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Thread: Small planes

  1. #1
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    Small planes

    Occasionally these are discussed here at SMC, but I use small planes often for detail work; leveling stringing or banding, small chamfering, and the like. I have two at the moment; the LN 101 and the LV miniature block plane.

    Let me say, the LV miniature block plane is not a toy. It sharpens up well, adjusts just like its bigger cousins and is a joy to use on detail work. Likewise, the LN 101 performs very well. The LN 101 has a relatively wide mouth, and some caution is needed with complex grain...but for most of my use, a good sharpening keeps it working quite well. I have not found a need to close the mouth...but Derek Cohen has an excellent post in how to do so.

    Both are quality made. Minor back flattening and bevel honing is all that is needed. Both are easily used one handed, although, I find myself applying some light pressure to the front with my other hand. They have good feedback...in other words, easy to feel the wood, know when there is some resistance and back off when necessary.

    Iím only posting to say if you do small detail work from time to time, these are great tools at a relatively modest cost to add to the arsenal.

    35C75DEC-5BB5-43C4-88EA-FAC3A7617B1A.jpg

  2. #2
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    I think you should go to a store that has the planes in stock and handle one. That way you know what you are getting.
    Woodcraft or Rockler both have them.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowell holmes View Post
    I think you should go to a store that has the planes in stock and handle one. That way you know what you are getting.
    Woodcraft or Rockler both have them.
    It was my understanding LN products are no longer stocked at Woodcraft. Their web page doesn't show the LV either.

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

  4. #4
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    I have the LN #101 (violin plane) and the Veritas equivalent (pocket plane). The LN is really cute and works well. I did have to close up the mouth. The Veritas has a minuscule mouth and PM-V11 steel, and performs superbly.

    The other small plane I recommend is the HNT Gordon Palm Smoother. It is the smaller than the average block plane, has a 60 degree bed, and is capable of planing the most interlocked grain without tearout.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  5. #5
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    My recent acquisition of a Stanley #103 finally has me happy with a standard angle block plane. Usually my standard angle block planes end up being sold.

    The #103 is almost a small block plane at 5-1/2". The adjuster works amazingly well.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 10-15-2019 at 2:41 AM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #6
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    I had a small Stanley #102 that was very well fettled and performed like a champ. It had a very tight mouth. It moved to a new home in the great purge of 2018 and was eventually replaced by a Lie Nielsen #102. While the mouth isn't as tight it still performs well. There was a time when I couldn't imagine why someone would want such a small plane. As my skill set has progressed I find that I use it all the time. Like Phil, I use it for chamfering, detail work, and even smoothing small parts.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Mueller View Post
    Let me say, the LV miniature block plane is not a toy. It sharpens up well, adjusts just like its bigger cousins and is a joy to use on detail work.
    I agree the Lee Valley miniatures are not toys at all. They say that they tell their engineers that the miniature tool has to operate as the larger models and they do. I have the miniature shoulder plane and the miniature router plane and I've used them both on very fine work. They absolutely do sharpen well as long as you adjust your thinking, and "think small".

    Especially regarding the shoulder plane, more and more when I come across a miniature trimming situation, the miniature shoulder plane bails me out.

    The miniature block plane is next on my list.

  9. #9
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    The Lee Nielsen adjustable mouth block plane is my go-to for small work. But I use the Lee Nielsen rabbet block plane for things like rabbets and tenons.

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