Hand plane advice needed

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Forum topic by Rxmpo posted 02-08-2012 06:34 AM 2297 views 0 times favorited 54 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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268 posts in 3943 days

02-08-2012 06:34 AM

Topic tags/keywords: hand plane

I have just finished a project for a good friend who paid me generously for it. With each project my goal is to be able to afford a new tool for the next one, which I’m thinking to be a smoothing plane. I have researched for some time and I am at a crossroads. Do I get a LN, Veritas, or WoodRiver? I have the Veritas BU Jack plane and love it, but I wanted to ask for all of your opinions before making my final decision. Thoughts?

54 replies so far

View Zulu55's profile


72 posts in 2514 days

#1 posted 02-08-2012 07:08 AM

I own several Veritas and LN plane’s and really, you can’t go wrong with either.

I have the bronze LN smoothing plane and love it. I have the Veritas BU Jack and Jointer plane’s and they are also great.

In your case I think I would recommend the BU Veritas and request a different angle blade then what you have on your Jack plane. This way, you can use both blades with both plane’s.

Just my 2 cents.

(I can’t speak for WoodRiver as I don’t own/haven’t used one)

-- Adam - Langley, British Columbia (Canada)

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3556 days

#2 posted 02-08-2012 01:40 PM

If it were me, I would buy the LV. I think they are as good as the LN, but not as expensive. I’m not a fan of the Woodriver planes, although I’ve heard that the newest incarnation of them is much better quality than the earlier versions. My $.02

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View chrisstef's profile


17759 posts in 3204 days

#3 posted 02-08-2012 01:45 PM

Personally id buy 10 old stanleys with that kinda money but then again ive never laid my paws on a LN … just my thoughts.

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

View michelletwo's profile


2767 posts in 3213 days

#4 posted 02-08-2012 01:48 PM

this is like asking addicts, what drug they prefer. :-) You will get many opinions. I think in this arena, you get what you pay for. LN & Veritas are top choices.

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Don W

19007 posts in 2765 days

#5 posted 02-08-2012 05:10 PM

LN & Veritas are top certainly top choices. Is there a reason you don’t want a vintage Stanley or bedrock?

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View ShaneA's profile (online now)


7052 posts in 2796 days

#6 posted 02-08-2012 05:16 PM

You could get a set of vintage for the cost of one new LN. I guess it comes down to budgets and expectations.

View Rxmpo's profile


268 posts in 3943 days

#7 posted 02-09-2012 03:49 AM

Thank you all for your input.

Don, I am hesitant on buying an old plane because I have never refurbished anything before and I don’t want to throw good money after bad. Shane did a fabulous job on restoring one of his planes, but I don’t want to take a chance on wasting a dime or my time on something not worth the effort. I don’t have a very good history in this area.

The Woodshow is coming in 2 weeks. I will seriously consider the “vintage” idea after spending the day there. They usually have a good selection of old planes.

I started this post without even considering an old plane and walk away with my thoughts narrowed down to two: Veritas or Vintage. Thanks again…

View bluepaulsky's profile


34 posts in 2674 days

#8 posted 02-09-2012 08:23 AM

why dont you make your own theres a good vid on youtube

-- pgray

View Don W's profile

Don W

19007 posts in 2765 days

#9 posted 02-09-2012 12:48 PM

I’m not trying to persuade you in either direction. I bought an LN #62 and a veritas scraper. I haven’t done a formal review on the veritas, but did mention how nice it worked when building my blanket chest..

On the other hand, two points to make about vintage. One several of the guys here on LJs buy, restore and sell vintage planes. Prices are usually reasonable, we (well I) don’t do it to make money, its just for fun. If you get one of them you shouldn’t have to worry any more than buying a Woodriver. I would say less. Most planes do not work right out of the box.

You can’t go wrong with either the LN or the veritas. If you have the budget to put together a collection of planes in that price range, your going to be happy. I’ve never had a Woodriver, but know from talking with others they are ok. It may take some tuning to get them to perfection. Even LN and veritas will need a little tuning.

Take a read at Hand Planes of your Dreams. We discuss this all the time.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2890 days

#10 posted 02-09-2012 01:05 PM

Refurbing a Stanley is a no-brainer with the resources you have here. You’ll learn a lot about planes in the process, whether you want to or not;)
If you’re dead set on new, the bronze LN would be my choice. It ain’t cheap, but what is.

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

View premieretreeservices's profile


17 posts in 2496 days

#11 posted 02-09-2012 05:12 PM

I’m also a fan of the older model Stanleys. It’s not nearly as difficult to refurbish as you might think. I can understand if you don’t want to risk it, but it is definitely worth it. The newer models just aren’t built like Stanleys. LN isn’t bad, if a little expensive.

-- Premiere Tree Services Network:

View Don W's profile

Don W

19007 posts in 2765 days

#12 posted 02-09-2012 07:28 PM

Depending on how or where you buy a vintage Stanley, you can get a good #4 or #5 for something between $10 and $30. A few dollars in materials and you have a quality tool. How much of a risk is it really.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View handyrandyrc's profile


33 posts in 2501 days

#13 posted 02-09-2012 07:31 PM

Really, I’m with the vintage guys on this. A plane is something to hold a blade at an angle to take shavings off a board. Once you have one tuned and shaving well, the 20 dollar one will turn out work equal to the 300-dollar one. :)

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3845 days

#14 posted 02-09-2012 08:00 PM

You don’t need to spend a lot on bench planes as there are lots
of decent vintage ones out there. The L-N bronze planes have
more concentrated mass and that can help with smoothing some
tricky woods.

The Japanese use lower-mass plane bodies with extremely sharp
irons and a fast stroke to plane softwoods. They seldom work
with hardwoods.

James Krenov advocated making your own planes. Considering
how beefy they are, Krenov planes may equal some fine metal
planes in mass if made from dense woods.

One area where you may want to put some dollars if you do
this seriously is your joinery planes. They are not cheap, but
a massive shoulder plane is a very useful tool and the side
rabbet planes serve a useful function no other tool does.

View AKSteve's profile


475 posts in 2501 days

#15 posted 02-09-2012 09:08 PM

I just picked up an old Stanley 1105 model in pretty good condition and only paid 28 bucks for it, I just need to sharpen the blade and get rid of the paint on it. I wish I had the money for a LN or veritas. good luck in what your eventually pick up. I know what ever it is it will be treasured.

-- Steve - Wasilla, Alaska

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