I was drooling over the Lee Valley web site and I saw these wood planes.
The price for these Taiwanese planes seems great, but I was hoping to
talk to someone who has actually used them. What do you think? Do they
work well or are they just pretty to look at?
I have a hollow and a round in this style, together with the small
spokeshave. They are equipped with carbon steel blades without
chipbreaker and work well. I wish some more radii for the hollow and
round sets were available.
I also have a HSS blade for my old jack plane from this manufacturer
and it can be sharpened very well and hold its edge good.
I haven't used Lee Valley's, but there will be some in my next order.
I have a couple in this style from HNT Gordon and I really like them.
They're not great as bench planes because you can't bear down on them
when pushing from behind. Nor do they remove timber as fast as my German
horned scrub plane. What they're best at is very subtle shaping of
final details - not so much flat smoothing, but shaping gentle curves
where you want something that leaves a better finish than a spokeshave.
I can use these on curved chair arms with enough delicacy that I don't
make a flat spot.
Compared to Japanese planes the body shapes are easier to grip,
particularly where you're working on an almost finished piece that you
can't lean on, rather than a board resting on a planing beam.
I was at a ww'ing show recently and asked a purveyor of Lie-Nielsen
planes (not Tom) what he thought about the Veritas line. He said
"they're a decent working plane, but they're not even in the same
league as Lie-Nielsen." When I asked him what he meant he mumbled
something about "fit and finish" and then moved on to a potential
I've got only the low-angle block from Veritas, but I love it.
Assuming I'm in it for the best FUNCTION and not as an investment or as
a status symbol, why would I pay double or more for a Lie-Nielsen?
At a "Training the Hand" Cosman class I took last July, a student whose
real job is as an engineer, brought into class 2 LV planes brand new
out of the boxes. A smoother and a block plane.
The block plane had over .003 hump at the mouth. It was returned that
day and a LN was purchased. The smoother made it another day before it
was returned, he found he preferred the LN in actual use in the only
By the end of the week there was over $1500 worth of LN in his class
Only issue found in the class of all the LN products was a bent No 8
If you have the time, and the ability, knowledge, patience and
experience to fettle a plane, then half the money could be a good
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.