If you polish up your plane's blade (iron, right?) at the correct angle,
to 8,000 grit, why does an expensive plane garner such praise for it's
cutting ability? Isn't how the plane cuts due to it's flatness, and
other tuning parameters rather than whether or not it's made from an
exotic wood or has brass inlay? WHAT is it about a better plane that
makes it work better than a cheaper brand? Assuming that the user
applies the same careful attention to tuning the cheaper plane.
I already know about the "pride of ownership", and all that jazz, but on
a purely scientific basis, why do the pricier planes cut better? Please
assume the SAME blade, honed to the nth degree when explaining the
difference the plane itself makes. Any chance that the "break the bank"
plane is perceived as better because it's owner lavishes extra attention
to setting it up properly, whereas a cheap Stanley gets the once-over?
I'm not disputing any facts; just trying to understand what to look for
when shopping for planes. Is the best bang for the buck below L-N,
Anyone tired of discussing this topic ( I know it's been dealt with
before) please by adult enough to just ignore the thread. Thank you!
Not a real plane user like some of the guy here but I will take a stab at it
and put in my 2 cents. First is the blade, cheaper planes will have cheaper
blades, so they need more attention and care to work the same. That being
said, The most basic item is quality of material and design. One of my
old crapsman planes broke the rear handle, I replaced it with one that I
made myself to fit my hand, a little longer and thicker, slightly different
angle, then the original, no finish except body oil and sweat, the plane
cuts better now then ever before. It looks about the same but the better
grip I get is a big difference. I have two jackplanes one a Stanley and
one a who knows slightly different weight of castings, throat is a little
different, the Stanley has better fittings all around but same basic design,
not a dimes worth of difference to look at them, but the Stanley cuts a lot
better because it was made with more care and concern for the end product.
The better quality planes are like anything else, they are made with more
care and concern to do what they were made to do. The cheaper ones will work
and often work very well but the ones of higher quality, not higher price
,will work better and often like everything else you pay for the quality of
workman ship. Compare them to a MDF bookcase and a fine hand made walnut
bookcase, both hold books very well, both look good "out of the box" , which
do you want to keep your books in? and why? planes are no different.
Some are like MDF bookcases, Some are pine bookcases, Some are fine walnut
bookcases. Pick the one that works best for your need.
Because it works better.
Because it keeps working better for longer
Because it works equally well on the awkward stuff.
Get your hands on something good. Then you'll see.
One of my favourite and most-used planes is still my Veritas low-angle
block. There's nothing magic about this, and it's not an expensive
plane. Veritas just got all the bits right.
The design is right. They took the best adjuster design out there, and
used it. OK, so it has twice as many parts, they're machined rather
than stamped, and they need to be accurate for it to work at all
(compared to a Bailey), but they're prepared to make it Right, despite
The iron has the best metallurgy they could find. OK, so my
hand-forged arcana is probably just as good, and certainly has more
"soul", but A2 steel makes good irons that last a long time between
honings. And you can do it in a factory that churns out lots of them,
all that work as well as the best, and more cheaply than hand work by
The fit of the parts is excellent (an obvious contrast to Stanley or
Record). This increases machining costs; finish has to be better,
accuracy has to be maintained more carefully, and any mis-machined
bodies get scrapped, rather than sold as the "handyman line". As a
result, I touch the adjuster on the Veritas and things move. They move
where I want, by how much I want, and then they don't go any further.
I can re-adjust this plane all day, depending on what I'm doing. When
I used a #9 or #18 before, I'd keep one on the bench with a big mouth
and one with a narrow mouth. Both worked well, but their adjustments
were finicky and not something you'd want to change, lest they don't
work so well afterwards without much effort.
Look at "Crown" tools. Rosewood and brass everywhere, look pretty and
yet absolute rubbish to use.
Sure, you can pay silly money for tools. Rosewood alone gains you
nothing. But there are tools out there that are worth more than the
bargain basement, or even a good old Stanley refurbed from the eBay
pile. A Bedrock will never be a Norris, because there's always going
to be slop in the depth adjuster, and there's a sprung lever holding
the iron down, not a screw you can set for a good hold that's yet
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
I'm glad you like the Veritas, Andy, because that's the one I've been
meaning to order from Lee Valley very soon. I passed on L-N at last
weekends WW show due it being about $45 more than the Veritas. I just
honed the blade on my little Stanley sub-miniature (hell, I don't know
what it's really called) plane and got some curly shavings. Not sure
that they were cottony, but it was fun to see the wood transformed so
quickly... the plane I'm talking about probably didn't set me back more
than $10 (new) and can hide in your hand. It is a true PITA to set the
blade depth. When I spend REAL money I want something that's easy to
adjust so I get the depth just right. I take it the Veritas low angle
block plane will work well for shooting miters?
Andy Dingley wrote:
Trolling again? That new bandsaw of yours cuts the same as the scorned
Delta if the blade's the same?
Real woodworkers know that repeatability, not one-time success is the
measure of a good tool. Good looks are nice, too.
George, not trolling. I value the wisdom of SOME of the Wreckers and am
not afraid to ask about things I know little about. Your statement (in
the form of a rhetorical question) restates MY question that if the
blade's the same, will a "better" plane cut better. I already
appreciate the nicer fit/finish, adjust ability of a superior product,
but I posted the question to find out if anyone could quantify what
makes a "nicer" plane CUT better. Seems as though the answer is
precisely the fact that it can be set and hold an adjustment precisely.
Lack of chatter, etc. Kinda like when the BS blade is held properly by
the guides of a well tuned BS. The fit and finish just adds to the
overall enjoyment of the tool, but the wood being cut on it could care
less. But I care; to a point. I can't go "whole hog" for the most
expensive tool in it's category. My pockets aren't that deep.
Good, sounds as if you're beginning to figure out that tools come in grades,
and what you require is based as much on your skill and patience as the
capability of the tool.
Now think ... with the same blade, did your new bandsaw cut better, or
worse than the Delta which has been the standard of the world for fifty
years, but which you seemed incapable of, and interminably obtuse about
tuning? Think planes might be the same?
Oh yes, the "best" tool isn't necessarily the prettiest, but I have a
feeling you knew that as well.
Think I hear something hitting the side of the boat....
ah, George, you didn't have the EXACT POS BS that was delivered to my
shop. I had a previous Delta, which was FINE! Don't you get it? Delta
and I gave up trying to make a silk purse from a cow's ear and I got a
refund. Do a Google search for BS vibration and see what saw comes up!
Do you think you could once in a while act civilized instead of so
Im no plane expert but here what i think, with the same iron on two
different planes,from personal experience,i have two jointers plane a
stanley 7 and a transitional,the transitional is longer but his ability to
hold the iron is definetaly not as good as the other,which if you think
about it,if your iron has any slop in it how can it cut as good as the
other,the transitional is a good users plane,but the 7 is a much better
plane, with the same iron, and the same flatness,and pretty much the same
adjustments possible.Lie Nielson are definately great planes and expensive
but they are Stanley reproduction made from better materials that were
unaivalable 100 yrs ago, on the other hand veritas is taking the originals
design and with research and development, improved the design.
Knowledge speaks, wisdom listen.....
What are things like the lever caps made from ? I've seen some
Veritas products that were making extensive use of the ZA series
zinc-aluminium diecasting alloys. Now Mazak has a pretty dire
reputation, mainly for poor long term stability. But the ZA series are
stiffer, long-lasting, and still cost effective to make.
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
Having a bad day?
Certainly it makes a difference, as does making a plane out brass or bronze,
steel or cast iron, cast iron or ductile iron. The materials all have
different properties - tensile strength, damping coefficients, warping
Is it really made from ducks and ceramic, Rob?
* Scattered Showers My Ass! * Insightful Advertising Copy
* --Noah * http://www.diversify.com
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