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  #16  
Old 03-30-2017, 05:47 PM
capohk capohk is offline
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I have lots of planes, they look lovely on the wall. The only ones I use are a quangsheng block plane, a Stanley #4 1/2 and a Stanley #7. I've probably spent the same amount again on sharpening resources...
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  #17  
Old 03-30-2017, 06:24 PM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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What you should be getting by now is that both the #4 and #5 can do your jobs of thicknessing and jointing. It becomes somewhat of a matter in one's taste in how to work, and they are not radically different, but the difference in length is significant.

While with practice you can joint the top with either plane freehand, a shooting board will help a lot and make the #4 work just as easily as the #5 for jointing.

Which one to reach for for thicknessing depends on what kind of surface you are starting with and how much excess thickness you have. It also depends on how comfortable you are pushing a wider plane (such as the 4-1/2). The shorter plane will take out local variations that the longer one might glide over, while the longer one will be a little more consistent from one end of the board to the other. Again, either one can work well, and the difference is not radical.

You don't want to hear about new high-end vs. old iron, but it's kind of hard to divorce it from your question. You could shop on Ebay and get 4 or 5 nice pre-1960s Stanley planes for the price of one Veritas or Lie Nielsen jack. That would make you far less invested in deciding on the one right plane to buy, because you would have 4 or 5 different sizes. I'm just as happy working with a Stanley as with a Lie-Nielsen or Veritas. The latter have some advantages, but I don't see any difference in the result, and one certainly feels more soulful when using an old plane one has fettled (it's not that hard) and one's hands are on the Brazilian rosewood tote and knob.

BTW, don't leave out the #5-1/4 junior jack--a very versatile plane (it is shorter and narrower than a #5, contrary to what the number would suggest. Or the same width if its the Veritas.). I think if I were to have one plane for doing the jobs you want to do, that would be it.
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Last edited by Howard Klepper; 03-30-2017 at 09:21 PM.
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  #18  
Old 03-30-2017, 06:42 PM
SnowManSnow SnowManSnow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murrmac123 View Post
Personally, I wouldn't have a Stanley (Bailey pattern) plane anywhere near me these days ...and that's after a lifetime of using them , and being pissed off with their design. The Bedrocks are of course much better but go for silly money second-hand.

I have compromised by buying Quangsheng planes, which are slightly less than half the price of Lie-Nielsens but a total match in quality IMO, and way better than the Stanleys.
I have been looking at planes all day.
At least I've narrowed the search to my first one being a 4 1/2 smoothing plane.

The Veritas plane is expensive, however everyone that HAS them seems to really enjoy the tool.
I've also looked at everything from Stanley to the above mentioned Quangsheng planes. And my feeling is that... for another $80 or so I could have a plane that I KNOW is something I won't need to upgrade in the future. Maybe I'm afraid of what I've learned from 15 years of keeping live corals (my other hobby) that eventually I end up buying near top of the line and thus should have done it in the first place.
That being said I realize that some things just won't matter to me until I reach a certain level of competency... or will they?
Guys / gals, thank you for your input.. it is all very much appreciated.
I know I need a plane.. now all i need to do is put a time limit on how long I have to debate brand or I will reach the "paralysis by analysis" state.
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  #19  
Old 03-30-2017, 07:15 PM
SnowManSnow SnowManSnow is offline
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Here are the prices I've found online (without doing much searching or eBay looking). Based on what I've seen on eBay with each of these they seem to fall in line with the cheapest needing more work out of the box (just as some have said in the first place). I do understand that any of these would last a LONG time, if cared for properly. So here is the list of some of the recommendations from the thread.
__________ 4 1/2 " smoothing planes
Lie-Nielson (Iron version) = $325
Veritas = $245
Quangsheng = $193
Wood River = $175
___________

now, another factor that is important to me as a user is the warranty of each of these, so, in a nutshell here is the basics of each, and the customer service of the companies. This is where Quangshen falls off a bit for me since I couldn't find a US distributor. That being said, perhaps they have compensated for the US market in some way.

At this point I'm just typing my thought process. I realize it seems like a no brainer for some. I'm leaning toward Veritas all things considered...
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  #20  
Old 03-30-2017, 07:17 PM
Ned Milburn Ned Milburn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowManSnow View Post
Here are the prices I've found online (without doing much searching or eBay looking). Based on what I've seen on eBay with each of these they seem to fall in line with the cheapest needing more work out of the box (just as some have said in the first place). I do understand that any of these would last a LONG time, if cared for properly. So here is the list of some of the recommendations from the thread.
__________ 4 1/2 " smoothing planes
Lie-Nielson (Iron version) = $325
Veritas = $245
Quangsheng = $193
Wood River = $175
___________

now, another factor that is important to me as a user is the warranty of each of these, so, in a nutshell here is the basics of each, and the customer service of the companies. This is where Quangshen falls off a bit for me since I couldn't find a US distributor. That being said, perhaps they have compensated for the US market in some way.

At this point I'm just typing my thought process. I realize it seems like a no brainer for some. I'm leaning toward Veritas all things considered...
FWIW, Lee Valley has a superb return policy (at least here in Canada). Doesn't even need to be a problem with the tool. They've returned things for me no questions asked - just because it didn't feel right to me.
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  #21  
Old 03-30-2017, 07:47 PM
Gitarre Gitarre is offline
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Snowman, I had to laugh at myself as I read your experience of learning you should just go with a purchase that you can be most likely assured the quality is extremely good. I've had the same lesson through the years and I've been very fortunate to be able to have the option of making those purchases. That's why I went with the Lie Nielsen. I have several of their products and have always been more than satisfied. Now when this 4 1/2 showed the up a couple weeks ago and I took it out of the box I thought was like big kid candy, man. That thing is a beauty. I'm amazed at the quality. Definitely an endorphin rush.
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  #22  
Old 03-30-2017, 07:57 PM
SnowManSnow SnowManSnow is offline
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Originally Posted by Gitarre View Post
Snowman, I had to laugh at myself as I read your experience of learning you should just go with a purchase that you can be most likely assured the quality is extremely good. I've had the same lesson through the years and I've been very fortunate to be able to have the option of making those purchases. That's why I went with the Lie Nielsen. I have several of their products and have always been more than satisfied. Now when this 4 1/2 showed the up a couple weeks ago and I took it out of the box I thought was like big kid candy, man. That thing is a beauty. I'm amazed at the quality. Definitely an endorphin rush.


Haha
Well at least I provided a laugh I know it shouldn't cause this much consternation, but it's how I do things


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  #23  
Old 03-30-2017, 08:52 PM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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My one experience buying a plane new from Lie-Nielsen was a Modelmakers Block Plane; their version of a Stanley 100 squirrel tail. I bought direct from the factory.

It came with a lump of casting flash in the mouth that I needed to file away to make the plane useable. It also had deep rough grinding marks on the sole. I sanded the sole to get it smooth enough to use, although the marks were so deep they still show. It works well, after being worked on.

The Lie-Nielsen fans I mention this too all tell me that it must have slipped past quality control (duh!) and I should have returned it. But I had waited a month for it (they were between production runs) and it was less time consuming just to fix it. And it wasn't one of their really expensive planes.

I own two Veritas planes that were excellently made. I like the style of their adjustments.

I have never used or seen a Quangshen, but they are supposed to be made by the same factory that makes Wood River.

A 4-1/2 has a 2-3/8" wide iron, as opposed to the 2" iron on a #4 or 5. That probably won't be a problem with spruce, but it's a lot of blade to push through hardwoods. Are you a big, strong guy? Sorry if you have made your mind up, but I don't think a 4-1/2 should be your first plane.
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Last edited by Howard Klepper; 03-30-2017 at 09:20 PM.
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  #24  
Old 03-30-2017, 09:57 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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My primary formal education in using hand planes was from several weeks spent with Rob Cosman. At the time, Rob was the Canadian distributor for Lie Nielson. During the time spent with him, I used, literally, every tool in Lie Nielson's line-up at that time. After parting company with LN, Rob went on to be a consultant for the Wood River line of tools.

I have a fair number of LN planes. I have found them to be of good quality and well made and have had no problems with any of them.

I also have a fair number of Lee Valley planes - and many of their other tools. In general, like Howard, I like the adjustment mechanisms of the LV planes better. I also like the pair of set screws that govern the lateral placement of the blade, a feature not found on LN planes.

I have a few of the same plane from each of LV and LN. In some cases, I prefer the LV version. In others, I find little difference between them. In general, I find the newer designs of LV to be to my preference, an improvement over the more traditional Stanley-inspired versions of LN. Both work, but I often prefer the LV.

As an aside, I also have a few smaller Bridge City Tools planes. In general, although their designs are often a departure from traditional Stanley-style planes, I'd say they don't know how to design functional tools with moving parts, though they do a beautiful job of manufacturing them. I think it fair to say that their tools tend towards being collectors' items rather than good functional tools.

Howard's point of a narrower blade requiring less pushing force is certainly a valid consideration. One option is to skew the orientation of the plane to effectively reduce the blade angle, reducing the amount of force required to push the plane through the wood.

Last edited by charles Tauber; 03-30-2017 at 10:19 PM.
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  #25  
Old 03-31-2017, 02:57 AM
LSemmens LSemmens is offline
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As a young teen, I spent my Saturday Morning attending woodworking classes run by Legacy for kids of deceased servicemen. All I ever learnt on were the Stanley planes, and I still have one the I purchased new about 40 years ago, a number 4. The lessons that we learnt were all individualised cabinet making skills. One of the other students there even made an electric Bass guitar modelled after a Coronet Bass that I owned. I have no idea how long he played it as I lost contact about 35 years ago.

BOT, though, the main thing I took out of this was look after your tools, always ensure that they are sharp. A No 4 was used for smoothing as has already been observed. The longer planes were used to ensure long edges were made straight. Just ensure that your plane, of whatever brand is looked after and NEVER put it down on the blade, always lie it on its side. Make sure that it is kept clean, sharp and properly set up and it will never let you down.
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  #26  
Old 03-31-2017, 04:44 PM
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murrmac123 murrmac123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Klepper View Post
A 4-1/2 has a 2-3/8" wide iron, as opposed to the 2" iron on a #4 or 5. That probably won't be a problem with spruce, but it's a lot of blade to push through hardwoods. Are you a big, strong guy? .
It's all a matter of sharpness and set-up ...

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  #27  
Old 03-31-2017, 04:57 PM
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murrmac123 murrmac123 is offline
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Originally Posted by LSemmens View Post
. Just ensure that your plane, of whatever brand is looked after and NEVER put it down on the blade, always lie it on its side.
This was drilled into me as well, by old craftsmen who failed to appreciate the upstart logic of a youngster who pointed out that the chance of accidental damage to the edge of the blade (or "iron " as it was called back then) was far greater if the plane was laid on its side than if it was set upright. Accidental damage to a knuckle as well.

That of course only applies in a bench environment ... working out on site obviously you lay it on its side.

Since it is extremely unlikely that there will be any stray hardware(screws , nails, etc) lying around on a luthier's bench, setting the plane down upright is the preferred option.
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  #28  
Old 03-31-2017, 05:13 PM
SnowManSnow SnowManSnow is offline
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Veritas is on the way. thank you all for your input. Hopefully this 41 yr old willI be strong enough


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  #29  
Old 03-31-2017, 06:37 PM
clinchriver clinchriver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowManSnow View Post
Veritas is on the way. thank you all for your input. Hopefully this 41 yr old willI be strong enough


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Its really about how sharp you can get the blade, some set-up. Good luck
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  #30  
Old 03-31-2017, 07:45 PM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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Originally Posted by murrmac123 View Post
It's all a matter of sharpness and set-up ...

Proves my point--how long does it take that guy to make a single stroke? And in a softwood! {;->

Congrats to the OP. Veritas makes fine planes.
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Last edited by Howard Klepper; 03-31-2017 at 07:51 PM.
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