I'm surprised no one has brought this up yet. I am going to buy one or
the other in another month and was very curious to hear from those who
have used the new LV LA Jack and those who have compared it with the
L-N. I'm not trying to create controversey here, I just want to buy
the best one. I have never owned a L-N, but do own several LV-- which
I love. I am a little bit concerned though about the front knob
accidentaly unscrewing during use. I have that problem ocassionally
with the LV low-angle block plane- usually due to dust. Comments?
Bob the Less
Just got my LV LA Jack today. I'm somewhat of a newbie - this is my first
"real" plane. I have a couple of old block planes that I picked up - one
from and auction and one from my Dad. I've just used them to knock down
edges on some stuff.
I'd done some work with a plane in a woodshop class in high school, and on a
summer job during college - so I don't have much experience with planes.
I'm making a work bench, and have no machines big enough to really level the
top and square the sides of the slab, so I did a little research and for the
price, and having bought LV products before, I knew it was going to be top
of the line.
After cleaning and adjusting the Jack according to the directions (clear and
easy to follow even for someone with little knowledge or experience) I put a
6/4, 12" wide maple cutoff down, and started working it. Almost immediately
I had paper thin, 2" wide shavings (is that good? I think so...). A few
minutes later, the cutoff looked almost like I'd run it thru my thickness
planer. I'm still trying to get my technique down, but I think I've done
really well - mostly because of the quality of the tool. Hopefully it's not
too far ahead of my ability.
I have a lot to learn, but I think this is a really good tool no matter how
much or how little experience you have. It's well made, beautifully
crafted, and balanced. I had NO problem with the front knob coming loose,
and I did a LOT of work with it in about an hour and half. It just feels
good in your hands.
Just my $.02 - I'm sure the LN is a good tool too - I just couldn't justify
the difference in price, especially when I know that anything I've ever
bought from Lee Valley has been top quality.
I doubt very many people have had a chance to use both so getting a real
informed opinion is going to be difficult. I didn't have an opportunity to
try the LV Low Angle Jack but based on my experience with other LV products
you would probably be happy with it.
I bought the LN Low angle Jack about a year ago mainly based on my
experience with other LV and LN products. The LV products are excellent but
I feel the increase in quality of the LN plans is generally worth the extra
cost. If you decide on the LN and deal with any "tricky" wood you might want
to consider the purchasing of an additional LN Optional Toothed Blade for an
extra $40.00. This can be very helpful on difficult woods.
About 2 months ago I noticed that the rear handle on the LN Low Angle Jack
was cracked. I'm not sure how it happened but it was probably when I was
carrying my planes back and forth to class. I thought I packed them well but
apparently not good enough. I called LN to inquire about a replacement and
the only question they asked is if I needed the mounting hardware with it. I
told them it looked fine but they said maybe they better send that to just
in case. The next day UPS was at my door with the replacement parts at no
cost to me. I know LV also has excellent service.
The real bottom line is you will be happy with whatever one you choose. I
usually would like to at least see any product I am considering but lacking
that I personally probably would go the extra money for a LN.
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