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Groz #4 Bench and Block plane kit

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Review by dsb1829 posted 2067 days ago 10819 views 1 time favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Groz #4 Bench and Block plane kit No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I posted a lot of background over at my blog:
Link

A good user kit, but not for everyone. This is a good gateway kit into hand planes. Not as nice as the high end brands, but about 1/6th the price of them. They do require tuning. Don’t recommend them to your Uncle or a friend who doesn’t have mental capacity or tools to handle the tuning process (no offense to your Uncle).

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama




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dsb1829

367 posts in 2128 days



23 comments so far

View Roper's profile

Roper

1346 posts in 2213 days


#1 posted 2067 days ago

the groz are solidly ok, but for the same money you could get a nice old stanley and restore it.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust- www.roperwoodturning.com

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dsb1829

367 posts in 2128 days


#2 posted 2067 days ago

Roper, I mention that route in the blog that I linked. Main issue there is that it’s a crap shoot on the old stanley’s. Some people want real money for rust seized junkers. Some are selling damaged or incompletes. Just don’t ever know exactly what will show up at your doorstep. Odds increase with legitimate sellers and a bit of research. Bottom line with a new groz this is about what you are in for.

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

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Roper

1346 posts in 2213 days


#3 posted 2067 days ago

i know what you get with a groz and i would rather take the chance. just my 2 cents.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust- www.roperwoodturning.com

View lazyfiremaninTN's profile

lazyfiremaninTN

528 posts in 2453 days


#4 posted 2066 days ago

I got the 2 plane kit for christmas and I have to say that I am VERY pleased with them. They did require a little tuneing, but I would have to with any new plane.

-- Adrian ..... The 11th Commandment...."Thou Shalt Not Buy A Wobble Dado"

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motthunter

2140 posts in 2299 days


#5 posted 2066 days ago

Groz works and you get what you pay for. If you have time to restore planes and have time to do it.. that’s great. I like to work with wood myself and don’t get great pleasure restoring tools so my choice is always to get something that works out of the box.

-- making sawdust....

View ShopCat's profile

ShopCat

48 posts in 2079 days


#6 posted 2066 days ago

This is a endless debate on a number of woodworking sites. I finally reconciled myself to Lie Nielsen/Veritas by promising to pass my whole woodshop on to my kids and grandkids. I also plan to kickoff at 95 so have another 40 years to go. Take the price difference between the LN and the Groz and divide it by 365*40 and it’s not so much. Also, try to find an LN used; if you find any let me know because I’m always looking. Even buying new you’ll be able to sell it later with very little problem and at max be out a little pocket change.

Think about what it will mean to a woodworking grandkid or great grandkid to have a well maintained family inherited LN in 50 years. And yeah, even with lots of careful rationalizing it’s a plunge. But you do survive, and I would not own anything other than an LN low angle adjustable block. It’s not a snob thing, the plane is just the top of precision and craftsmanship.

-- ShopCat

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dsb1829

367 posts in 2128 days


#7 posted 2066 days ago

Some good discussion here guys.

ShopCat, not really an endless debate. It is more like 3 points of view:
1) Will make anything work, within their budget. Doesn’t matter where it is from or how much rust it has, they will get them to work or die trying. I am pretty much in this class due to my budget for tools, but some are here because they enjoy the challenge.
2) Old Iron or new quality only on their bench, not even open to working on new overseas tools. This crew has some old stanley’s and a few new planes. Mostly the new high end planes have made their lives easier and they are not ashamed to admit it. Maybe they came from the school of hard knocks (fettling and dealing with POS planes along the way) and can really appreciate a turn-key plane.
3) Top Shelf Only, LN and Veritas thanks this vigilant crew of ww’ers they pave the way by telling the newbies that only these $100ea (at the minimum) are the only tools that will get them working and not give them trouble. Obviously not an entirely untrue point of view. Either never got an old/cheap plane to sing for them or like motthunter just don’t consider tool repair part of the hobby and would prefer to spend time with the wood.

These view points are all over the net. There may be another, but I was trying to lump the common views. There has to be some agreement to disagree as you will never bend personal preference. Not a problem, just have to decide where you are. I would love to be a #3, but I don’t have an extra $2000 to use setting up shop. Trust me, the more planes I tune, chisels sharpened, machines tuned, the more I realize that I could have actually built a table or hutch in the same amount of time. Gotta pick your battles.

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

View depictureboy's profile

depictureboy

420 posts in 2143 days


#8 posted 2066 days ago

Id like to be a number 3 too, but I could get a powered planer and jointer for those prices….then I would maybe only need a smoothing plane to clean things up….

-- If you can't build it, code it. If you can't code it, build it. But always ALWAYS take a picture.

View ShopCat's profile

ShopCat

48 posts in 2079 days


#9 posted 2065 days ago

I think it might be locality related. I simply don’t see many good woodworking tools at estate sales. Colorado’s population was much smaller back during the high days of Stanley/Bailey. In the last half of the 20th century towns out here grew 100,000s of TIMES; towns with populations of 3,000 in 1950 have populations of 500,000 now. So, smaller base picked over many times. The old stuff I see is probably not reparable.

-- ShopCat

View ChicoWoodnut's profile

ChicoWoodnut

904 posts in 2315 days


#10 posted 2065 days ago

I have had good luck finding good user planes and hand saws. I pass over rusted junk because I don’t think they are worth the effort. There are too many good hand planes still out there.

A few years back I was looking for a #5 and a #4 to start my collection. I looked at thrift and antique stores for about a year but they were mostly junk or overpriced. Then one day on my own street there was a yard sale. I stopped by and saw a box full of Disston D8’s I asked the guy how much for the saws. 2 bucks each. these were perfect saws with the etch still on them. Probably from the 30s. I bought the two best in the box. Then the guy says “Do you like hand planes”? He runs in the house and comes out with a #4 and a #5. $5 each. I took them. No rust, handles perfect, just needed the blade sharpened. Both type 11 planes with the short knob.

Then I was looking for a #7 for about a year. I stopped by an antique shop in Paradise on my way home from a kids soccer game. it was just a whim. There I found a wartime #7 in pristine condition. $45.

Other planes.

Stanley 78 $35
Stanley 9 1/2 $15

I guess my point is that there are still some pretty good deals on old Stanley tools out there. You just need to be patient (and a little lucky).

I am about to give up on finding a shoulder plane. I am still dreaming about coming accross an old Spiers infill at a garage sale but I am about at the point where i am going to buy an LN or Veritas.

-- Scott - Chico California http://chicowoodnut.home.comcast.net

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dsb1829

367 posts in 2128 days


#11 posted 2065 days ago

Yep, deals to be found on old Stanley planes. I have a few of them in my collection now too. I am not a fan of scouring antique stores or yard sales, so I pay a bit more to get them off e-bay.

Scott, nice website.

Let’s get back on topic, might be more helpful to people actually looking for advice on the Groz planes…

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2522 days


#12 posted 2065 days ago

I did a review on these planes several months ago .
I trust this information will help with understanding just what is available at the entry level.

Cheers
Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

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dsb1829

367 posts in 2128 days


#13 posted 2065 days ago

Nice write-up Bob. Maybe I missed it, but did yours require clean up on the throat or flattening of the soles?

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

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dsb1829

367 posts in 2128 days


#14 posted 2064 days ago

Additional comment:
I went ahead and cleaned up the stock chip breaker (added a back bevel so it sit tighter on the iron, chips were stuffing under it). I set the breaker .045” back from the blade edge. I flattened the back of the iron, and sharpened the iron to a 6000 grit at 26 degrees bevel (about what it came in at from woodcraft). Lastly I tightened up the mouth by moving the frog up.

End result, even with the stock blade and breaker I can pull full width pine shavings at under .003” and walnut shavings just over .003” (measured with mitituyo digitals). That is better than I could get with the Hock blade, but arguably the mouth width is most likely the difference there.

So basically I have about 2-3 hours into each of the Groz planes tuning and tinkering. It would go faster the next time around, but I am pretty green on fettling and sharpening. Obviously this isn’t the best use of time for a new woodworker, unless they want to learn this skill. In the end both planes perform very well. I would like it if the throat of the block plane closed a little tighter, but you can’t win them all.

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

View Tom O'Brien's profile

Tom O'Brien

74 posts in 2445 days


#15 posted 2063 days ago

I have a set of Groz machinist squares, and I like them. But then they have no moving parts, unlike a plane.

One beef I have is that some online sellers and some catalogs call the brand Groz with an o-umlaut (Anglicized as Groez, maybe). That gives the false impression that the tools are made in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, etc.

The tools are made in India by a good company with high standards. It’s not really necessary to give a false impression.

-- Every project is a learning opportunity, every error a design opportunity

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