. Then I put it all back together, dialed in the frog and gave it whirl. The results were beautiful. The plane has mass and and accuracy. The lateral adjustments were firm and the depth adjuster was precise. I could easily set it for feathery gossamer shavings or solid curls. I got full width shavings too. Just really really nice! It was so nice I went back and got the #5 and #6. These too were solid performers. I gave them the same small tuning and subsequently reground the #4 with a slightly convex edge for smoothing. I put them all through the paces and found the edge retention to be very good. The only reason I did not give them 5 stars is that one of them had a defective handle bolt which needed to be replaced and some pitting on the sole. They are not Lie-Nielsens, but they are handsome, solidly built planes that perform remarkably well.