|Review by Willeh||posted 01-12-2012 04:10 PM||5166 views||1 time favorited||10 comments|
Few months back, I was at a woodworking show in toronto and came across the booth for Rob Cosman
He gave a very informative seminar about hand plane use and maintenance and was demonstrating with the Wood River #6. I Couldnt get over the quality of the plane for the price, and when taking a turn to try it out, really liked the feel of it. I ended up buying one off him at the show for the show special price of $175. I was extra happy because he pulled it out of the box and checked it over for and wasnt happy with the first one, so he pulled out a second, then spent 20 minutes tuning it up and honing the blade until the plane was producing the fine even shavings that he is typically able to produce during his demonstration.
As for the plane itself, I find that the quality level is superb for a made in china product. The casting is flawless and the sole is perfectly flat, the sides are square and the movement and adjustment is smooth. The frog is nice and flat and the knob and tote are sturdy and comfortable. I enjoy the extra thick blade and chip breaker and have had zero issues with chatter or tear out at this point. The supplied blade holds a good edge that lasts quite well, I was first considering upgrading to an IBC or Lee Valley blade, but I’ll stick with the one that came with it for now.
I used the plane last weekend to prepare some old cherry boards for use. Had no problem doing the rough work to take off thick and heavy shavings evenly and smoothly. At 7.9 lbs, this thing has a lot of heft and glides smoothly through a cut. As you can see from the photos above, I was able to shave down four 6 foot 4/4 boards of dry cherry to 3/4” starting with a freshly sharpened blade, i did all the rough work, then resharpened and smoothed the boards to a fine finish.
I have found this plane to be quite the workhorse, capable of doing heavy rough work on tough grains and also able to take super thin whisps, smoothing boards to a perfect finish, free of tear-out or plane tracks.
After buying this plane, I have been following the Rob Cosman sharpening method, using a Norton 1000/8000 grit water stone (See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qL2qFO4UUSQ ) and have been very happy with the results. I find i get a great edge that lasts.
Overall, I can’t see why one would need to spend much more to get a great quality plane. I have not tried a lie-nielsen plane, but i am so pleased with how well this plane works I can’t see myself doling out the cash for one in the near future.
Photo 1 shows the finished cherry boards ready for use and assembly (I will post the project in the future)
Photos 2 & 3 just show the rough progress, as you can see, the boards started off with the weathered/aged look you see in the background, which smoothed down beautifly to a nice coloured cherry.
-- Will, Ontario Canada. "I can do fast, cheap and good, but you can only pick two... "