Shoulder Plane


So I am planning my next hand plane purchase and was hoping to get some advice from the wreck.
I find that I am most missing a small shoulder plane for trimming up mortice and tenon joinery. I have a lie-nelson shoulder block plane, but have found it unwieldy on the shoulder or the tenon. So far I have been drawn primarily to either a japanese style, probably from Steve Knight, wooden shoulder plane, or the Clifton shoulder plane. I am reluctant though to drop up to a couple hundred dollars on something in case I later find it's not what I really want.
I must admit the depth adjustment knobs on western style planes is appealing, but I have found my japanese smoothing plane is reached for much more often than my number 5.
I guess I am wondering what peoples thoughts are on these two types of shoulder planes, though realize that the fit in the hand and some other number of intangible things contribute to the ideal handtool.
While I am asking, what is the consensus of japanese dovetail chisels? Do they do a better job somehow than high quality japanese bench chisels at chopping joints? I have some extra money and want to add a partial set of nice chisels to the bench.
Thanks for any thoughts you guys have
Andrew
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Tattooed and Dusty wrote:

snip

I have - and actually have used- both the small Veritas and Clifton shoulder plane. I found it tricky to get good gripping positions on the Clifton, solved nicely by the Veritas - finger hole under the iron, handle that fits nicely between thumb and forefinger and is adjustable.
Neither is the ideal for working on long tenons - that gets taken care of with the LN rabbet/block plane.
Tip - if you put a small chamfer on the edges of the mortise any "high spots" at the base of the tenon won't prevent the joint from closing completely. Also helps get the tenon started easier, especilally if you also chamfer its end as well. This should explain it better. Works for hole snd pegs too.
http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/MT/CBbench19.html
(go to the previous page and read how this little tip could've saved me a lot of grief)
charlie b
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On 15 Apr 2005 20:53:58 -0700, "Tattooed and Dusty"

Lovely things. I've only got one, but there's nothing like them for getting into the corner underneath a tail. A really narrow one is particularly good if you're trying to trim the end grain when you're cutting dovetails with narrow saw-kerf-width pins.

Japanese chisels (except for the deliberate bevels) are quite tall and square on the sides. You need _something_ to work these internal corners and the tall, steep-angled dovetail chisel is stiffer than the shallow bevel.
--
Cats have nine lives, which is why they rarely post to Usenet.

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Have both the LN rabbet block and the Veritas medium shoulder. They're a pare -uh pair - of beautiful, useful tools. The combination is so pleasant to use that I have begun making most of my tenons wildly oversize so I can play plane. If you don't have the Norm tenoner for the tabelesaw, this is it.
As to Japanese style or wooden planes in general, that Veritas design gives you the best in adjustment, and plenty of hand room even for large hands. Wood's good and all, but it's not, in my opinion as reliable and adjustable as iron or bronze. I've also got an old Stanley smoother with a Hock iron and a corrugated bottom, and it doesn't fear even resin.
Only thing wrong with buying non-English chisels is the sizes don't match.
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I agree that some of the lie-nelsons can be useful in some situations, but I prefer the cheeper stanley planes. Some of my friends have taken classes in which they build their own Japanese planes. This might be a good way to go.
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Aside from the original cost, any reason you prefer cheap planes? It took me hours to get my Stanley shoulder plane to work properly. My next plane was a Veritas. as will be al my future planes.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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Yeah, I ruled out the stanley planes at some point. I like the lower price, but want my handtools to provide pleasure while using, as well as give me a good value. The feel of the stanley tools in my hand doesn't inspire any confidence in their use, something I find to be the case with Lie-Nielson and most wood body tools.
Thanks for the thoughts on planes though. I imagine I will try a Veritas shoulder plane and see what I think of it. If nothing else the initial cost is lower than the Clifton, so even if I end up with a wood body plane, I won't be out as much money.
Still hoping for thoughts on japanese chisels though.
Andrew
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Tattooed and Dusty says...

I just bought a Lie-Nielsen low angle block plane on a whim. It is definitely what you would call mechanical art--meaning it is better than it needs to be, especially in the finish, materials and detail aspects. It will be great for end grain, curly figure or whatever on projects I want to be perfect. But my $20 Buck Bros. block plane will still be a workhorse. I've never seen anything good said about these planes, but mine is a functional plane. Maybe I just got the one good one they ever made. I sharpened the blade and did some flattening on the sole, but that is to be expected for a cheap new plane. I can get nice, thin curlies with it, and it isn't too proud to scrape off glue or do other menial chores. What's my point? I guess it's just that if money is tight, you can sometimes get by without buying the best.
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