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Why the WoodRiver #4 is so uncomfortable.

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Forum topic by lysdexic posted 926 days ago 838 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lysdexic

4747 posts in 1123 days


926 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: plane

There have been several reviews here on LJ’s concerning the WR #4. I have responded a couple times that I felt the tote was cramp. So, I started looking at the tote to figure out why.

I thought I’d post for those considering these planes. I think they are a good value but with some draw backs. I really like mine but I have to hold it with the index and small finger extended.

Here is pic of the WR #4

I placed a type 12 SB #3 on top of the #4 so the horns and curve for the 1st web space are equal.

While in the same position, this is a look straight down at the base of the totes. The WR #4 base is significantly taller.

This is another look just trying to minimize parallax error.

Sitting side by side you can see have prominent the WR #4 tote’s base is.

Now, I shimmed the #3 up so that the horn and web space curve are about the same.

And this is comparing a #4 to a #3. I don’t have a vintage #4 to compare. There is just no room for your little finger.

Just FYI.

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali


10 replies so far

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

4966 posts in 1099 days


#1 posted 926 days ago

Are you working with some big hands? How about pic with your hands on both? Im a demanding PITA, I know. Thanks for the info. Very interesting. Is there a way to easily reconfigure the handle? Maybe make it better, or is that a stupid question? Forgive my plane ignorance.

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lysdexic

4747 posts in 1123 days


#2 posted 926 days ago

Yea, I’d say that my hands are on the thick side. Pics holding the planes is a fair request.

Looking at the base of the WR tote, you could certainly sand it down to the level of the screw head and that would probably make all the difference in the world. But it is just another thing to tune before this plane is really ready for extended use.

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 2296 days


#3 posted 926 days ago

I agree that reworking the tote is a PITA…which is why I still would go vintage if I were doing it all again today :)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View wingate_52's profile

wingate_52

219 posts in 1070 days


#4 posted 926 days ago

I have the Quangsheng (Manufacturer of Wood River) 62 LA BU plane. This handle is wrong. A little too upright and the lower curve near the casting is too tight. I have made a replacement that is now perfect for me. I will post a photo when it is polished and on the plane. I have tried it at the bench and am really pleased with its performance.

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12942 posts in 1194 days


#5 posted 926 days ago

It looks like they beefed it to accommodate the screw, rather than the little boss. I bet you could put a flat screw in there & bring the handle down. The screw’s probably not even necessary and you could just fill the hole. Thanks for this very illuminating post. I’m taking that you like the plane with the exception of the handle. That’s a good thing.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

11991 posts in 2598 days


#6 posted 926 days ago

Related to the index finger being extended. From a tool use perspective it should be extended. This provides feedback and assists you in guiding the plane.

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

View crank49's profile

crank49

3245 posts in 1471 days


#7 posted 926 days ago

It’s interesting that these tote discussions are popping up frequently. I have a vintage #4C with a broken tote and a missing knob which I had posted a question about wood choices for a replacement. That led to me researching more and I noticed something about my Groz planes. I have them tuned up and generally am satisfied with how they plane wood, but they cramp my hands if I have any significant amount of work to do with them.

After that last observation I noticed that all Groz plane’s totes are about 20% smaller than my old American made Stanleys. Makes me wonder if that might be a trend for most, if not all, Asian or Indian plane totes. Those people generally have smaller hands than we do and it makes me wonder if that’s reflected in the handles they put on these tools.

I am planning to replace the tote on my Groz #6 just to see how much difference it makes.

-- Michael :-{| Diapers and politicians both need to be changed often; and for the same reason.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9115 posts in 1119 days


#8 posted 926 days ago

Can’t imagine having to extend the pinkie to get a hand on a plane… Two finger grip can’t offer much in the way of control.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View wingate_52's profile

wingate_52

219 posts in 1070 days


#9 posted 926 days ago

View exelectrician's profile

exelectrician

1355 posts in 928 days


#10 posted 922 days ago

Wingate you are so right, just a tenth of an inch here and tenth there and you have a handle that just feels wrong. The Chinese may have a slightly different size hand compared to Anglo Saxons or they just do not care as long as the product goes out the door, and they get paid.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

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