Thoughts on hand plane selection...

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Forum topic by ondablade posted 09-14-2009 08:01 PM 888 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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105 posts in 3222 days

09-14-2009 08:01 PM

Hi guys. I’ve been digging with a view to upgrading from my Clifton no. 5 and Stanleys which have been used for mostly DIY and small bits of furniture work. I’ve no experience yet of them, but i seem to have worked my way to the conclusion that it’s going to be very hard not to opt for a set of the low angle/bevel up Lee Valley/Veritas family of planes,230,41182 – a low angle block, low angle jack, bevel up smoother, and a bevel up jointer.

The positives seem to stack up as follows:

1. All the reviews i’ve found are universally excellent.

2. The three bench planes all take the same format 3/16 in thick X 2 1/4 in wide blade which is available in 25, 38, 50 and 38 deg toothed forms over the 12 deg bed angle in carbon and A2 steels – meaning it’s relatively inexpensive to arrange to have 37, 50, 62 and 50 deg toothed options available for different situations, as well as square and radius grinds. The low angle block can also be set up with the same wide range of blade options.

3. The low angle format facilitate this versatility with easy blade changing, and adjustable mouths, as well as a high level of chatter resistance.

4. Best of all they are very reasonably priced (easier to manufacture) compared to both the more usual bevel down planes and the LN’s which i was thinking of when i started the exercise – of the order of 1/3 less.

Here’s hoping i’m not missing something obvious…..


-- Late awakener....

3 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3672 days

#1 posted 09-14-2009 08:05 PM

leevalley/veritas products are top notch bar none!

the planes you mentioned are all fantastic. if I had the $$$ I would get those myself. but currently am happily using older Stanley’s – you are more than welcome to send me yours ;)

curious – what opted you to feel the need to replace all you planes?

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 3714 days

#2 posted 09-14-2009 08:11 PM

I’m English so i only use Stanly nothing better out there if you keep them in good condition
just to add all my planes are 40 years plus and they work as if they were brand new


-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View ondablade's profile


105 posts in 3222 days

#3 posted 09-15-2009 12:12 AM

Thanks Purp for the confirmation. I guess my thinking is a little tied in with what Pommy posted. The couple of Stanleys I have I got (one bought, one a present – maybe a no. 4 and a 4 1/2 they are similarly smallish, but of differnt widths) as a kid in the late 60s, and they have been used and abused fairly crudely ever since – but never fettled or repaired, and have stock blades.

They could probably be sorted, but between the odd sizes (not a great basis for a set), the work needed and the cost of decent blades (not to mention i came into a small inheritance) means the call of the Veritas items is strong.

I’m attracted too to the way the Veritas (wonder what the plural of Veritas is? :-)) enable such a range of set ups and will probably cover most foreseeable eventualities at very reasonable cost – i’m trying to step up to working at the highest level i’m capable of, and i guess it starts with not having to bodge with the wrong tools. Their simplicity appeals to my design engineering background too.

The Clifton no.5 which is a nice plane and my one experience of a ‘good’ one. That now works very well now, but it had some manufacturing problems that dented my confidence in them – the sole was out of flat (hollow in front of the mouth), and the pivot pin for the lever that controls blade side to side tilt was misplaced so that i had to grind some extra clearance into the slot in the frog so that it became possible to adjust the blade square.

Those are my excuses anyway…....


-- Late awakener....

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