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Buying A Quality Brand New Plane


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Since it's my birthday on the 29th, and since I've made a pledge not to go out during this exam month (which should save me about £100), I've decided as a present for my birthday I'm gonna treat myself to a high quality, ready to use out of the box, possible family heirloom type bench plane. Since I've already got a post war Stanley #3, #4, #4 1/2 and #7 all either from family or ebay, I'm thinking of getting a Lie Nielsen # 5 1/2 plane.


It'll be mainly used for guitar building, but I should be able to use it on timber when building things like workbenches, tables etc, and I'm thinking 5 1/2 should be a good all rounder with extra width to make it good for working on body blanks and jointing shorter lengths of timber - but more importantly, something that I know will work properly and any faults will be on my part and not the condition of the plane's. Do you think it's a good size to get for this kind of work, or should I be looking at something else?

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The size is perfect for what you want, I think!I don't think you can beat Lie Nielsen's quality, really. Veritas if you want a modern plane that's just about equally good, and if you want something English, do consider Clifton, who make fantastic planes by all accounts.

It's definitely on my shortlist of 'plane I will buy myself as a graduation gift', although the Vertis bevel up planes (swap blade, change angle) are also very strong contenders.

When building bigger things, like furniture, the 'jack' will always be useful, but you do want to make sure you've got a jointer or two for the really big jointing.

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