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Thread: Shopping for a block plane

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Wenatchee, WA
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    Shopping for a block plane

    So... taking a trip to Canada next week (Ottawa, ON) and I think I might be able to wrangle a detour to the Lee Valley store at some point. I can and have ordered from them online before; just want to get something nice on this trip - but need to keep it small enough to fit in the luggage, etc.

    I've been wanting a good block plane (as in, better than the Stanley I purchased at the local box store a few years ago) and figured this would be a good opportunity to upgrade. From what I've heard, the Veritas block planes are a little bigger than the LN versions, which is probably a good thing for me. The problem is... choices. Standard or low-angle? A2 vs. O1 vs PM-V11? Don't think I need any of the optional blades... not sure if the add-on handle doo-dads would be worth it... thinking about the chamfer attachment...

    Any suggestions or recommendations?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Ft. Wayne, IN
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    I have this block plane:
    http://www.leevalley.com/US/Wood/page.aspx?p=47881&cat=1,41182,41189&ap=1

    I then added their Large Tote and Front Knob

    http://www.leevalley.com/US/Wood/pag...182,41189&ap=1

    Then I picked up their 38* and 50* plus their 38* Toothed blade to make this one plane truly versatile.
    Oh, and one more item:

    http://www.leevalley.com/US/Wood/page.aspx?p=46296&cat=1,41182

    I use that Chamfer Guide quite often. This is far & away my favorite plane. Although my vintage #8 is very close behind.
    "I've cut the dang thing three times and it's STILL too darn short"
    Name withheld to protect the guilty

    Stew Hagerty

  3. #3
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    Unfortunately, I don't think LV has the equivalent to my all-time favorite block plane - the LN LA Rabbet block.

    OF the ones I saw on LV, the LA block would be the choice, I would guess.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
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    524
    Quote Originally Posted by Stew Hagerty View Post
    I have this block plane:
    http://www.leevalley.com/US/Wood/page.aspx?p=47881&cat=1,41182,41189&ap=1

    I then added their Large Tote and Front Knob

    http://www.leevalley.com/US/Wood/pag...182,41189&ap=1

    Then I picked up their 38* and 50* plus their 38* Toothed blade to make this one plane truly versatile.
    Oh, and one more item:

    http://www.leevalley.com/US/Wood/page.aspx?p=46296&cat=1,41182

    I use that Chamfer Guide quite often. This is far & away my favorite plane. Although my vintage #8 is very close behind.
    The LA block plane was one of the first decent tools I bought, and I still love it. Like Stew, I have all the extra doo-dads. Of the blades, the 25 degree gets the most use, followed by the 38 degree. I almost never use the highest angle. I've used the toothed blade only a few times, and when I did use it I was glad I had it, but I'd suggest not buying it until you know you can use it.

    As for the knob and tote, I didn't like them at first, especially the tote, although I don't recall exactly what my complaint was. Now, I use both of them the majority of the time. Occasionally, I'll use the knob without the tote, but usually it's either both of them or neither of them because I want more of a one-handed plane.

    As for the chamfer guide-- ABSOLUTELY. Fantastically handy.
    Michael Ray Smith

  5. #5
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    Of the block planes I use (and I don't really seem to use em much anymore) its the small apron plane I reach for most.
    I got cash in my pocket. I got desire in my heart....

  6. #6
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    Best tool(s) I ever bought; the Veritas matched set of skewed block planes. They do so much so well.

  7. #7
    The DX60 is a fantastic user!!!!! I got the PMV11 blade. It's small enough to be my go to. The cool factor makes it more fun to use, too.

    And, LV has an excellent skew rabbet block plane that is every bit as good as the DX60. The skewed blade is definite benefit for certain operations.

  8. #8
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    Great stuff so far guys! Any thoughts on which steel for the blade? Is the PM-V11 worth it, or is it a pain to sharpen?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Monte Milanuk View Post
    Great stuff so far guys! Any thoughts on which steel for the blade? Is the PM-V11 worth it, or is it a pain to sharpen?

    It works much like O1, much more so than A2

    Worth it: I'm not convinced just yet. I've got two PMV11 test blades in my regular users (4 & 5), plus a few others in my block planes (LV) but I have not yet seen the length of use. Perhaps that more because, I don't have any chisel blades with PMV11, and that's what I'm hardest on.

  10. #10
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    I have a couple of quality block planes. More often than not I find I reach for this instead. LN has a similar offering here. I only mention this since the smaller plane gets the lion's share of use in my shop for things you think of when you think of a block plane.

    Oh yeah, and about PM-V11; it rocks. Since my first trial with it I have not ordered anything that comes with it, without it . It is almost laughable how long I can go between touch-ups on things like my smoother.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 08-02-2015 at 9:24 PM.
    Buy a man a plane ticket and he’ll fly for a day.
    Push a man out of a plane
    and he’ll fly for the rest of his life.

  11. #11
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    NX60, if they have one. I haven't seen it listed on the site. Mechanically the same as the DX60, but even more beautiful in the metal they use. It is longer and narrower than a LN60 1/2, which is a bit smaller than the Veritas Block Plane.

    Did I mention that the NX60 is beautiful?
    It came to pass...
    "Curiosity is the ultimate power tool." - Roy Underhill
    The road IS the destination.

  12. #12
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    The LN #60 1/2 and the LV NX60 are exactly the same width. The NX60 is a little longer in the toe.



    I have a review of the DX/NX 60 here, in which they are compared with the LN 60 1/2 and the LV LA Block plane: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolRev...lockPlane.html

    Jumping to the bottom line: "With regard to planing performance, there was little to choose between these well-tuned block planes. All are capable of a high order of performance."

    What separates the block planes is ease of set up and ease of use ... and, finally, personal aesthetic preference.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  13. #13
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    I tend to get close-minded in buying stuff. Once I find a quality producer, I tend to stick with them, in that way, I want to minimize mistakes and the dreaded buyer's remorse.

    In the picture below:



    I have often wondered if the LV digs into your palm? Logically I would say no, cause all their tools are of such high quality and design. But still, I just like that LN is traditional look.

    the thing I do like about the LV is that it has a lateral blade adjustment in it. do they have the same great CS that LN has?
    David
    Confidence: That feeling you get before fully understanding a situation (Anonymous)

  14. #14
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    Hi David

    The grip is over the top of the lever cap/handle, not from the rear. If you are forcing it from the rear, your blade is dull. From the top, the planes feel very similar. From the rear, the LN is more comfortable - but that is just hypothetical since one would not hold it there.



    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Ragan View Post
    do they have the same great CS that LN has?
    I see both companies highly praised in the customer service area. Unlike so many other brands, people seem more often to place LV and LN in the same basket rather than comparing them as superior to each other. I think a lot of companies could learn about customer support and satisfaction from these two fine makers.
    Buy a man a plane ticket and he’ll fly for a day.
    Push a man out of a plane
    and he’ll fly for the rest of his life.

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