Impulse Buy

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Forum topic by richgreer posted 10-13-2010 04:24 PM 1410 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4541 posts in 3275 days

10-13-2010 04:24 PM

For some time I have been very curious about hand planes. I’ve read a book and many articles about them and I have purchased 3 cheaper used planes, primarily for the purpose of learning.

I check e-bay regularly and it is my observation that the really good plans (Lie-Nielsen et al) consistently sell used on e-bay for almost what they cost new.

Then, last night, while watching baseball with my I-pad in my lap, I see a new (still in the box) Lie-Nielsen No. 4 smoothing plan on “Buy-it-Now” for $230 (+ $10 shipping). A quick jump to the Lie-Nielsen website tells me that, new, this plane would cost $350. I check and the e-bay listing had only been up for about 15 minutes. Surely, someone else is going to see this and grab it. After a couple of minutes of agony, I clicked “Buy-it-Now”.

When it arrives my hand plane collection will consist of 3 cheaper used Stanleys (Block, Jack & Smoothing) plus a new LN No. 4 smoothing plane. Soon I will be able to do a head-to-head comparison of a $20 used Stanley and a $350 new LN.

This was not a prudent, well-thought out decision but sometimes you see the opportunity and you just have to grab it. Besides, I can always re-sell it.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

13 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


17761 posts in 3207 days

#1 posted 10-13-2010 04:31 PM


Please let us know how the LN stands up to the older Stanley Bailey #4, id be interested in that for sure. Sometimes these deals dont pop up again .. way to jump all over it.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3849 days

#2 posted 10-13-2010 04:45 PM

congrats. it’s a winner. I personally like LV products better for personal taste – but both are extremely well made (I was at the LN tool event in Beverly, MA earlier this year, and have seen these in person, as well as Mr. Nielsen and his crew – real nice folks)

As you stated – you can always sell it and come out even (or better!)

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

View Woodwrecker's profile


4200 posts in 3776 days

#3 posted 10-13-2010 04:57 PM

I would enjoy that LN plane until my wife found out I dropped $240.00 on an impulse…..LOL
(nice score rich)

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3259 days

#4 posted 10-13-2010 05:08 PM

It is too bad the Stanley No. 4 is not a Bedrock. The Lie Nielsen planes are based on the old Bedrock pattern which, asmany of you know is the “Gold Standard” of the Stanley planes. The Bailey planes were less expensive and therefore lots of them were sold. They are good planes, but not up to the standard of the older Bedrocks. I had a Bedrock No. 7 Jointer that was dropped and broken. On the inside, I was crying.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View Brit's profile


7545 posts in 3043 days

#5 posted 10-13-2010 05:28 PM

I’m sure you’ll love it. Last year I got a LN 4 1/2 for christmas. I was itching to try it out, but I didn’t have any means of sharpening the blade. About 4 months back I bought a Norton combination waterstone and honed the blade. I grabbed a piece of Sapele and slowly adjusted the blade to take a fine shaving. AMAZING. I could see right through the shaving it was so thin. I’d seen Rob Cosman producing these fine shavings and didn’t believe it could be so easy, but it is. Whilst you can also achieve this with a Stanley fitted with a good sharp blade, the LN is good to go out of the box without having to flatten the sole, touch up the mouth etc.

There’s something nice about using a tool that does what it was designed to do and does it REALLY well.

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View pmayer's profile


1032 posts in 3265 days

#6 posted 10-13-2010 07:05 PM

If it is in good condition, you stole it for that price. Nice score, Rich.

I have done a similar test that you described. I put it that same plane up against a Bedrock, tuned as well as I could get it. Performance wise, pretty similar. it took me quite a while (probably 2 hours, and it was not in rough shape to begin with) to tune the Bedrock to its peak performance, and the L-N was ready to go right out of the box (impressive).

I like the nostalgia of the Bedrock, and the beauty of the L-N (manganese bronze body, cherry knob and tote? That’s what I’m talkin’ about!), and they both perform like a dream. The obvious choice for me; gotta own both. :)

I wrote up a review of the L-N here: I did not do it as a direct comparison to the Bedrock in this review, but just examined it on its own merit. The Bedrock bakeoff was an inevitable comparison afterward, however.

-- PaulMayer,

View swirt's profile


3424 posts in 3172 days

#7 posted 10-13-2010 08:45 PM

Wow! Great score Rich. I can’t believe someone put a buy it now for that price … I mean I believe you. I’m just surprised the seller was that foolish…. unless they were hoping to get someone to leap before looking deeply (an all too common seller strategy I am afraid). I hope for your sake it was a dumb seller instead of crafty one.

-- Galootish log blog,

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3275 days

#8 posted 10-14-2010 12:24 AM

e-mail from the seller tells me I should have it tomorrow. This is kind of exciting.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Cato's profile


701 posts in 3513 days

#9 posted 10-14-2010 02:39 AM

Rich, bet you are excited to say the least.

What a jump from browsing for old planes to buying the top of the line. Nice move and good score.

View Chuck 's profile


88 posts in 3400 days

#10 posted 10-14-2010 02:58 AM

I have 3 LN planes and counting. Once you use it, you’ll never touch your cheap planes again.

-- Chuck, Washington D.C.

View Manitario's profile


2681 posts in 3083 days

#11 posted 10-14-2010 03:16 AM

congrats! I’m all in favour of the impulse ebay buy!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View DocK16's profile


1184 posts in 4287 days

#12 posted 10-14-2010 03:16 AM

I don’t think you’ll regret this impulse buy when you start to use it. Let us know how that Mercedes drives when you get it.

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3275 days

#13 posted 10-15-2010 01:27 AM

Got it. I think this “love at first sight”. I’ll report more after I have played with it some.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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