Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 21

Thread: Help In Deciding on a Bevel Down 4 1/2

  1. #1

    Help In Deciding on a Bevel Down 4 1/2

    For my birthday, September last year, I was gifted 2 Woodriver hand planes from Woodcraft. One never arrived, and that was dealt with promptly by the company so I can't complain other than say I was disappointed. The other was a 4 1/2 that arrived with a few issues. Woodcraft was great about trying to get it taken care of, but eventually the lemon was just too sour. Collectively with Christmas money and that birthday money, I am looking for a bevel down 4 1/2 plane, and am inbetween the Lee Valley offerings, the WoodRiver from Rob Cosman, and waiting a VERY LONG TIME for a Lie Nielsen. I am not interested in buying an oldie and restoring it again, more on that later.

    At this point, with the pandemic raging, most of the planes I have looked at are either out of stock, or backordered quite heavily. Rob Cosman has 4 1/2 WR in stock the last time I checked, the Lee Valley Custom 4 1/2 is out until August, and Lie Nielsen 4 1/2's are on backorder with no date in sight. I would consider the regular Lee Valley 4 1/2 with the moving back portion of the body, but if the Custom planes have the support all the way to the bottom of the plane iron the way the old Veritas 4 1/2 style, then I think they are out of the running. I don't love the idea of the moving back end.

    I'm in Canada, and would rather not pay the heavy exchange and import taxes on a Lie Nielsen if it isn't necessary, and so it has got me wondering, is the Lie Nielsen really leagues ahead of the Lee Valley Custom 4 1/2, and if so, how?

    Other than the adjustment being Norris versus traditional Stanley, I can't see obvious differences that would make one plane more effective than the other.I prefer PMV-11 or O1 over A2, everyday of the week, so LV has my vote there. I don't mind the bevel up adjustments by Lee Valley, so would that be indicative of the adjustment on the bevel down custom planes? Is the difference in value between a WoodRiver 4 1/2 and a Lie Nielsen consistently high enough that it makes sense to get a Lie Nielsen, over say a Woodriver 4 1/2 or Lee Valley Custom 4 1/2 with a bevel up smoother for "close to" the same cost (LN to Canada is pretty close to even BUS + Lee Valley Custom 4 1/2, unless I have messed up the math somehow), to completely cover my smoothing needs?

    I have read Derek Cohens review of the Custom 4 1/2 and the Bevel Up smoother, that's why I'm leaning in that direction. I really would rather not pay for a Lie Nielsen with steel I don't really like, unless people with experience have input that says how the Lie Nielsen smokes the Veritas in some way, shape or form. If that is overturned, and Veritas bevel down is in the running, now the question becomes which Veritas? Does the Custom 4 1/2 blade have complete support through the frog face, the way the old style or non-custom 4 1/2 does? I can't seem to find that information online.

    I am not opposed to having to fix up planes, I have hand scraped a few Stanleys in, but the #4 I have doesn't feel good in my hands (it's a newer Type, not one of the older types I prefer), doesn't have a tight mouth, and I'm waiting for a chipbreaker to go with the Lee Valley replacement iron it currently has in it. At this point, I would rather have one smoother I know I can rely on, and I am hoping a bevel up smoother and one of the aforementioned bevel downs will accomplish that without too much trouble. I have done enough scraping recently to be fond of the idea of getting back to wood shavings over iron shavings.

    Recently I purchased a replacement blade and chipbreaker for my Stanley #8 I have started to scrape flat (it works really nicely now), it tooks months of getting blades and chipbreakers sent to me, where some form of an unacceptable issue was present; blade was incredibly humped, the underside leading edge wasn't milled in the chipbreaker, or it didn't mate properly with the blade from Veritas due to significant twist in the chipbreaker, or the chipbreaker had a receiving hole for the screw that wasn't threaded.. I finally gave up, and have tried to fettle the chipbreaker they last sent me that mates when I torque down the receiving screw, but doesn't sit anywhere near flat when the screw is away from the blade and chipbreaker set. That is a big concern to me in buying a Veritas bevel down, is whether or not I am going to have to do "repair" or "troubleshooting" work like that mentioned, which would be similar effort to what I would need to put into a WoodRiver 4 1/2. The Veritas bevel ups avoid a lot of that issue, with a ruler trick on the blade, and no chipbreaker to mate with. Has anyone received a Custom 4 1/2 recently with a chipbreaker and blade that actually mated properly out of the box, before preparing the leading edge of the chipbreaker, and the blade was flat?

    A lot of questions, but I'm new to this, and I would rather do this tool buying properly, after having made some mistakes at the beginning of this journey. I will primarily be working with straight grained North American woods, on smaller projects I give away, and larger furniture pieces for myself and family with straight grained domestics. There may be some burl and exotic hardwoods in the mix in the smaller boxes I give away; but an accent element to the overall design, not the primary design element.

    Thanks in advance everyone, if I can figure out how to post pictures, I'll post pictures of one of the planes I have scraped in that I can't identify. It's a Stanley block plane of some sort.

    Rick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    247
    You've missed the Clifton planes.

    166421.0.jpg

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    South West Ontario
    Posts
    1,212
    Just to add the Clifton in the mix, Cdn.$27 more than Lie Nielsen but a 3 week wait time. A heavier plane but well made. The price on line includes 20% tax which exports donít pay. Worth a look.
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Posts
    80
    Does this help? Found on the LV site. Custom 4 1/2. Looks like complete support to me.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Fairbanks AK
    Posts
    672
    Sounds very frustrating. Everything I own that says L-N or Veritas on it is good stuff. I have never owned a Wood River product, can't comment.

    What is the return policy on the Rob Cosman 4 1/2 WR? Can you return it if you don't like it? If returns are store credit only, are there other products in the store that interest you?

    You didn't mention if you would be in North American hardwoods or softwoods. 4 1/2 is a lot of plane to be rodeoing around on hardwood for an old guy like me.

    Sorry I can't be more helpful. I read the first post 4-5 times this afternoon, want to help, don't really have much to offer. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    23,214
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hickman View Post
    For my birthday, September last year, I was gifted 2 Woodriver hand planes from Woodcraft. One never arrived, and that was dealt with promptly by the company so I can't complain other than say I was disappointed. The other was a 4 1/2 that arrived with a few issues. Woodcraft was great about trying to get it taken care of, but eventually the lemon was just too sour.
    [edit]
    Rob Cosman has 4 1/2 WR in stock the last time I checked, the Lee Valley Custom 4 1/2 is out until August, and Lie Nielsen 4 1/2's are on backorder with no date in sight.

    I'm in Canada, and would rather not pay the heavy exchange and import taxes on a Lie Nielsen if it isn't necessary, and so it has got me wondering, is the Lie Nielsen really leagues ahead of the Lee Valley Custom 4 1/2, and if so, how?

    Other than the adjustment being Norris versus traditional Stanley, I can't see obvious differences that would make one plane more effective than the other.I prefer PMV-11 or O1 over A2, everyday of the week, so LV has my vote there. I don't mind the bevel up adjustments by Lee Valley, so would that be indicative of the adjustment on the bevel down custom planes? Is the difference in value between a WoodRiver 4 1/2 and a Lie Nielsen consistently high enough that it makes sense to get a Lie Nielsen, over say a Woodriver 4 1/2 or Lee Valley Custom 4 1/2 with a bevel up smoother for "close to" the same cost (LN to Canada is pretty close to even BUS + Lee Valley Custom 4 1/2, unless I have messed up the math somehow), to completely cover my smoothing needs?
    [more editing]
    I will primarily be working with straight grained North American woods, on smaller projects I give away, and larger furniture pieces for myself and family with straight grained domestics. There may be some burl and exotic hardwoods in the mix in the smaller boxes I give away; but an accent element to the overall design, not the primary design element.

    Thanks in advance everyone, if I can figure out how to post pictures, I'll post pictures of one of the planes I have scraped in that I can't identify. It's a Stanley block plane of some sort.

    Rick
    High Rick, My preference for the bevel up/chip breaker configuration would have me choosing the Veritas custom #4-1/2.

    You mention having a problem with a WR plane that was just too much of a lemon then mention maybe purchasing another one. Lemons may be good in lemonade, my tendency is to not give them too many chances to come my way.

    The PMv-11 blade would also be my choice over A2 steel.

    On smaller projects a #4-1/2 may feel oversized. It is a lot to push on larger work.

    If you are a minimalist on tool ownership the #4-1/2 is likely to "do it all" as well as a #3 or #4. Not being a minimalist, having at least one of each size has brought me pleasure by being able to pick the size to fit the job.

    For posting images, you might check your 'Posting Permissions' at the bottom of this page. If you are permitted to post pictures, then you need to click on the little tree icon above the text area:

    .png

    This should be simple to follow. You may have to choose between a URL and from your computer.

    You will not be able to see images until you become a contributor at $6 a year, well worth it.

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
    Posts
    9,591
    Lets see....
    In no special order....

    Stanley No. 4-1/2, bedrock No. 604-1/2
    Sargent VBM No. 410
    Millers Falls No. 10

    Of the list above,,the easiest to find would be the Millers Falls No. 10.....

    At least the ones on my list do NOT have a waiting list...since they have already been made....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    7,959
    I have read Derek Cohens review of the Custom 4 1/2 and the Bevel Up smoother, that's why I'm leaning in that direction. I really would rather not pay for a Lie Nielsen with steel I don't really like, unless people with experience have input that says how the Lie Nielsen smokes the Veritas in some way, shape or form. If that is overturned, and Veritas bevel down is in the running, now the question becomes which Veritas? Does the Custom 4 1/2 blade have complete support through the frog face, the way the old style or non-custom 4 1/2 does? I can't seem to find that information online.
    Hi Rick

    I reviewed the #4 and not the #4 1/2 Veritas Custom.

    My question to you was to ask why you want a #4 1/2? Either the Veritas Custom or LN #4 1/2 would be good planes, however I believe that the #4 is a better size for most work. The #4 1/2 is really a smoother for larger panels.

    As far as smoothers go, my preference is for a #3 size. The Custom #4 feels smaller that other #4s, and has a similarity to my LN #3. These are my two go-to smoothers, along with a Veritas BU Smoother.

    I do have a LN #4 1/2 (the bronze Anniversary model), but it does not come out much as it is a Big Plane. Once it gets a head of steam, it does not stop for anything. I know that Rob Cosman favours the #5 1/2, and I am sure that he is influenced here by David Charlesworth, who dubbed this his "Super Smoother". Both make this plane work very well. No doubt about that. But large planes like this just feel cumbersome to me on the smaller pieces I work on. I think that you need to be sure that you want a plane the size of a #4 1/2.

    The use of "exotic" wood types does not really matter when using a BU plane set up with a high cutting angle, or a BD plane with a closed up chipbreaker. Choose the plane that fits best with your style. All the ones I mentioned work superbly.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    5,569
    I have one of each, and multiples of some bench planes. I know that I used the 4-1/2 once, but I can't remember what it was on. 3's, and 4's have been used countless hours.

  10. #10
    LN and LV have the same level of quality and quality control. LV tries to innovate where LN aims at perfecting old designs.

    The chinese made planes (WR, QS, ... all the same stuff) are basically the same as LN with worse quality control. I have heard that Rob Cosman charges for QC and tuning before shipping.

    All of these feature good tolerances, thick chatter free blades, good edge capabilities, ductile iron bodies ... They will objectively perform almost the same. Subjective preferences however can be as important: feeling in the hand, weight, settings, country of origin ...


    On a personal note, I prefer the "and a half" versions of the 4 and 5 because of their weight and because they are more comfortable to my large hands. I donít really enjoy BU planes.

  11. #11
    Thanks everyone for the input. I have a #4 right now from Stanley, and I find the feeling in hand is not very pleasing while I work. I like the way my bevel up jack feels in my hand from Veritas, so I imagined the Custom 4 1/2 would have a handle size similar to that, rather than going with the Custom #4 where the handle was noted by Derek as being smaller in feel. I am a bigger guy, and I have found smaller saw and plane handles less than pleasing in use.

    I have my reservations about the Lee Valley Custom, only because of the recent troubles with blades and chipbreakers. I would really focus my attention most on the Custom 4 1/2 and the Lie Nielsen 4 1/2. A WoodRiver 4 1/2 from Rob Cosman I wouldn't pay for tuning, and would do the fettling myself. Yes, it's cheaper, but as Jim noted, reflecting my feelings, there is definite hesitation after the first lemon from Woodcraft, and all of the lemon replacement parts they had sent me to try to remedy the initial problems. I don't know what the return policy is with Rob Cosman, but no there isn't anything else I am much interested in having credit for in his store.

    It will be North American hardwoods to be clear. Yes, some pine and doug fir here and there, but primarily cherry, walnut, oak, ash, the common ones. A high angle blade will be designated for the Exotics in my BUJ, and a BUS if the day every comes where I land with one of those.

    I appreciate the input Stephen Newman, but I am trying to go with a newer plane, so I can try to avoid some of the headaches I've had to face and attempt to remedy on my old Stanley planes I currently own.

    It seems like the WR has been knocked out of the running, which I am okay with. I am trying to avoid more headaches, not volunteer for them. I don't really feel like paying for the Lie Nielsen additional costs at this point - shipping, taxes, exchange rate. I think I will go with the Custom plane, since there doesn't seem to be any significant difference in use and planing performance between the two.

    Thanks for the input everyone.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
    Posts
    9,591
    Hmm..
    Stanley 116 Rehab, smoothed out.JPG
    M-F No. 9, Type 4......Lumber is Ash....

    The WR 62? It LOVES to do tear out in Ash...I try to avoid using it...the plane, that is....it also has a hard time keeping ANY lateral settings.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    403
    I don't know...sounds like OP has expectations that aren't rooted in reality and needs to chill out a bit.

    But hey, just one guy's opinion.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Stone Mountain, GA
    Posts
    660
    I prefer the bailey style adjuster over the norris style, so that favors the LN. On the other hand I'm not a big fan of A2, so that favors the LV. I put a Hock O1 blade in my LN #4 and it's perfect IMO, but that requires extra $$ for the blade and you have to enlarge the chipbreaker slot a bit to work with the thinner iron (easy but many are reluctant to do that to such an expensive tool).

    Both are high quality, produced by great companies. If you like PMv11 and don't mind a norris adjuster then go for it.

    I'd be interested if you wrote-up your scraping process. I have a #8 I'd like to do that to one day.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    789
    I have noticed that all the planes that enjoy the most have same shape tote - which is the shape on the Veritas BU jack. The feel of the tote can make all the difference in the world. Of course, being a woodworker, you could make your own tote.

    Given your options, i'd go for the Veritas Custom - although I'd make mine a 3 or a 4.

Posting Permissions

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