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Lee Valley Bench Plane Blade and Chip Breaker Set - Stanley/Record

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Review by knothead posted 04-06-2013 10:34 PM 3882 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Lee Valley Bench Plane Blade and Chip Breaker Set - Stanley/Record No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Well, Lee Valley has done it again…..

After trying for years to get my #4 Smoother working as well as it should, (Always getting close but not quite there) I finally gave up and ordered this Plane Blade and Chip Breaker Set to replace an original cutter and chip breaker in my Stanley #4 smoother. I have previously purchased a Hock replacement blade for my #5 and liked it but they are a little spendy so I set out to see what was available, The Pinnacle blades looked good but seem a little expensive, I studied this Lee Valley iron for a while and noted that it was actually the most affordable of the options currently out there, I ordered it in A2 steel.

Opening the box I found:

A PERFECTLY machined and matched cutter and chip breaker
The cutter was dead flat on the back right out of the box
The chip breaker fit the iron like they were machined from the same piece of steel
It was SHARP right from the box.

I am currently in the middle of a bedroom set made from Cherry and as it would happen I was working down the top of the dresser for flatness after glue-up and cutting the bevels on the lower side of the top panel so it’s timing could not have been better.

I honed both the bevel on the iron and the machined portion of the chip breaker on my leather honing block and assembled them into my vintage #4 smoother, headed for the bench and went after it. All I can say is WOW! I should have bought this a long time ago! I have been close, real close, with my original cutter and cap iron but this was absolutely amazing. It cut like a hot knife thru Buutaaahh!

Using my #7 and then this new cutter in the #4 I had my top panel flattened and the bevels cut in no time. I have had it now for just over a month and so far all I have needed to do is head for the leather block once in a while to freshen the cutter and back to work. Definitely 5 stars for Lee Valley on this one.

At $56.00 for the set it was less expensive then either the Hock OR the Pinnacle sets and now my other planes are all going to get new cutters and irons. Thank you Lee Valley! You never fail to impress.

-- So Much Wood - So Little Time! --




View knothead's profile

knothead

149 posts in 2599 days



8 comments so far

View felkadelic's profile

felkadelic

193 posts in 1191 days


#1 posted 04-06-2013 11:42 PM

Did it require filing down the throat? My Pinnacle set looks like it will require removing quite a bit of iron, even with the frog moved as far back as possible.

View Marty5965's profile

Marty5965

158 posts in 597 days


#2 posted 04-07-2013 03:16 AM

Hmm, interesting. I have a vintage Record #7, I may get a set for it. Thanks for the review.

-- Marty, Columbus, OH, learning every day....

View StephenPrunier's profile

StephenPrunier

19 posts in 713 days


#3 posted 04-07-2013 01:49 PM

Looks like an option for me too! I’m in the market for the same thing for my Record #4, and my Stanley #6.

View Mike67's profile

Mike67

96 posts in 1987 days


#4 posted 04-07-2013 02:29 PM

I have a few sets of these in various planes and agree with the OP. These things will transform on old Stanley. Mine didn’t require any grinding to fit. Just a quick hone and they were ready to go.

View BigRedKnothead's profile

BigRedKnothead

4955 posts in 633 days


#5 posted 04-07-2013 05:40 PM

Fan of these sets as well. I prefer 01, and I can’t decide if I like these or Hocks better. I do like that these are not square at the top like hock. Look more original.
Depends on the plane whether you’ll have to open up the mouth any if at all. I will say the veritas chipbreaker is designed better than the hock for using a smaller mouth. Not sure what others think, but sometimes I’ve backed the frog up behind the mouth opening with these thick blades. It doesn’t seem to matter with the big bevel on these thick blades, there’s no contact made….and it works fine for me.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

View knothead's profile

knothead

149 posts in 2599 days


#6 posted 04-08-2013 03:39 PM

felkadelic – If I remember correctly the Pinnacle states that you “might” have to modify the mouth of your plane to fit their set, I didn’t want that because once filed you are stuck with their product, so I left the Pinnacle set on the shelf for that reason. The Lee Valley set is about all you would put in your Stanley and still be able to use it unmodified, I did need to move the frog back a little but it works great, nice thin shavings. I think the Lee Valley blade and the stock Stanley chip breaker (Blades are sold separately) would NEVER give you any trouble or need to modify your plane. Best thing is, this iron and cap fit both the #4 AND the #5 so there is the best of both worlds as far as I’m concerned. I plan to buy irons for my other planes that are suffering from original irons.

BigRedKnothead – I always get confused unless I read is the 01 harder or the A2? My order defaulted to A2, I think because they are pushing the A2 but I really can’t tell much difference in actual use, I do have both.

-- So Much Wood - So Little Time! --

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BigRedKnothead

4955 posts in 633 days


#7 posted 04-08-2013 07:02 PM

The A2 is supposed to be harder and last longer. The O1 is easier to sharpen and is supposed to get a superior edge. All up for debate. I just like the way the O1 sharpens on my oil stones. I don’t mind sharpening more often, if it’s qucker and gets great results. They say waterstones are more effective on A2, and I despise water stones. Haven’t tried pmv11 yet, but one is on the way.

One should also note the option of just upgrading the blade and not the chipbreaker. I’ve done this on planes i don’t want to modify, like bedrocks. I just tuned the stock chipbreaker and called it good. It’s still a big upgrade from the wimpy stanley stock blades.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

View Deycart's profile

Deycart

384 posts in 909 days


#8 posted 04-14-2013 01:36 AM

I used one of the vertas blades in my 603 rebuild.
http://lumberjocks.com/Deycart/blog/34986

Just like everyone has said. Sharp out of the box, all the machining is perfect and all I had to do was put it on the strop a bit.

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