Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 26

Thread: #4 Planes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,454

    #4 Planes

    I ordered a #4 Clifton not too long ago mostly just to see what Clifton planes were like.

    Yesterday I sharpened the cutters of four of my #4 planes, just for Mark I included my Record #4 (best I can recall it was bought in the late '70's early '80's). So the line up was the Record with a Hock iron, a Type 13 Stanley with a Japanese bi-metal cuter, a LN with a Veritas O1 iron, and The stock Clifton. I didn't include either the classic or new modular Veritas planes because of their Norris adjusters, try as hard as i can I just can't develop any love for 'em.

    While the cutters were sharpened freehand so all things may not be equal but the sharpness should be reasonably close, at least good enough to get a feel of each plane. Of course something like this is totally subjective.

    Cut to the chase: the order of comfort/pleasure/ease of use was: Stanley, LN, Clifton, and sorry to say Record. The Record sucked hind tit mostly because of its tote, by the time this one was made both Record and Stanley were not producing well made planes. The tote is almost unfinished, rough and made of mystery wood, add in the bent metal adjuster and if it weren't for sentiment the Record would walk the plank.

    The LN is just heavy, it brings a little to table because of quality of build but that is not enough to beat the Stanley. The Clifton I wanted to love but no joy. The quality of build is great, as good as the LN, but the screw head on the knob extends above the knob making it uncomfortable to hold and it really is too damn heavy.

    The Stanley, while not as well made, fits my hand better. The sum is greater than the parts. I know everyone would have a different opinion but whatever the Stanley blows my skirt. Of course I kinda knew that going in .

    ken

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    6,549
    Ken, for comparison:

    The LN bronze #3 weighs 4lbs. The Stanley #4 weighs 3 3/4lbs (which may increase a little if you add a thicker-heavier blade/chipbreaker). Not much in it. Interestingly, the Veritas Custom #4 weighs 4 1/2lbs ... it really does not feel heavier than the LN #3 (perhaps it has a lower centre of gravity?).

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,454
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    Ken, for comparison:

    The LN bronze #3 weighs 4lbs. The Stanley #4 weighs 3 3/4lbs (which may increase a little if you add a thicker-heavier blade/chipbreaker). Not much in it. Interestingly, the Veritas Custom #4 weighs 4 1/2lbs ... it really does not feel heavier than the LN #3 (perhaps it has a lower centre of gravity?).

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

    Derek,

    Yeah, I have a bronze #3 and use it often. I really have tried to love the Veritas, I love that you can get whatever iron you want to use, the quility of build, and they are comfortable to push. I just have a hard time using the adjuster with one hand.

    ken

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
    Posts
    7,905
    My "line up" would include the Stanley No. 3, Type 11, the Millers Falls No. 8,type 2, and a Sargent No. 408, type 5......YMMV

    Oh..No. 4s? Stanley No. 4c,type 20, Millers Falls No. 9, Type 2, and Type 4....right now, I prefer the #3 sized planes...

  5. #5
    Ken, Thanks for the comparison. It makes me feel better about my Stanleys. I can justify not saving up for a LN or Veritas.

    I've noticed the thing about fit is so important, not just for planes, but for many other things.

    Allen

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    233
    I have three #4 planes in the shop, currently. Well, four if you count an old Stanley parts plane.

    Dunlap 4DBB with Erik Anton Berg iron (made by Millers Falls, and the replacement iron was in it when I bought it – it’s thin, and I’m sure it’s O1)
    Millers Falls No9
    Woodriver V3

    The Dunlap is my favorite. It’s a feel thing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
    Posts
    67
    Ken thanks for this comparison. Some time ago I was having a good look at the Clifton #3 and did not buy it and your observations confirm a similar impression.

    For what it is worth (and for completeness I'll repeat myself): All my woodworking tools went just over two years ago. With building a new home I'll be having to do some things myself.

    I first bought a (very nice) Stanley Four Square #5-1/4 (I've got arthritis) because of the longer sole (than a #3) and a 1-3/4" blade (easier to push than a #4 or #5). A little while later bought a WoodRiver #3 (and not a Clifton). The action of the adjustment lever on the Woodriver was very sloppy and the sideways lever was next to impossible to move. It planed OK but was quite heavy and it takes some time to get used to.

    The WoodRiver was passed along and a second Stanley #5-1/4 NIB Type 19 was acquired together with a Stanley #39 1/2" dado plane (as it is easier on the hands than a shoulder plane). And a Record #20 compass plane (as I cannot use a spokeshave) completes the list. This collection will allow me to do all the planing that is required for our new home.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,454
    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Read View Post
    Ken, Thanks for the comparison. It makes me feel better about my Stanleys. I can justify not saving up for a LN or Veritas.

    I've noticed the thing about fit is so important, not just for planes, but for many other things.

    Allen
    Allen,

    You are welcome. I've never found any plane that works better than a Bailey with OEM type cutters and cap irons.

    ken

  9. #9
    I have to admit, I really haven't found a #4 (or #3) that I like better than just a standard WWII-ish Stanley (I don't get into type studies, so somewhere around mid thirties to late forties) with the stock blade. The fact is by WWII, planes were a pretty mature technology, and things like totes, frogs, blade thickness, and geometry were pretty well understood and worked out. Not much left to improve on, despite our best efforts to the contrary.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,454
    Quote Originally Posted by Marinus Loewensteijn View Post
    Ken thanks for this comparison. Some time ago I was having a good look at the Clifton #3 and did not buy it and your observations confirm a similar impression.

    For what it is worth (and for completeness I'll repeat myself): All my woodworking tools went just over two years ago. With building a new home I'll be having to do some things myself.

    I first bought a (very nice) Stanley Four Square #5-1/4 (I've got arthritis) because of the longer sole (than a #3) and a 1-3/4" blade (easier to push than a #4 or #5). A little while later bought a WoodRiver #3 (and not a Clifton). The action of the adjustment lever on the Woodriver was very sloppy and the sideways lever was next to impossible to move. It planed OK but was quite heavy and it takes some time to get used to.

    The WoodRiver was passed along and a second Stanley #5-1/4 NIB Type 19 was acquired together with a Stanley #39 1/2" dado plane (as it is easier on the hands than a shoulder plane). And a Record #20 compass plane (as I cannot use a spokeshave) completes the list. This collection will allow me to do all the planing that is required for our new home.
    Marinus,

    You are welcome. A Bailey type plane is hard to beat.

    ken

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    19,776
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Seemann View Post
    I have to admit, I really haven't found a #4 (or #3) that I like better than just a standard WWII-ish Stanley (I don't get into type studies, so somewhere around mid thirties to late forties) with the stock blade. The fact is by WWII, planes were a pretty mature technology, and things like totes, frogs, blade thickness, and geometry were pretty well understood and worked out. Not much left to improve on, despite our best efforts to the contrary.
    This pretty much agrees with my opinions other than my feeling plane technology was mature by the end of WWI. In the '30s into and following WWII the 'improvements' were mostly ways to cut costs in manufacturing.

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

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Greeley, CO
    Posts
    69
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    This pretty much agrees with my opinions other than my feeling plane technology was mature by the end of WWI. In the '30s into and following WWII the 'improvements' were mostly ways to cut costs in manufacturing.

    jtk
    Very interesting claim. Can you point out which features were changed to reduce cost?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
    Posts
    67
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Danstrom View Post
    Very interesting claim. Can you point out which features were changed to reduce cost?
    I'm not Jim but this is my impression.

    The frog got changed and did not require as much machining. The cast iron did not get aged as much - it got machined too soon with the risk of twisting later on due to the stresses still present in the iron. The lever knob changed, the lever fork and the side adjustment lever became some cheesy bit of twisted steel and the tote and knob eventually became plastic. In the end even the frog did not get machined properly. The early type 19 are about the latest that have some resemblance of being decent. I rather have a Stanley Four Square than type 19 (or later). The later Stanley Defiance is of a lower quality than the early Four Square and I would not touch it with a bargepole either.
    Last edited by Marinus Loewensteijn; 10-10-2019 at 6:06 AM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    South West Ontario
    Posts
    871
    Quote Originally Posted by ken hatch View Post

    walk the plank.

    The Clifton I wanted to love but no joy. The quality of build is great, as good as the LN, but the screw head on the knob extends above the knob making it uncomfortable to hold and it really is too damn heavy.



    ken
    Yes you have to grind the front knob screw down to make it acceptable or it wears a hole in your hand. I have told Clifton but clearly they are not listening!
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    South West Ontario
    Posts
    871
    I told them again, the next batch will have flat screws!
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •