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Lie nielsen smoother. Which to choose?

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Forum topic by Luke posted 1437 days ago 6526 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Luke

526 posts in 1890 days


1437 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: lie nielsen bench plane hand plane plane smoother

I am trying to decide whether to buy the LN #4 bronze or the LN #4 1/2. I don’t really know what the difference would be so I was wanting to see if anyone had either or had an idea which would be a better all around smoother. I mainly want it to finish leveling my boards after all machining and edge glueing and then whatever other general uses come up including a finishing touch on the faces of parts.
http://www.lie-nielsen.com/catalog.php?sku=4_5
http://www.lie-nielsen.com/catalog.php?sku=4

-- LAS, http://www.abettersign.com


31 replies so far

View Div's profile

Div

1653 posts in 1536 days


#1 posted 1437 days ago

I would swop a truckload of my African timber for ANY Lie-nielsen plane!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

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Luke

526 posts in 1890 days


#2 posted 1437 days ago

JorgeG, I really like the idea but I worry that it won’t do really well on face grain being so low. Is this unfounded? I have a low angle LN block plane already which I use for end grain and other things.

-- LAS, http://www.abettersign.com

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1276 posts in 2333 days


#3 posted 1437 days ago

I have the LN 4 1/2 bronze special edition smoother with a high angle frog. I would not recommend a standard frog for any smoothing plane. High angle 50 degree will work for most applications. The 55 degree is for very difficult grains and where a person is doing a lot of it on a regular basis.
The 4 1/2 is heavier and a bit longer. This makes it much easier to use. Smoothing ebony and other hardwood inlay is a breeze.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View jsdnnoanybtr's profile

jsdnnoanybtr

24 posts in 1654 days


#4 posted 1437 days ago

>Which LN to get ?<

My first responce is one of each. I love the things. But . . .
Be warned the bronze guys are more to look at than to use. They cut fine etc but they have more friction/drag on the wood. Takes constant waxing or oiling or tallowing. Nice to look at though.

For a working smoother and if you don’t have the bucks to buy several planes, who does these days, I STRONGLY recommend this plane ( sorry LN I still love you ) :

http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p=51870&cat=1,41182,41187&ap=1

You should be looking at a LV ( some times the link to a specific Lee Valley catalog page fails so I included a photo ) Bevel Up Smoother. I have the wide one. Killer tool ! I have many blades for it. I have many other planes I reach past to get to this one. Brilliant tool.

The other photo I included, I think obviously, is a LN Bronze. I bought early on when I knew even less than I know now. Nice to look at.

http://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy298/noydb1/th_OhYah.jpg

http://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy298/noydb1/th_Bronze4.jpg

-- jsdnnoanybtr but you can call me jr

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jsdnnoanybtr

24 posts in 1654 days


#5 posted 1437 days ago

http://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy298/noydb1/Bronze4.jpg

Ok that was harder than it needed to be. Guess I gotta study up on photo posting here.

-- jsdnnoanybtr but you can call me jr

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jsdnnoanybtr

24 posts in 1654 days


#6 posted 1437 days ago

Ha, ha, ha, aaahhhh, Ha, ha, ha, ha
(not JorgeG’s post)
This editing deal is less than stellar

-- jsdnnoanybtr but you can call me jr

View hokieman's profile

hokieman

162 posts in 2350 days


#7 posted 1437 days ago

Between the 4, 4 1/2 and the low angle smoother I say, get all three. You only live once. I have the 4 1/2 and I got it since it is a littel bigger than the 4. Also Deneb Puchalski from LN recommended the 4 1/2 over the 4 when I saw him at a LN show. I have also heard nothing but good things about the low angle smoother and that will be my next LN plane. Also, remember, LN products are made here in the USA so I always prefer the American made products especially when they are of superior craftsmanship.

View jusfine's profile

jusfine

2280 posts in 1522 days


#8 posted 1437 days ago

Div, how big is the truck?

Maybe we could arrange something…?

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View lwllms's profile

lwllms

535 posts in 1877 days


#9 posted 1437 days ago

Just to offer a different opinion. I suggest the #4. I don’t really understand the fascination with the wide road-grader planes. They complicate sharpening and require a lot more force in use. If you normally use pretty mild run-of-the-mill woods get the 50º frog. If you use figured or quarter sawn wood, get the 55º frog. I think O-1 is a better steel for woodworking tools than A-2 so get it with an O-1 iron.

I suggest you get a regular bench plane and avoid the bevel-up planes. The claim of versatility comes over a very narrow range and costs a lot in edge retention.

View Luke's profile

Luke

526 posts in 1890 days


#10 posted 1437 days ago

hmmm… I believe I am a little more befuddled than before. So many different opinions. If the angle of the low angle smoother is pretty much the same as the regular smoothers then why go for the low angle? It costs a bit less so that’s a consideration but I don’t really care about cost at the moment. Oh, but I still only want to buy only one plane for now. Wish I could buy a couple but I have other responsibilities to take care of too… he

-- LAS, http://www.abettersign.com

View JuniorJoiner's profile

JuniorJoiner

443 posts in 2036 days


#11 posted 1437 days ago

I have nearly everythin LN sells, and I was given much advice from salesman and other woodworkers when it comes to planes. most of it was crap. the first plane I ever owned was a LN 4 1/2 . and it is good if you don’t have much smoothing to do, also being able to switch it to 50 and 55 frogs is nice. for much smoothing, it is heavy. which is why I would recommend a LN number 3. the narrower blade is easier to hold to sharpen if you are new, and the bed angle will handle 95 percent of wood if sharpened and tuned properly. the wood that it won’t handle, you are better off to scrape(or just not use) anyway.
if I had to buy one LN smoother for everything, that would be the one.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View Marc5's profile

Marc5

304 posts in 1938 days


#12 posted 1437 days ago

My collection of planes has grown over the last couple years including a #4 bedrock, 4 1/2 Veritas plane and a LN #164 bevel up plane. I use all of them and they work well. I have the mind set of big projects, big planes small projects, small planes. I use a 4 1/2 on larger projects and a 4 and sometimes a 3 on smaller projects. I bought the the 164 speciifically for gnarly wood. I ground the blade to 43 degrees providing the the equilivent of a high angle frog and it is a dream to use. Do not discount the bevel up smoothers, for the price of a blade and some grinding you can get two planes out of one. Good Luck.

-- Marc

View hokieman's profile

hokieman

162 posts in 2350 days


#13 posted 1437 days ago

The other thing you can do is to attend one of the Lie Nielsen Hand Tool Events. At those shows they have every tool they make and you can use them all under their instruction and find out which you like the most. Here is a link to the shows. http://www.lie-nielsen.com/?pg=1 One might be coming near you.

View jsdnnoanybtr's profile

jsdnnoanybtr

24 posts in 1654 days


#14 posted 1437 days ago

>Don’t really care about cost [for one plane] at the moment<
You know . . . you might really like one of these . . .

“Clark and Williams” http://www.planemaker.com/products.html

I haven’t shelled out for one yet cause of my ideosincratic projects but for more normal stuff these are the advantages:

Light weight
Glides easily over the wood; more easily than a metal plane even when waxed
Multiple ways to grip it for tricky grain changes ( not being funny; serious comment)
A reproduction of a piece of history to enjoy.

Could be hard to get from maker. Could go with used. A new one would be my first choice.

Clark and Williams Smooth

-- jsdnnoanybtr but you can call me jr

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jsdnnoanybtr

24 posts in 1654 days


#15 posted 1437 days ago

Since JorgeG and I have the same plane I don’t feel like too much of a jerk in saying the adjuster is better on the Lee Valley Veritas smoother. The adjuster on the Lie Nielsen low angle or low angle jack can act as a gear, grip the slot of the blade and cause the blade to change angle when you only want to advance or retract the blade.

Even with fettling ( smoothing ) of the disc on the adjust knob and fettling of the slot on the LN blade it can still trip you up. LN good for rougher work with a cambered blade; an inadvertent change in angle of blade is not critical. For a smoother with almost no camber ( curve on the blade edge ) give me the Veritas adjuster any day.

-- jsdnnoanybtr but you can call me jr

showing 1 through 15 of 31 replies

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