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Which Lie-Nielsen Block Plane?

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Forum topic by Iffy posted 2503 days ago 9291 views 0 times favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Iffy

26 posts in 2530 days


2503 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: handplane

Alright, I’m putting a Lie-Nelson low angle block plane on my shopping list for the next two weeks. It’s my first real plane (I have some crappy thing from Lowe’s…I don’t think it counts.) So my question is,

Do I need a standard block plane or one with the adjustable mouth? If I get the non-adjustable one, do I get the bronze version or the iron version? $20 difference between ‘em.

Thanks for your help


34 replies so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12255 posts in 2702 days


#1 posted 2503 days ago

I recommend the one with the adjustable mouth. You have much more control.

On the non-adjustable, I think it is just a matter of visual preference. Both would work fine. It is a smaller plane and does not have the mass of the 62 1/2.

Another option would be to buy an old Stanley 60 1/2 or 65 and fit it with a Hock blade. Some examples from eBay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/VINTAGE-STANLEY-NO-60-1-2-LOW-ANGLE-BLOCK-PLANE_W0QQitemZ140160435809QQihZ004QQcategoryZ13874QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/Old-Stanley-65-Wood-Plane-Low-Angle-w-Knuckle-Joint_W0QQitemZ150163318979QQihZ005QQcategoryZ13874QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Look for block plane blades on this page…
http://www.hocktools.com/products.htm

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2567 days


#2 posted 2503 days ago

Absolutely the adjustable mouth. Whether bronze or iron makes no difference. However like Wayne says; consider a Stanley 60 1/2 with a Hock iron. I’ve been looking for a good 60 1/2 for a while. I’m still using the old Stanley I’ve had for 25 years. It gets the work done.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3961 posts in 2668 days


#3 posted 2503 days ago

Iffy if you have made the commitment to go LN, then you are prepared to spend the cash. I wouldn’t go the Stanley route. It’s a stop-gap. I have one and because I’m on the cheap it will have to do. I will likely order the Hock after-market, just to bring it up to working capacity. Another worthy alternative is the Lee Valley-Vertitas bliock plane. i would go with the low-angle with the adjustable throat on any one I was contemplating.

But I think Wayne has suceeded in infecting me with Lie-Nielsen fever. Have I been a good enough boy to ask for one at Xmas. Probably not!

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

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2567 days


#4 posted 2503 days ago

Naw, Douglas, you can’t have a nice one until you learn to play with the one you got.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12255 posts in 2702 days


#5 posted 2502 days ago

I would say get a hock blade for it Douglas and see what you think. My 65 with a hock blade performs at the same level as my 60 1/2 LN.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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Douglas Bordner

3961 posts in 2668 days


#6 posted 2502 days ago

You guys never let me have any fun. I’m asking Mom. ROTFLMAO

Sorry Iffy, didn’t mean to hijack your thread…

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

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Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2567 days


#7 posted 2502 days ago

ROTFLMAO??? What exactly does that mean??

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2765 days


#8 posted 2502 days ago

rolling on the floor, laughing by butt off..

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

765 posts in 2778 days


#9 posted 2502 days ago

Just to avoid any confusion, Iffy, Wayne is recommending buying one of the older, better-made stanley 60 1/2 block planes, not something you can buy off the shelf right now. You’ll have to look at places other than the local Home Depot, like antique tool websites or eBay or estate sales, to get one.

My 60 1/2 with a Hock blade cost me a total of $57 (including the blade, a separate purchase) and I use it almost every time I’m in the shop. I’m incredibly happy with how it has turned out.

And just because you buy one LN tool doesn’t mean your whole collection has to be LN, by the way. If you want an easy way to get into planes, then by all means make your first purchase a LN block plane. It should arrive almost ready to use, right out of the box (you’re paying for that, by the way…). But maybe try a Veritas smoother for your next purchase. Or you can even find old Stanley or Record planes on eBay that have already been lapped flat and cleaned up with a nice, sharp blade in them.

If you find that you like using planes a lot, you could give a try at buying an older one and cleaning it up (start cheap and small, so you don’t invest a lot of time and money if you find you don’t like it; if you do, then work your way up to some larger, more expensive planes). I think taking one apart and fine-tuning it is a great way to learn how your plane works (and thereby get a better understanding of how to use it).

My recommendation for which one to get, regardless of the brand, is the low-angle adjustable mouth block, by the way.

-- Ethan, http://thekiltedwoodworker.com

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12255 posts in 2702 days


#10 posted 2502 days ago

BTW, if you missed it the first time. Here is a link to Ethan’s restored 60 1/2. I saw one of these au natural at a flea market a few weeks ago for $8.

http://lumberjocks.com/jocks/RedHeadedMerganser/blog/630

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

765 posts in 2778 days


#11 posted 2502 days ago

Thanks for the link, Wayne!

-- Ethan, http://thekiltedwoodworker.com

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12255 posts in 2702 days


#12 posted 2502 days ago

Also, going back to the original question, the look of the bronze is worth $20 to me. The lower cost cost planes are smaller in size and great for carrying around in a shop apron, but they will be limited in some operations and with some wood, which is where the adjustable mouth comes in handy. I would buy an adjustable mouth first, even if it is an old Stanley or Record, then buy the smaller plane as the addiction more firmly takes hold.

: ^ )

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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Iffy

26 posts in 2530 days


#13 posted 2502 days ago

Thanks for all the help guys. I’ve updated my shopping list to specify the adjustable mouth model, rather than the non-adjustable one.

Oh wait. I just remembered my anniversary is coming up. Dang. Guess I’ll have to put it off a couple more weeks.

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12255 posts in 2702 days


#14 posted 2502 days ago

I’m sure she would love a new Plane…. lol

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Chris 's profile

Chris

1867 posts in 2596 days


#15 posted 2489 days ago

Iffy,

My wife bought the L&N low angle adjustable mouth block plane for me as an anniversary gift last year. I am more than happy with it and would not trade it for the world.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

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