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Hand Planes - Veritas Vs Lie Nielsen


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When I sell another guitar, I'm going to invest in some decent hand planes.

I currently use a stanley block plane and a stanley nu4 smoothing plane, after alot of work on them, they cut pretty well, but I'm looking to invest in something that'll last me a lifetime.

I'll be looking to get a block plane (wether it be low angle or not - what are the advantages/disadvantages?), a general number 4 or 4.5 smoothing plane and a ~ number 7 jointing plane for use with a shooting board for joining tops and backs.

Lie Nielsen are the brand that spring to mind, even the pickiest of cabinet makers say that they can be ready to use with 5 mins work from the box, and that sounds perfect to me. I have, however, heard good things about veritas - and I'd like to know your opinions on them. I have noticed thought, that veritas dont seem to have a seriously long joining plane in their model lineup (whereas Lie Nielsen have a number 7 low angle, and even a number 8)

Any help will be appriciated.

Andy

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Veritas have actually just added a long jointer:

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=...t=1,41182,52515

I have it coming in the mail, but they're back logged with orders so I don't know when I will recieve it.

I also have the #6 foreplane and the standard block plane, and I'm getting the low-angle jack plane for christmas. They are awesome planes. I found the #6 alittle large though, at least for violin making, but it will be great if/when I make a cello. Once I get my low-angle planes, I will also get some of the extra blades with the different bevel angles to make the planes more versatile.

The only reason I haven't looked at the LN planes is because the Veritas are cheaper, being made by a company Lee Valley owns, plus I can drive out to the store and get them.

There are a few threads on this subject, you should do a quick search, too.

Edited by M_A_T_T
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From this angle it doesnt look flat....

05p3701s1.jpg

And the guide would be of no use to me as I would be using the plane on 2.7mm thick acoustic guitar tops and backs, so I really need to have the whole width of the wood supported.

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Sorry, I didn't catcht hat part of your post. I guess the LN would be a better choice?

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Do you think you actually need a 22-24" jointer for shooting acoustic tops? Looking at the LN & the Veritas, the LN's don't seem to have the newer adjustments that the Veritas are built with, which I've found to be quite cool. I didn't have much trouble at all joining the halves of my violin's top with my #6, and that was my first time really using a handplane. Another thing, the method I used to join my pieces was to clamp them faces together in a vise and plane both edges. This way, even if the planed edges aren't 90 degrees, when you join the pieces they will fit perfectly level.

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A #5 is perfectly good for acoustic guitar sets. Heck, a #4 1/2 is fine as well, although the #5 I've got is probably the better deal.

Lie Nielsens are pricey, but they're very good, solid tools. However, I wouldn't hesitate to buy either.

This said, if you feel comfortable/up to it, old Stanleys (Bedrock and Bailey) go regularly on eBay, often for very little, and with a little care they'll last another century without much hassle. Remember that Lie Nielsen's planes are essentially copies of Bedrocks (mostly, I think..). Veritas planes are very nice looking, modern tools. I'm very seriously considering adding their apron plane to my lineup, and upgrading my two decent planes (UK Stanley block plane, early 1900's #5 Stanley Bailey) with Hock irons.

You don't need the fancy Lie Nielsen name, spotless finish, etc. to get excellent results. If you're willing to spend some time tuning, there are a lot of quality tools out there that need little more than a little bit of care.

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Well as I said, as good as stanley are there becomes a point where one is polishing a turd. I want to invest in some good kit as this is going to be my living, so I mayswell make it easy on myself.

I think, without other suggestions I'll go for the LN. Does anyone know of any other companies to consider in this kind of price bracket?

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The polishing a turd analogy is a bad one, the whole point is that a good, old Stanley, or Sargent, or any of a host of other decent manufacturors have the basic construction and parts to be a top notch job - they just need tuning up.

If your time is in short supply, and you have money to spend, the LN is a great tool out of the box, BUT - a Stanley, Sargent, or whatever can be every bit as good, for a fraction of the price + a few hours work.

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The polishing a turd analogy is a bad one, the whole point is that a good, old Stanley, or Sargent, or any of a host of other decent manufacturors have the basic construction and parts to be a top notch job - they just need tuning up.

If your time is in short supply, and you have money to spend, the LN is a great tool out of the box, BUT - a Stanley, Sargent, or whatever can be every bit as good, for a fraction of the price + a few hours work.

+1

I'm not talking about most current production planes, but good examples of older, much better built planes. Tons of info on the net on what to look for (google 'stanley blood and gore', but take what he says about bedrocks with a pinch of salt) in an old plane, but these are tools that have lasted almost a century now, are still in perfect working order, with just a touch of wear and tear.

Would I regret owning a Lie-Nielsen? Not for a moment. They are undoubtedly the best new planes money can buy. Are they better than a fine old refurbished Stanley from the early 1900's? Not necessarily, no.

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Would I regret owning a Lie-Nielsen? Not for a moment. They are undoubtedly the best new planes money can buy. Are they better than a fine old refurbished Stanley from the early 1900's? Not necessarily, no.

Heh... I wouldn't be so sure about them being the best new planes money can buy - you can spend $1000 or more on a new plane :D.

I have a L-N No. 4 that I bought about six months ago and I couldn't be happier with it. People also really like Clifton planes, which are just about the same price as Lie-Nielsen.

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Heh... I wouldn't be so sure about them being the best new planes money can buy - you can spend $1000 or more on a new plane :D.

I've seen some handmade ones that run about two or three time the LN's.

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Heh... I wouldn't be so sure about them being the best new planes money can buy - you can spend $1000 or more on a new plane :D.

I've seen some handmade ones that run about two or three time the LN's.

Check these out....

http://www.holteyplanes.com/index.htm

His jointer is £7,680 ($13,184 US) :D

Dear lord.

OK, lemme change my statement to Lie Nielsen are undoubtedly the best FACTORY plane you can buy.

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Heh... I wouldn't be so sure about them being the best new planes money can buy - you can spend $1000 or more on a new plane B).

I've seen some handmade ones that run about two or three time the LN's.

Check these out....

http://www.holteyplanes.com/index.htm

His jointer is £7,680 ($13,184 US) :D

WOW!!! :D

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Planes are probably the sexiest hand tools (no snickering) on the planet.

I found this on the Fine Woodworking magazine website:

w181showcase_04.jpg

See that wild wood grain pattern on the sides of the plane? Damascus steel. Two different flavors of steel fused together, then repeatedly folded to make layer upon layer, and then twisted to form those cool patterns. The wood in-fill is ebony. The maker? A hobbyist. I don't know if there's a Project Plane website.

On those Holtey smoothing planes, they've got their sides dovetailed to the soles. Taunton Press has a good book called "Bench Tools". It's a collection of articles from FW magazine. One of the articles is a tutorial on building a panel plane, which uses that dovetail construction. The brass plates a cut to rough shape with at bandsaw. After that, it's all done with a file, by hand. The author used a hot plate to preheat the brass and then soldered it together with a propane torch. Cool, huh?

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I started using planes when there was no Lie-Nielson. I have a LN block plane and a No5 bench. Superb tools right from the box.

I also have an old (1900 or so) Craftsman that was made by Stanley. I used it for years in the condition that I inherited it from my grandfather. A couple of years back I followed the Fine Woodworking article on tuning one up. I also replaced the blade with an aftermarket. It is ugly. After you've been beaten by heathen woodworkers for a hundred years or so you'd be ugly too. It cuts beautifully and accurately, and feels as good as an LN to use.

My point is if you have a decent quality blade and the rest of the parts are adjustable you can come out with a good quality plane. Tune up is everything.

The advantage of the more expensive planes is that you've paid someone who really knows what they're doing to tweak out the plane ahead of time. That and they use a really good blade to start out with.

Most planes (I'm not even considering a no-name Home Shop junker) have flat sides and will accept a fence. LN, Clifton, Stanley (even the modern junk) and Veritas all will,to my knowledge. There are a couple of companies that make them still. You can also make up a shooting board. For jointing tops and backs this may be the best way. It's simple cheap and accurate.

Damscus steel and ebony infilled $2000 planes are for Doctors to build astounding replicas of Federal period furniture with, not for woodworkers to make a living with.

James Krenov, one of the deans of American Furniture during in the late 20th century (he's still building) makes his planes from wood. Read up on this. It isn't anywhere near as hard as building a guitar and all it costs you is the blade.

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