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Thread: Hand plane purely for extra joy

  1. #1

    Hand plane purely for extra joy

    Hi guys,


    I'm in the very fortunate position that I have some spare cash burning a hole in my pocket and am going to add another Lie Nielsen hand plane to my collection. I don't "need" anything, I just "want" another one - but at the same time I'm hoping I find it a useful, and frequently used, addition to my existing planes and add to my overall enjoyment of woodworking. This isn't a problem thread, I am not agonizing over it, and I know there is no right or wrong answer and I'll likely be equally happy whatever I choose, but I feel like talking tools and nobody within talking distance is listening or knows a thing about woodworking! So please forgive me this indulgence.


    I'm thinking either a bronze #3, a 4 1/2, or a #5 and keep changing my mind between the three. All different horses for different courses of course . So do you have a preference / one that you just love using for whatever reason - either from a capability perspective or just joy in use perspective? I think my #4, LV BUS and LV BU Jack already cover the functional aspects in this range, I just want something that makes me want to reach for it over these planes, even if only at times and puts a smile on my face when I do. Since starting to use bevel down planes I prefer them in use to the bevel up stuff, which is why I have the #5 in mind despite having the BU Jack and I'm also thinking I can learn a bit by swapping my #4 50deg frog for a 45deg frog from the #5 to see for myself via back-to-back comparison whether a close-set chipbreaker is actually preferable in use with a lower angle frog than a higher angle, even on highly figured timber - so that aspect excites me. I also prefer the feel of the narrower 10 1/4 so think I'd prefer a #5 to the wider LV BUJ. Then I'm excited by just owning and trying a #3 for it's extra nibbleness and slightly lighter weight, yet, on the other hand flip-flop to being attracted by the brute size, weight and width of the #4.5 which on paper at least seems like it should be better suited to smoothing larger panels. So many options - and none of them bad .

    Obviously any recommendations are dependent on what I've already got and what I want to make. Well, I make, and will make, pretty much everything and also have power tools / machinery to do the heavy lifting most of the time. At the moment I'm making a timber-frame post and beam garage and have been using the 10 1/4, block rabbet and #4 a lot, and next projects include a Roubo workbench, dining table, king-size bed-frame, handing tool-cabinet with drawers etc and a coffee table, along with some smaller boxes etc in between. I use mainly very hard and difficult/tear-out prone timbers. My current bench planes are listed below (I have joinery-planes well sorted and don't need or want any more). I don't think I have any real gaps that "need" to be filled from a functional perspective. Like I said, I just want to buy another plane and want something that makes me go "wow that's different/impressive/more useful than I expected". Which of the three planes (#3, 4.5, 5) would/does add most joy/fun or even just frequent utility to your woodworking and why?

    LN Block Rabbet
    Veritas dx60 block
    LN #4 bronze
    Veritas BU Smoother
    Veritas BU Jack
    LN 10 1/4 Jack Rabbet
    Veritas BU Jointer
    LN #8
    Veritas Shooting plane

    Sorry for the ramble; like I said, I think I'm just thirsty for a bit of discussion.


    Cheers,

    Dom

  2. #2
    I build smaller stuff and use my #3 a lot. I seldom use my 4 1/2 - it's just too darn wide. I use my 5 occasionally. But that's just me.

    I wouldnt say my #3 "adds joy or fun" - my LV Shooter adds joy/fun - but it's a really good size/weight for the things I build.

    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Lewisville, Tx
    Posts
    154
    I like my Stanley #3; it's quicker than larger smoothers.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    SE Ohio
    Posts
    123
    I had the LN 4 1/2. Try as I might I could not get happy with it. Sold it & put the $$$ towards a band saw.

    I would like to get a bronze #4, but canít justify it.

    Have you considered the LN 62?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Clarks Summit PA
    Posts
    305
    I have a Clifton #3 smoother & it is a beauty. Sometimes there is an o so subtle dip in a board & the #3 will get to it like no other plane.

  6. #6
    I have the LN 4 1/2 and love it. I also got the 50 degree frog and that is really nice.

  7. #7
    The #3 would be more different than the others as compared to the current stable.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
    Posts
    7,043
    Maybe read one of my build blogs...and see which plane I use the most.....just saying...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Posts
    177
    Quote Originally Posted by steven c newman View Post
    Maybe read one of my build blogs...and see which plane I use the most.....just saying...
    I tried viewing your blogs and got: "steven c newman has no blog entries to display."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
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    7,043
    Have one I just posted on today....They are not that hard to find...more of a Build Thread than a Blog...Something about a new stash of lumber?

  11. #11
    Thanks guys. Sounds like the No.3 is generally a well liked and used plane and I think that's the one I'm likely to order on Monday. The #4 1/2 seems to be very polarizing; some people don't like them at all and others love them - which is part of the attraction to try one.

    Gary, I haven't considered the LN #62. I have the Veritas Low Angle Jack and whilst I don't mind it I don't find myself reaching for it very often. I think it's just a bit too big and I also find myself gravitating towards bevel down planes since I got my hands on some. It seems that the Lie Nielsen is a little shorter, much narrower and a substantially lighter than the Veritas Bevel up Jack so I'd probably prefer it to the Veritas, but I don't want to buy another bevel up Jack at this stage.

    Steve, I'll take a look at your blogs. Is there one particular plane that you use all the time and it's that obvious in your blogs? Which one is it?

    Cheers,

    Dom

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
    Posts
    7,043
    Lets see...current build thread:
    Stanley No. 3c, type 11/12
    Millers falls No. 14, Type 2
    WoodRiver No. 62
    Stanley No. 8, type 7
    Stanley No. 7, Type 9
    Ohio Tool Co. No. 0-7
    Stanley No. 60-1/2
    Wards ( Stanley) No. 78

    Will be getting out the Stanley No.45, Type 20 when I start building a drawer for the project.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by steven c newman View Post
    Lets see...current build thread:
    Stanley No. 3c, type 11/12
    Millers falls No. 14, Type 2
    WoodRiver No. 62
    Stanley No. 8, type 7
    Stanley No. 7, Type 9
    Ohio Tool Co. No. 0-7
    Stanley No. 60-1/2
    Wards ( Stanley) No. 78

    Will be getting out the Stanley No.45, Type 20 when I start building a drawer for the project.
    So you are a No.3 guy then I guess. And I assume the No.14 is equivalent to a #5? So if you had to lose one of those two, which one couldn't you be without?

    It's good to see that owning too many hand planes isn't a frowned-upon condition. When buying the last one I always assume that'll be the last one, and then next minute I've got my hands on another. Ever since getting far more into hand tools I am yet to regret the purchase of any hand tool so far though.

    The rest of my joinery planes at the moment are listed below. I certainly have no desire to invest any more in that area for the time being.

    Veritas Medium Shoulder
    Veritas Large Shoulder
    Veritas Shooting plane
    Veritas Skew Rabbet RH
    Veritas Skew Rabbet LH
    Veritas Small Plow
    Veritas Large Router
    LN 1/2" Tongue and Groove
    LN 3/4" Tongue and Groove
    HNT Gordon 1/4" Dado
    HNT Gordon 1/2" Dado
    HNT Set of Gidgee Hollows and Rounds
    HNT Side-Rabbet Pair
    HNT Side-Rounds Pair
    HNT Snipe-Bills Pair
    HNT Radius Plane

    Cheers,

    Dom

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
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    7,043
    I tend to size the planes according to the job being being done.....
    box of planes.jpgmallet 45.jpg
    Afraid these are my joinery planes

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    18,367
    Blog Entries
    1
    The #3 is a good size for a smoother when working on smaller things or when you want a lighter plane. One of my #3s always makes me feel good to use. It is my first plane to produce a shaving thinner than 0.001".

    The #4-1/2 is my favored plane when working on a piece right at 2" or a little bigger. Sometimes it gets used on large panels. This was my most difficult plane to get to work to my liking. That is likely mostly my fault. Even though it works fine now it usually isn't the first choice. The wider blade is easy to push in a large plane, but it makes the #4 on steroids a bit harder to push.

    The #5 is a very useful and versatile size. There are four of them in my shop. They are also about the most common size plane to find used. All my #5s together have set me back less than $70. One nice thing about them being common and obtainable is they can be set up to perform different tasks such as a scrub plane or a short jointer. Of course if you are set on only having LN & LV planes that could get expensive.

    It might help if you know someone who has all of these for you to handle and see how you like them.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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