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Ray Iles plane irons

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Review by mafe posted 01-08-2015 07:19 PM 3934 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Ray Iles plane irons Ray Iles plane irons Ray Iles plane irons Click the pictures to enlarge them

Ray Iles plane irons

Really wonderful irons, thicker than standard app 3mm (left) instead of the normal 2mm (right).
I choose the O1 carbon steel hardened to RC59-61, this is easy to touch up.

Comes in a protection pack and blade end are dipped in wax.
Before using it, I gave it a hone, this because I like to be able to compare with what I usually do.

Since it’s thicker you might have to move the frog or open the mouth a wee bit on you plane.

I have been using the irons for quite a while now and yes, they really are wonderful, especially I love the thick iron in the Record 4,5 since this gives a heavy plane with a sturdy iron.

So yes, thumbs up.

Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.




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mafe

11634 posts in 2999 days



10 comments so far

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Brit

7365 posts in 2752 days


#1 posted 01-08-2015 07:29 PM

Thanks Mads. They certainly are good value for money.

-- https://www.clickasnap.com/Andy61 - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

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Schwieb

1854 posts in 3371 days


#2 posted 01-08-2015 07:34 PM

Seeing the Record plane next to the Stanley plane makes me wonder who copied who? The Record plane looks slightly bigger and heavier but the designs are so similar, it’s amazing. I see the Iles tools are English made tools but there is an American distributor. https://www.toolsforworkingwood.com

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

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Brit

7365 posts in 2752 days


#3 posted 01-08-2015 08:02 PM

In a nutshell Schwieb, Stanley bought the patents for their metal bench planes from Leonard Bailey in 1869 and then in 1931 Record brought out their range of bench planes to compete with Stanley.

-- https://www.clickasnap.com/Andy61 - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

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theoldfart

9425 posts in 2360 days


#4 posted 01-08-2015 11:30 PM

Mads, thanks for the review. Did you have to modify the mouth or just adjust it? Really like the Record 4.5.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

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OSU55

1524 posts in 1899 days


#5 posted 01-09-2015 01:05 PM

Curious why you needed a thicker iron?

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mafe

11634 posts in 2999 days


#6 posted 01-09-2015 02:02 PM

Hi,
theoldfart, on the record yes, no sweat, just file and make smooth after with fine grid sandpaper.
Andy and Ken: you asked and answered, smiles. Yes the 4,5 seems a little heavier, that was why I got it, I gave my Stanley to a friend so I cant compare now.
OSU55, you don’t need a thicker iron, a standard will do just fine, the planes were constructed to use the standard.
I change to the thicker when a iron needs to be changed.
For the 4.5 it was a decision also to add mass, to get close to the infill planes that seems to perform better, since we had a discussion about that with Poul Sellers here some years back. No doubt the old Record version of the 4.5 with a thick iron, gets close to my infill smoothers, it has the mass and meets the wood with no compromise, so I will rate it to be worth the money, for my 4 it feels more sturdy, but for performance I don’t notice a big change.
I like the stiffness it gives and the mass. There has been a lot of writing online about if we need thicker irons, many different meanings, many different feelings, so my best answer to you would be give it a try next time you need to change a blade. In general my advice is always ‘try it’, at the end of the day, the feel you have when you use it, can be as important as any science. ;-) (Perhaps I should do a plane feeling compare blog, I have planes from all over the planet, so it could be interesting to talk about the feeling also).
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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OSU55

1524 posts in 1899 days


#7 posted 01-09-2015 03:42 PM

I have a 2-3/8” Veritas blade/breaker I use in my Stanley 4-1/2’s, 5-1/2, and 7. With sharp irons, I don’t notice any difference in results. The thicker set will cut with a bit duller edge vs OEM due to the added stiffness. I opted to go for quantity, buying Stanley replacements blade/breaker sets at about 1/2 the cost of aftermarket irons. I keep several sharpened and swap out so projects aren’t interrupted.

When set for very fine smoothing, I don’t notice any difference. As chip thickness increases, I notice a difference in sound more than feel. As you mention, the blade sets have different masses resulting in different resonances of the structure producing different sounds.

As for infill comparisons, have you had the opportunity to try the Veritas Bevel Up Smoother?

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mafe

11634 posts in 2999 days


#8 posted 01-09-2015 04:34 PM

Hi OSU55, it seems you already have found your own feel and your answer. ;-)

My grandfather had this wonderful lawnmower with solid cast top and the knifes were thick as a finger, when this wonderful machine was running it was a pleasure to cut the grass. This feel I could never find with my own lawnmower with a pressed metal top and a knife that were app one third. I could never complain about the grass cutting, but the feel of it – it’s kind of this I talk about. The Stanley planes and irons are designed to be what is needed (no more, no less), it’s a users tool and the most sold ever.

I have to admit I use my Japanese planes the most, the more I use planes, the more I like the Japanese, especially the pull action instead of push, but also the irons, the surface they can leave and love the simplicity.
With metal planes I use a Veritas apron plane all the time (love it), Norris A5 and my Spiers of AYR infills are used for smooth surfaces, have no other planes that can match them on this and they are so sexy too ;-) (perhaps a tuned Japanese), then the Record 4,5 have become a favorite also (thanks to Paul Seller), this because it’s heavy and it feels like the wood moves from the plane and not that the wood is moved with the plane like with a standard 4, oh yes and my sweet old 62 for end grains, difficult grains and shooting.
No I never had the chance to try the Veritas smoother, I do like the Veritas products and if I did not have a even softer spot for old planes, Veritas would with no doubt be my choice of plane brand, I love the fact they try to reinvent plane making and not just copy the old chaps.
(I went through the big doubt phase some years back, so I have almost all sizes and types of planes from all countries over the planet (hundreds), this to try and find my favorite choice since reading others private opinions seemed to confuse me more than it helped and I have to admit I have many favorites now (for different reasons), the old Scandinavian wood planes are also excellent performers and in prize ratio here in Europe these are the best buy, like the Stanley types are in the US, even in these wooden planes I will still go for a thicker iron when the choice are there.
If you want to read more on the subject, try to look into the discussions of Philip Marcou or Paul Sellers, they have some good points.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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stefang

15784 posts in 3244 days


#9 posted 01-10-2015 07:11 PM

A great way to make good planes better. I have 3mm in my newest planes and they really do make a difference.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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TechRedneck

767 posts in 2766 days


#10 posted 01-10-2015 08:23 PM

Mads.. thanks for the review. I did not know that Ray Iles made irons.

I have their set of bench chisels and absolutely love them.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

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