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Nothing plain about this plane!

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Review by Mark Shymanski posted 1877 days ago 5346 views 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Nothing plain about this plane! Nothing plain about this plane! No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

This is my 1000th post so I thought I should make it special; so I will write about a great plane my great wife gave me for my birthday (its actually on Sunday but we were in Winnipeg visiting my brother and his wife so we had an impromptu birthday party there). Any way this is of course a Lee Valley tool and you can go to their web page for dimensions etc. I’ll just write about my impression of the tool. First off is the heft of the tool, its got a good solid feel to it and the tote and knob fits well in my hand. The long toe makes it easy for a novice like me to get a good set on the stroke and the handles offer great control. I’ve been working on a Douglas fir project so this is the wood I first tried planing and it went great. Straight out of the box this tool cuts even clear whispers of curls even on the difficult fir grain. I did get a bit of tear out on the fir as the grain switched direction at one point, but that is to be expected. I installed the A2 blade (I waffled back and forth as to whether I wanted the A2 or the O1 steel and eventually decided on the A2) during the party and couldn’t wait to get home to try it. I switched over to some cedar I had just to see how it would plane and as you can imagine I got beautiful full width curls the entire length of the board. I’m afraid I spent about an hour just planing various bits of wood as this tool is just a joy to use. I like the stability of the extra wide sole, and the long toe helps me set up and follow through a cut. The adjustable mouth is easily adjusted and LV has ensured that you can’t accidentally bash the blade with the sliding toe so even I can adjust the throat to get whisper thin curls out. Of course the long sole also makes for a great flat surface and after planing some boards that I’d run through my planer I found these boards were even flatter than what the planer gave me. All in all a great tool and I would highly recommend this tool. My only quibble about this tool is the rear screw on the tote was a little loose… and that is looking real hard for a downside to this tool.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2




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Mark Shymanski

4746 posts in 2214 days



16 comments so far

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

936 posts in 1895 days


#1 posted 1877 days ago

Interesting review, I was visiting the web site yesterday just curious about this particular plane….
I have the Veritas Bevel up Jointer, at the same way, an outstanding tool.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 2246 days


#2 posted 1877 days ago

The guys at Lie-Nielsen will tell you, off the record, this is about the only plane you need in your tool box, for a wide variety of planing. Thanks for the review.

-- Tim

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2538 days


#3 posted 1877 days ago

I love this plane…plain and simple.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View MedicKen's profile

MedicKen

1599 posts in 1964 days


#4 posted 1877 days ago

Was any honing needed before you began using the plane? I am curious how it will handle difficult grain, something like curly maple.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

936 posts in 1895 days


#5 posted 1877 days ago

“If you work with exotics or curly woods,
I wouldn’t even bother with the traditional bevel-down tools.
Sorry, but that’s how I feel. I’d go straight to the bevel-up models. You’ll be happy.”

Christopher Schwarz
Popular Woodworking
October 8, 2008

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View tinnman65's profile

tinnman65

1066 posts in 1916 days


#6 posted 1876 days ago

Thanks for the review Mark, Now if I could just get my wife to buy me one of these planes for my birthday!

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3948 posts in 2565 days


#7 posted 1876 days ago

It’s at the top of my “eventually” list, with the BU smoother right behind. I think the Jack would be a perfect shooting plane.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

4746 posts in 2214 days


#8 posted 1876 days ago

No honing, MediKen, I just popped the blade in and started planing. The manual for the blade says the back is already lapped and the sole of the plane seems completely flat so I literally took it out of the box and started planing. I have a piece of maple I bought ‘just in case a project broke out’ and will probably try that when it warms up here (-37 C is getting to be a bit of a drag). I will probably run the blade over my wetstones before I start a real project, but it seem to be a real fine edge right from the word go. tinman65 Jenn and I seem to trade off buying each other tools, hers for sewing or the kitchen, mine for turning beautiful pieces of wood into sawdust ;-)

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Bob N's profile

Bob N

131 posts in 2429 days


#9 posted 1876 days ago

Great review Mark. My wife gave me this plane Christmas before last with all 3 blades. I must say that if I could have only one plane, this would be the one I would pick. It is so versitle and useful, words cannot explain and can only be experienced thru using it. A must have in any shop!

View Sean's profile

Sean

156 posts in 2117 days


#10 posted 1876 days ago

you can crown a bu iron, but its a real pita. David Charlesworth does it, he talks about how on one of his videos.
Thanks for the post, i was going back and forth about this plane for a month or so. Ill probably end up getting one.

-- "Democracy is by far the worst system of government. Except all the others that have been tried." ~ Winston Churchill

View pitchnsplinters's profile

pitchnsplinters

262 posts in 1940 days


#11 posted 1876 days ago

These are great. It’s on my short list. Thanks for the review.

-- Just 'cause a cat has kittens in the oven, it don't make 'em biscuits.

View Cantputjamontoast's profile

Cantputjamontoast

319 posts in 1934 days


#12 posted 1875 days ago

I held a brand new scrub plane by them and the tote screw was loose. I gotta believe they leave them loose when they ship them. The tote after all is made of shrinking and swelling wood.

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"

View olblueeyes888's profile

olblueeyes888

9 posts in 1914 days


#13 posted 1875 days ago

I have a few of the Veritas planes including this one and it keeps me from even looking at a few of my bevel down planes, for my money they are great planes but they do need new handles right out of the box, I replace most of my plane handles with hand rasped Bloodwood, it stays pretty darned stable and it’s gorgeous on just about any plane and it turns so nicely on the lathe just finish with light cuts there and give it a coat of boiled linseed oil and the next day a couple of coats of wax burnished in for feel and voila perfect plane!...

The handles are a cinch too, rough out a handle blank and rasp the rough shape, finish with files, you get a mirror finish and a handle made to fit your hand, plus if you ever get to ugragde or replace the the tote and knobs are in “mint” condition for the next fella who may just wnt to play tug of war with the factory wood.

View Derek Cohen's profile

Derek Cohen

167 posts in 2470 days


#14 posted 1874 days ago

A couple of articles for those interested in BU planes.

Firstly, a review/examination of the LV LA Jack and its concept that I wrote about 5 years ago. This plane was given to me by Rob Lee (of Lee Valley/Veritas). The article predates the rise of BU planes and predicts their success (amazing that it has been so few years!).

http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolReviews/Son%20of%20Stan%20or%20LV%20and%20its%20development%20of%20the%20Bevel%20Up%20Jack%20plane..html

The second article is more recent, written a year ago, and describes a technique I developed for cambering bevel up plane blades. Rob Lee referred to this in his presentation at the “Woodworking in America: conference.

http://www.inthewoodshop.com/WoodworkTechniques/TheSecretToCamberinBUPlaneBlades.html

Regards from Perth

Derek

-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at http://www.inthewoodshop.com

View woodworm's profile

woodworm

14124 posts in 2092 days


#15 posted 1868 days ago

Have one this jack, used for nail-free board only.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

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