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Getting ready to buy the LN Bronze #4 Smooth plane

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Forum topic by SurfHunter posted 01-13-2014 02:36 AM 1338 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SurfHunter

44 posts in 1879 days


01-13-2014 02:36 AM

I’m getting ready to start a project for a buddy of mine and he usually picks me a new tool on each project taht I do for him.

This time its going to be a Hand plane, just because I want to start getting used to them. I recently picked up the LN 60 1/2 and love it.

Now, I’m looking at the LN #4 Bronze Smooth plane because I live in Florida and think that it would be easier to care for over time, Also most of my projects are on a smaller scale, jewelery/ keepsake Boxes, Blaket chests, etc..

See, I was looikng at the 4 1/2 smoother as well…. Just because of being able to interchange the HAF with other planes in the future..
I see that many people that have either the 4 or 4 1/2 seem to buy the other one as well and have both..

is rust that much of a problem with iron planes in humid areas… even when waxed properly?

Most of the lumber that I’ll be using is QSWO, Walnut, Cherry, Pecan

Would it be best for me to order it with the 55 degree HAF to start off with or just go ahead and purchase the 45 degree frog as welll and have both.
Whats your take on this?

My shop is full of power tools to beging with…6” jointer, dewalt 735 etc etc

-- It’s not the hours you put in, but what you put into the hours that count.


20 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#1 posted 01-13-2014 03:01 AM

Well, only a handful of plane models are made of bronze so
you might as well get used to caring for iron planes.

I have a bronze L-N #4 and it’s a fine plane with nice
mass. It does not hold wax well and it requires
much more frequent waxing than iron planes.

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SurfHunter

44 posts in 1879 days


#2 posted 01-13-2014 03:13 AM

Hmm, that’s good to know. Thanks Loren.

is it worth the upcharge for the Bronze then, or is it the added weight that makes it worth it?

-- It’s not the hours you put in, but what you put into the hours that count.

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Ray

119 posts in 1469 days


#3 posted 01-13-2014 04:22 AM

It is my favorite plane. It excels at smoothing and is a joy to use.

-- Creating less fire wood every day

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richardwootton

1699 posts in 1421 days


#4 posted 01-13-2014 04:28 AM

I live in Arkansas with consistently high humidity. I have, and use almost daily, vintage Stanley planes and wax them roughly every 3-4 sharpenings with very little issue with rust or tarnish. My workshop is also open air and attached to my house, so I do bring my planes and saws inside to a climate controlled environment after use. So take all of that with a grain of salt.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

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Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#5 posted 01-13-2014 04:37 AM

If I acquired it again I think I would go for the iron one because
I don’t like having to wax it so often. The added weight in the
bronze does make it a good performing smoother. I’ve never
used the L-N iron #4 but I have used a vintage Bedrock #4 and
the bronze plane is definitely in another class compared to the
Bedrock. That said, my Bedrock just had a standard old Stanley iron.

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ChuckC

821 posts in 2401 days


#6 posted 01-13-2014 04:54 AM

I went to a LN tool event last week and tried the 4 and 4 1/2. The reps recommended the 4 1/2 over the 4 for its bigger size and heavier weight. The 4 1/2 also has a wider blade. I bought the 4 1/2 and its a sweet plane.

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SurfHunter

44 posts in 1879 days


#7 posted 01-13-2014 06:17 AM

Chuck
I’ve read on several occasions about reps recommending the 4 1/2 over the 4, Are you working with larger material?

-- It’s not the hours you put in, but what you put into the hours that count.

View Loren's profile

Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#8 posted 01-13-2014 06:42 AM

A couple comments:

When the 4 1/2 format became available the standard
format planes were being used much more heavily
than most of us use planes these days… due to lack
of access to machinery. The effort of surfacing stock
by hand is considerable and the narrower widths
allowed a user to take more cuts and get the same
result as taking fewer cuts with a wider plane, but
the output of muscle energy is arguably pretty similar.

Consider too that people in the USA were shorter
and slighter on average only half a century ago.

In terms of frogs, if you’re going to be working mostly
with hardwoods, a higher angle frog will require less
fussing with the chipbreaker to get the same result
and will also require more effort to push around.

Awhile back I was considering buying a high angle
frog for my smoother. I bought a Pinnacle iron
and chipbreaker instead, intending to put a 5 or
10 degree back bevel on one of my two irons.
The back bevel achieves a higher cutting angle
without changing the frog.

In the process of messing with this and setting
up with the Burns sharpening system (which I had
tried many years ago but abandoned in favor
of hand honing), I found information online which
led me to seriously reconsider my attitude towards
the chipbreaker. Currently my opinion is that if
you set the chipbreaker tight to the edges, a
standard angle plane can perform like a plane bedded
at a higher angle or with a back bevel. It is really
quite an innovation and revolutionized hand planes
when it was introduced around the 1880s.

View ChuckC's profile

ChuckC

821 posts in 2401 days


#9 posted 01-13-2014 02:13 PM

Surf, By the time I get to the smoother the material isn’t very big. I should have added that every rep I spoke to (and emailed before the event) recommended the 50 degree frog. You can’t go wrong with the LN 4 1/2. I already have an old Stanley No.4 and I really like the heft in the much heavier LN 4 1/2.

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SurfHunter

44 posts in 1879 days


#10 posted 01-13-2014 03:42 PM

Thanks everyone, I appreciate your responces and input. ;) Looks like I may rethink this and go for a 4 1/2

I’m sure I’d like the feel of the extra weight, Since maybe because I’m a bigger guy with large mitts..

Sure would be nice to hold one in my hands prior to buying, But thats not possible at this time..

I have no places local around my area, I have a Woodcraft about 1 hour away, just dont have the time to run up their to get a feel for the difference in planes and I’m sure they will not carry LN either.

I’m choosing LN for their Quality and being Made in the USA. They will be used & not for show.

-- It’s not the hours you put in, but what you put into the hours that count.

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ChuckC

821 posts in 2401 days


#11 posted 01-13-2014 04:35 PM

There is a LN tool event in St. Petersburg, FL on Feb 14-15. I don’t know how far that is for you but they are worth going to if you can make it. You get to talk to the experts and they encourage you to try everything. I went there to look and I ended up buying the 4 1/2 and a dovetail saw.

Here is the full list of the U.S. events:
http://www.lie-nielsen.com/events/usa/

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Ray

119 posts in 1469 days


#12 posted 01-13-2014 06:32 PM

Lie Nielsen is very good about making sure you have the right tool and are happy with it. Check with them regarding your situation. They will have a solution.
They were happy to allow me to exchange a full set of A2 chisels, after I had honed and tried a few, for a set of O1 chisels.

-- Creating less fire wood every day

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SurfHunter

44 posts in 1879 days


#13 posted 01-13-2014 08:40 PM

I’d like to head over to St.Pete for the event when it comes around, schedule permitting. Its only about 2 hrs away from me. I’m in St.Cloud,Fl
I’ll just have to also schedule a Treasure hunting Metal detecting time in the surf, and hopefully find some nice Gold pieces in order to purchase a few more items while there.

Along with the 4 1/2 I’m going to pick up a set of Card scrapers from them as well.. I’m really wanting to get back into using hand tools, Years ago on the jobsites thats all we used and I’m missing it..

Now, it’s all LOUD power tools…

-- It’s not the hours you put in, but what you put into the hours that count.

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SurfHunter

44 posts in 1879 days


#14 posted 01-21-2014 02:13 AM

Tomorrow I’ll be ordering the LN # 4 1/2 Smoothing plane with 50° HAF, Along with a 7” Jointer w/55° HAF

I spoke with someone at LN and he informed me that the 4 1/2 smoother is what i’d want at this time Over the #4
and it was a wise choice since i’m also going with the #7 Jointer.

Now, For the most important question:

what type of sharpening setup am I going to need? Oil vs Water stones…

what stones do you prefer, Arkansas, japanese.. etc…

Please help me to choose a nice setup..

-- It’s not the hours you put in, but what you put into the hours that count.

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waho6o9

7176 posts in 2043 days


#15 posted 01-21-2014 02:29 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO_M95qDdAQ

Brian Burns has a great set up.

I’m been thinking of getting a big ol diamond plate
and finishing up with my 8000 Japanese water stone
Nagura stone slurry, and then maybe a charged leather strop
with green honing compound.

Sharp tools totally rock.

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