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Forum topic by Gwjames posted 08-27-2015 05:36 PM 980 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Gwjames

87 posts in 779 days


08-27-2015 05:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plane chisel sharpening question tip

So for about a week now I have been looking all around the world wide web at block planes and chisels as I have decided that these are very key tools I am missing in my shop (and by shop I mean my garage that can no longer fit a car). I have been looking at the basics that everyone looks at, woodriver, veritas, sweetheart and lie-Nielsen. ar first I was all about SW, I love a company with a good history and they have a very old one, upon reading plenty of reviews I have come to the conclusion that just because you charger $100 for a tool does not make it a good one. Next I looked at woodriver, I see some good reviews and I see some bad ones, some people say that WR keeps up with the higher end block planes, yet others say that they are defective, when you try to adjust them the cap pops off. And of course everyone loves LN and LV and everyone would love to have a shop full of nothing but them, I would also love to have nothing but festool in my shop too, but not all of us are living off of lottery winnings… i know some will say to buy a preWWII Stanley block plane and fix it up because its cheaper and it gives you a good appreciation for the tools and all that good stuff, well i tried that when i first started buying planes, i bought two refurbished old Stanley’s a #4 and #5 and then i thought i think ill give doing it myself a try, so i bought an old Stanley handyman for $15 dollars off of fleabay and it looks nice, but it would look nicer if i would wipe the dust off of it that it has accumulated on a shelf since i bought it. So all that being said, tell me your opinion, are the wood river block planes really junk? should i just say screw it and buy a LV? and while your at it, give me some opinions on a set of nice chisels. hey thanks for listening to me talk guys…


24 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3942 posts in 1958 days


#1 posted 08-27-2015 05:40 PM

I’ve never handled a WR plane of any kind. I also don’t always buy the reviews you see…but one thing I do lean toward: if you see a lot that are finding a problem, there has to be some level of truth in the complaints. I have a Craftsman standard angle block I’ve had for probably 40 years and consider it “OK”, noit great…but still is useful for some things. I also have a Veritas LA block…it’s as you would expect. I do still think of the “cry once” saying, may as well get one you know will be good.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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todd4390

130 posts in 932 days


#2 posted 08-27-2015 05:56 PM

I have the WR 6-1/2 and while I’m not a hand tool user by any stretch of the imagination it has been a pretty nice plane and is substantially less cost than the LN or LV planes of the same size. I will say that I have experienced the cap coming loose when adjusting the blade. This being my first hand plane I thought maybe I had something set up wrong, but after reading your post I’m thinking it may be a manufacturing issue.

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SignWave

320 posts in 2500 days


#3 posted 08-27-2015 05:59 PM

I got a WR block plane (not low angle) on sale several years back. Not sure if it was the current version or not, but I can’t say I’d recommend it. It looks nice, but the part of the base where the blade sits was skewed and I had to file it to get the blade even. But mostly, the cap design is frustrating. Sometimes when I’m using it, the cap pops off. This is very frustrating. The screw that holds it in was bottomed out and I couldn’t tighten it any further. I ground about 1/16” off the end of the screw and now it’s a little better, but still not perfect. I use it because it’s what I have and there are a lot of other things on the list, but I’ll eventually replace it with something like a LN or LV.

What’s funny is that I have a Harbor Freight #4 that I use all the time. It was uber-cheap and required A LOT more work to get it tuned, but now that it’s working, it isn’t a constant frustration the way the cap on the WR is. Plus, I use it for things that I don’t mind if it gets damaged because I only paid $11 in the first place. I use it for things that a proper block plane might be better suited like chamfering edges.

-- Barry, http://BarrysWorkshop.com/

View hotbyte's profile

hotbyte

842 posts in 2440 days


#4 posted 08-27-2015 06:02 PM

Like Todd4390, I’m very much a hand tool rookie. I already had a #3 and #4 that were the wife’s grandfathers that need restoring. I piddled with them but not really successful. I bought a WR 5-1/2 and LA block plane to get my feet wet in handtools that didn’t need lots of work before getting results and have been very happy with them. I’m undecided at this point on whether expanding WR collections, trying restoration on older planes or moving up to LV/LN.

The Woodcraft employee (think he was actually store mgr) helped me set and showed pointers in the store. When I got home, it was just open box and start planing :)

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Gwjames

87 posts in 779 days


#5 posted 08-27-2015 06:04 PM

i am not a hand tool user either, i really haven’t done much with any hand tools yet, but the more projects i do the more i find myself looking for that certain tool that will make whatever i am working on that much more precise and after hours on top of hours of watching videos and reading forums i have decided that IMO every shop should have atleast 3 planes, 6 chisels and about 3 or 4 handsaws, but that’s just my opinion, so that’s what im working towards but i don’t want to waste 100 bones on a piece of junk or even a sub-par tool when the best that everyone talks about is just $65 dollars more. i feel like the Lie-Nielsen is really the way to go, i just haven’t decided to pull out the debit card and make the leap yet. It’s really when i look at the #7 that makes me shiver, i want one bad, but $500 is a lot of money for a piece of steel with a blade on it…

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Gwjames

87 posts in 779 days


#6 posted 08-27-2015 06:07 PM


The Woodcraft employee (think he was actually store mgr) helped me set and showed pointers in the store. When I got home, it was just open box and start planing :)

- hotbyte

i sure wish i had a woodcraft close by, im sure i could learn a lot (more like spend a lot) in just one visit.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2198 posts in 945 days


#7 posted 08-27-2015 06:33 PM

I have both the standard and low angel block planes, and they are far from junk.
Nice thick iron, machining was very good. Blade flattened and honed in about 15 minutes.

IMO they both are certainly a step up from the Stanleys and they actually compare well to my Lie Nielsen (with the exception I wish the blade advance screw was bigger).

I have no problems with cap iron popping off I don’t know what that’s about. Could be an issue with earlier versions. I know they are constantly improving their planes, and I’ll bet if the poster having problems called WoodCraft they might do something for him.

Remember, if you buy a fixer upper you’re stuck with it.
If you buy a WR you can always return it.

I also have a #4 and #6 WR bench plane. Both compare (but admittedly do not match) my 4 1/2 LN.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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rwe2156

2198 posts in 945 days


#8 posted 08-27-2015 06:34 PM

I have both the standard and low angel block planes, and they are far from junk.
Nice thick iron, machining was very good. Blade flattened and honed in about 15 minutes.

IMO they both are certainly a step up from the Stanleys and they actually compare well to my Lie Nielsen (with the exception I wish the blade advance screw was bigger).

I have no problems with cap iron popping off I don t know what that s about. Could be an issue with earlier versions. I know they are constantly improving their planes, and I ll bet if the poster having problems called WoodCraft they might do something for him.

Remember, if you buy a fixer upper you re stuck with it.
If you buy a WR you can always return it.

I also have a #4 and #6 WR bench plane. Both compare (but admittedly do not match) my 4 1/2 LN.

GW – I would take a look at the WR #7 I’m betting its going to compare quite well to the LN.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Gwjames's profile

Gwjames

87 posts in 779 days


#9 posted 08-27-2015 06:43 PM

i appreciate the insight, im not sure what is with the caps either, i did see it on a few reviews and it has made me shy away from woodriver, even $100 is still a significant amount of money and don’t want to be disappointed.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7174 posts in 2042 days


#10 posted 08-27-2015 08:58 PM

https://timetestedtools.wordpress.com/category/block-planes/

Fellow LJer Don has a nice pictorial and some for sale, worth a

look.

You’ll need sharpening skills no matter which route you go, so I’d get that down
first before plunking big dollars on a block plane. :)

My Veritas, Lee Valley, and Stanley blocks are wicked sharp.

View Pezking7p's profile

Pezking7p

3097 posts in 1116 days


#11 posted 08-27-2015 09:18 PM

I never could get my old stanley 60 1/2 to work very well. I got a LN low angle block and it is sweeeeet. I use it all the time. Never used any other block planes.

-- -Dan

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waho6o9

7174 posts in 2042 days


#12 posted 08-27-2015 09:20 PM

http://www.ebay.com/itm/8-PC-JAPANESE-WOOD-WORKING-CHISEL-WOODWORKING-TOOL-SET-/281598130538?hash=item41908e796a

Japanese chisels from eBay are of good value, well balanced and keep a sharp edge.

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

6572 posts in 1615 days


#13 posted 08-27-2015 09:25 PM

I’d go with either LV or LN. If you don’t want to spend $165 or so, then why not one of their apron planes? Do you really need the extra width of cut? You only get another 3/8” cutting surface.

https://www.lie-nielsen.com/product/block-planes/small-block-planes?node=4072
http://www.leevalley.com/US/Wood/page.aspx?p=46791&cat=1,41182,48942

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3022 posts in 1262 days


#14 posted 08-27-2015 10:45 PM

I’d not noticed the apron plane. Given what old Stanley block planes are going for, that Veritas is pretty attractive.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Clarkie's profile

Clarkie

380 posts in 1306 days


#15 posted 08-28-2015 12:51 AM

Stanley planes especially the older models are the ones that the newbies have copied, does it make sense to buy a copy at a higher price or to truly get acquainted with an older model and understanding how to both sharpen and use it. For the most part the older planes have survived longer than the newbies have been around. Mr. Dunbar through old copies of Fine Woodworking magazine can show you how to true up an old plane and how to sharpen. Whether it be a 100.00 tool or a find of 15.00 the mark of a good tool is the man or woman behind it.

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