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Thread: Complete set of Lie Nielsen bench planes

  1. #31

    What is complete?

    With regards to hand planes, in my opinion, a set is complete when you have all of the planes that you need for the work that you do (which of course can evolve and mean that you can acquire what you need and sell what you no longer use). So your complete set is different from mine.

    I have 24 LN pieces in my kit. I made my living with them for many years. There are a few that I'd sell in a minute if I was inclined to do so.

    For bench planes I'd buy no smaller than #3 although I own a #2 and use it. I'd skip the #4 and go #4 1/2 however I have a #4 and see no need for the #4 1/2. The Jack has a place but just. The #7 is essential. The #8 not a bit if you use machinery... Low angle bench sizes, skip them. I have one and will sell it when I am inclined.

    Block planes. The smaller the better. I love the 102s. They make you feel like you have fingernails that cut wood. Skewed block planes? Meh.

    Rabbet planes? Uh huh. Own the block and dedicated bench if you have the $$$.

    Shoulder planes are a favourite of mine. The little LN 1/2" bronze job is worth dying for. I have the big boy and that rounds it out. Done.

    The iron mitre #9? The grail! Find one. Buy one!

    Beading scraper? Own it. Make your own profiles

    Scraper planes. Ouch. I have a tough time with these as I think that the Stanley #88 is the sh!t. The LN small and large scrapers are in my kit but they are funky at best. The small has earned it's keep when I am making bamboo fly rods. The large should likely go to a collector...

    Spoke shaves, as many as you can horde. I mean afford. I mean need.

    Saws? Dovetail. Rip and Cross back saws. Choose your size, I chose for joinery, carcass need not apply.

    Panel saws? LN saws are too short and honestly I bought PAX from LV. Sharpen them yourself and they are weapons.

    I've built guitars, canoes, furniture and houses. The above tools were all essential to me and have earned a right in my crib. Your mileage may vary as they say.

    Chisels? Don't get me started...

    The long and short of it? Just because a manufacturer makes it, sequences it, doesn't mean that you need it. Buy what you need to make what you want. Collecting is for stamps.
    Last edited by Chris Fournier; 02-15-2020 at 8:07 PM.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Fournier View Post
    With regards to hand planes, in my opinion, a set is complete when you have all of the planes that you need for the work that you do (which of course can evolve and mean that you can acquire what you need and sell what you no longer use). So your complete set is different from mine.
    ...

    The long and short of it? Just because a manufacturer makes it, sequences it, doesn't mean that you need it. Buy what you need to make what you want. Collecting is for stamps.
    Haha! Despite my short history with exclusively hand tool woodworking in the Cave of the Modern Neanderthal, I have found a use for all my planes. They are used differently, sharpened differently, and serve different tasks. I should add that my two rules for woodworking or any project are 1) to get the job done correctly and as well as possible and 2) to use the maximum number of tools possible.

    I have a few more planes than you. If I continue to have birthdays and Christmases, the collection is likely to grow. I have joked before on this forum that my goal is to be able to go to a Lie-Nielsen demonstration event by walking in my shop. I do not make a living at this and clearly couldn't with my philosophy. If we consider the entire woodworking catalogue at LN and the Stanley and Bailey lines on which the LN line is based, the planes offered are confluence of woodworker need, toolmaking, engineering, and marketing. Having a numbered line of planes is at least in part a marketing decision to sell more planes. Traditional wooden bench planes come in far fewer standard sizes. It appeals to the stamp collector instinct. Your will power to resist that instinct appears to be strong. I am actually not trying to resist. I am embracing it and making present-buying easy for JaniceWhoKeepsMeHumble.

    Carry on.

  3. #33
    Even before I was into woodworking I bought a LN plane. I traveled Maine in my business and once you get to Warren, you have to stop in. Once there, I could not leave empty handed, for over 20 yrs. I had a chat with Tom LN back in the 90's sometime and asked why he didn't do serial numbered planes. His response was that he built working tools and wanted them to be viewed that way. I have most of the catalog and the boxes and some have never been sharpened or touched wood. I bought my wife jewelry. I bought planes. Not as jewelry, but they sure appealed to me and do so more now that I have them in hand. Those that I go to regularly have been excellent when I do my part. I think I'll sell a few of them as I'd rather turn them into something I will use. Sitting on excess inventory is a problem. It is more of a problem when I consider our local fire danger here in the Sierra foothills. I will say that I am always gratified when I reach for one of my LN tools.

  4. #34
    Hi Jack (don't say that in airports)

    You may be more like I than others. The fire loss is quite real where you are. My collection is a condo in Atlanta. There is a sprinkler head in the room. So my loss risk might be different.

    TW
    Last edited by Thomas Wilson; 02-16-2020 at 2:24 PM.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Wilson View Post
    So the question I want to discuss is the “complete set”. What do you consider to be the complete set of whatever camp of tools you adhere to? I am a 2, 5 1/2, and 8 short of a complete set of LN bench planes.
    Do you have a 5-1/4? I wish they still made those...

  6. #36
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    The Dungeon Shop is an E.O.E. of hand planes ( and other tools) If a plane can do the job I need to do, the way I want it done....that plane is "hired"

    I do not discriminate by brand name....Auburn, Sargent, Ohio, Millers Falls, Stanley...even Wood River and Shelton have been used in the shop. Most still are at work in the shop, too. Sizes range?

    #3, #4, #5-1/4(#11), #5 (#14), #5-1/2, #6, #7, #8.....#39-3/8", #45, #71-1/2, #181 ( Auburn), #28, #31, #3416( Sargent), #035( Ohio) and a #118 (Shelton) along with a host of block planes (15 of them!)....Scrapers include a #70, and an #82.

    So...rather than limit things to just one brand....more interested in a full set of usable planes.

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by David Marcus Brown View Post
    Do you have a 5-1/4? I wish they still made those...
    No. I do not have anything that is at all rare. Retail price is high enough that I probably would not pay extra for a true “collector’s item”.

  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by steven c newman View Post
    The Dungeon Shop is an E.O.E. of hand planes ( and other tools) If a plane can do the job I need to do, the way I want it done....that plane is "hired"

    I do not discriminate by brand name....Auburn, Sargent, Ohio, Millers Falls, Stanley...even Wood River and Shelton have been used in the shop. Most still are at work in the shop, too. Sizes range?

    #3, #4, #5-1/4(#11), #5 (#14), #5-1/2, #6, #7, #8.....#39-3/8", #45, #71-1/2, #181 ( Auburn), #28, #31, #3416( Sargent), #035( Ohio) and a #118 (Shelton) along with a host of block planes (15 of them!)....Scrapers include a #70, and an #82.

    So...rather than limit things to just one brand....more interested in a full set of usable planes.
    You are a true woodworking egalitarian with emphasis on the Woodworking.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Frederick View Post
    I have most of the catalog and the boxes and some have never been sharpened or touched wood. ... I think I'll sell a few of them as I'd rather turn them into something I will use. Sitting on excess inventory is a problem.
    Jack, I hope you'll let us know when you get the urge to declutter.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Wilson View Post
    No. I do not have anything that is at all rare. Retail price is high enough that I probably would not pay extra for a true “collector’s item”.
    How about a LN 1-1/2? Earlier today, found a postcard in my shop, dated 2004, from LN, advertsing a 1-1/2 smoother.
    If the thunder don't get you, the lightning will.

  11. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Zaffuto View Post
    How about a LN 1-1/2? Earlier today, found a postcard in my shop, dated 2004, from LN, advertsing a 1-1/2 smoother.
    Some here support the idea that “complete” means sufficient for the task at hand. I can see that. Others in the stamp collecting mindset indicate the “complete set” should include the rarest examples of the category. I can see that but cannot attain it. I only want to decide if I should include all the half integer models in the complete set of bevel down bench planes that I am working on. I agree it is a frivolous question.

    i bought my first Lie-Nielsen plane about 2004. I may have gotten the same postcard about the 1 1/2. I don’t remember. It delights me that you rediscovered that postcard and mentioned it here.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Wilson View Post
    Some here support the idea that “complete” means sufficient for the task at hand. I can see that. Others in the stamp collecting mindset indicate the “complete set” should include the rarest examples of the category. I can see that but cannot attain it. I only want to decide if I should include all the half integer models in the complete set of bevel down bench planes that I am working on. I agree it is a frivolous question.

    i bought my first Lie-Nielsen plane about 2004. I may have gotten the same postcard about the 1 1/2. I don’t remember. It delights me that you rediscovered that postcard and mentioned it here.
    Found the post card in my shop, kept for no reason I can think of! I am also not one to keep the boxes planes (or other tools) come in. But it's interesting finding these "mementos" or an occasional old catalog (old being 1980s or 90s).
    If the thunder don't get you, the lightning will.

  13. #43
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    You would have LOVED a catalog I used to have....came from my late FIL's Hardware Store.....Boswick-Braun #43....with an ad from the Postal Service about the shipping rates for 1944...was only about 1700 pages....EVERYTHING a Hardware Store was liable to sell....including that all-important sparkplug for the clothes dryer....Based out of Toledo, OH. Got stashed in a closet a few years ago, not sure which one.

  14. #44
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    Some here support the idea that “complete” means sufficient for the task at hand. I can see that. Others in the stamp collecting mindset indicate the “complete set” should include the rarest examples of the category. I can see that but cannot attain it. I only want to decide if I should include all the half integer models in the complete set of bevel down bench planes that I am working on.
    Thomas, The answer is simple. If it isn't going to make your work easier, you don't need it, save your money. For some of us accumulating, restoring, using and even selling old tools is part of the fun of woodworking.

    To me some of the saddest tool for sale ads seen are the ones for never used tools people bought for some reason and are now selling.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 02-23-2020 at 10:17 AM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  15. #45
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    Nicely stated, Jim

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

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