LumberJocks

That's Not Right

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Review by pintodeluxe posted 10-15-2019 12:03 AM 1348 views 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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This is a cute little shoulder plane that’s just the right size for most furniture projects. Shoulder planes are handy for trimming the last few shavings off tenons to make the M & T joint fit just right. Overall the machining finish on the outer surfaces was pretty good. I don’t expect much from a shoulder plane… it should just be easy to adjust and capable of quickly shaving down tenons.

Well, the main problem with this design is there’s nothing to keep the blade centered or otherwise aligned. Each time you adjust or sharpen the blade, you’ll have to fuss with the Left-Right set of the blade. There are no set screws to hold the blades position. Another flaw is the blade is WAY TOO WIDE for the body of this plane. Shoulder planes are designed with a blade that is very slightly wider than the body, so it can clean out inside corners. However this design takes it way too far, and no matter how far you skew the blade, you can’t avoid damaging the shoulder of the tenon. It’s like trying to park an airplane in your garage.

So, the only solution is to spend an hour grinding the sides of the blade down to a functional width. Otherwise, honing the blade was easy, and it took an edge well.

PROS: Adjustable mouth is a nice feature on any plane. Simply loosen the brass screw, and slide the upper portion of the plane fore and aft to adjust.
Good size for small to medium projects like chairs and tables.

CONS: No tool-free adjustments. The screw to adjust the blade depth is soft, and is already starting to strip after a few days light use. The blade depth adjustment knob is too course, and very difficult to adjust.

FINAL JUDGEMENT: This isn’t a tool that will make you smile every time you pick it up. It isn’t a tool you’ll tell your friends to buy. Spend a little more and get a quality shoulder plane.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush




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pintodeluxe

5997 posts in 3349 days



18 comments so far

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LittleBlackDuck

3004 posts in 1356 days


#1 posted 10-15-2019 12:59 AM

Nice honest write up pinto’... I appreciate when a person can admit they may have erred on the side of saving that extra “precious” shekel.

Unfortunately the emphasis has transgressed from quality to cost in an exponential basis… people just don’t realise that often the sacrifice of quality will result in additional cost in the long term (be it in the cost of additional labour to rectify the loss of quality).

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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Rich

5001 posts in 1125 days


#2 posted 10-15-2019 01:03 AM

This was very thorough and helpful. In defense of the wide blade, with my LN rabbet plane, I tend to work right-handed and keep the blade flush with the left side of the mouth. However, the rest of the negatives you found are real deal breakers.

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pintodeluxe

5997 posts in 3349 days


#3 posted 10-15-2019 01:28 AM

Yeah, if it were an option to slide the blade flush with the left side of the plane body, that would work fine. Unfortunately, the blade is too wide to go flush with either side. You have to grind / file it.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Rich

5001 posts in 1125 days


#4 posted 10-15-2019 01:33 AM


Yeah, if it were an option to slide the blade flush with the left side of the plane body, that would work fine. Unfortunately, the blade is too wide to go flush with either side. You have to grind / file it.

- pintodeluxe

Yeah, that’s bad. I withdraw my defense of the blade :)

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Redoak49

4232 posts in 2524 days


#5 posted 10-15-2019 12:43 PM

Good review…I have the LV med shoulder plane and like it.

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Andre

2826 posts in 2341 days


#6 posted 10-15-2019 03:19 PM

Like the shape of that plane, I went with the Veritas small shoulder plane 1/2” and the Lie Nielson Medium 3/4” based only on how they felt to hold/use. Still love them both, that was a few years back when our $ was actually a Dollar:)
Lucky to have a Lee Valley close by and was able to attend a L.N. tool fair a few years ago which cost me a few endearing comments from the Wifey!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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Peteybadboy

1270 posts in 2485 days


#7 posted 10-15-2019 03:49 PM

Good review. I won’t be buying this plane.

-- Petey

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pottz

6639 posts in 1520 days


#8 posted 10-15-2019 06:37 PM

i just checked out the reviews on rockler and of the 11, 7 were 5 and 4 were 4.ive always heard that rockler is known for removing the negative one’s,maybe?

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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pintodeluxe

5997 posts in 3349 days


#9 posted 10-15-2019 06:42 PM

No, I wouldn’t say they remove negative reviews. They just sort them down to the bottom. Rockler is a good company. I just think these Bench Dog planes are fairly new through Rockler, and they don’t have many reviews yet. Then you’ll see the occasional review that states “I unboxed it and it looked pretty good. I haven’t used it yet.” Those type of reviews aren’t too helpful I guess.
I hate writing negative reviews. I have many Bench Dog tools that are really useful.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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pottz

6639 posts in 1520 days


#10 posted 10-15-2019 07:12 PM



No, I wouldn t say they remove negative reviews. They just sort them down to the bottom. Rockler is a good company. I just think these Bench Dog planes are fairly new through Rockler, and they don t have many reviews yet. Then you ll see the occasional review that states “I unboxed it and it looked pretty good. I haven t used it yet.” Those type of reviews aren t too helpful I guess.
I hate writing negative reviews. I have many Bench Dog tools that are really useful.

- pintodeluxe


there is one review on the jointer plane that the guy said the plane was a pos! i have a couple of the planes i bought back when they had a sale,i havn’t had a chance to test drive em yet,hopefully i didn’t make a mistake.i fully anticipate doing some tune up of the soles and blades though so if thats it ill be staitsfied.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

4079 posts in 1109 days


#11 posted 10-15-2019 08:13 PM



Good review…I have the LV med shoulder plane and like it.

- Redoak49

I do too. I had the luxury of trying all the LV, and LN shoulders at a Woodworking in America several years ago, and after trying them all for almost 2 days, popped for the LV Medium. Initially I had the thought if needed I might get a second size. Haven’t felt the need. I would say it is probably the universal size.

-- Think safe, be safe

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therealSteveN

4079 posts in 1109 days


#12 posted 10-15-2019 08:39 PM



i just checked out the reviews on rockler and of the 11, 7 were 5 and 4 were 4.ive always heard that rockler is known for removing the negative one s,maybe?

- pottz

I know they do. I had ordered 2 sheets of that laminated BB for router tops several years ago, it was on a buy 2 get em almost free sale, and I thought hmmmm. Anyhow the corners of both sheets were just fully broken off, not dented, but off all 4 sides, all the way around. Something large hit them, crushed them, to do that. I even posted pictures with my poor review. The box they came in was 100% complete, no dents, or tears, so somebody stuffed them into a box broken. It never got posted, and I did get a “Thank you for posting a review” e-mail after submitting it.

No refund, no return, they denied both. I went through my credit card bank, and got the charges dropped, then they were all about gee we would like to see these damaged panels. When I told them they already had pics, they denied that. I just resent them the e-mail.

Got a $100.00 shopping card later in snail mail, but never did my review darken their website. Since then I will only buy Rockler if I’m standing in the store holding it in my hand.

If they won’t allow the truth, don’t ask for reviews at all.

When I look at reviews I only look at the ones, and twos. I want the truth about the product. 5 guys all say the left side handle falls off in an hour. I’m thinking the left side handle is junke. Buncha gladass, ohhhh gee I love my XYZ, doesn’t tell me squat.

-- Think safe, be safe

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Dwain

599 posts in 4394 days


#13 posted 10-16-2019 03:18 PM

Hey, this is a really timely review. I just saw these planes reviewed in the most recent copy of Fine Wood Working. Though their reviews tend to be light on detail, and criticism, I noticed how much they DIDN’T like the shoulder plane. I guess we are getting close to a consensus on this plane. Hopefully Bench Dog sees the reviews and improves their product. Their is a considerable market for these mid value planes, if you can get them right. Wood River seems to be doing very well. I don’t know about Stanley.

Thanks for the review.

-- When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you CAN'T do

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JimDwight

12 posts in 575 days


#14 posted 10-22-2019 09:23 PM

Good review. I have the Stanley and it’s blade was about the right width but it was only roughly ground and I had to spend a lot of time sharpening it the first time. It works fine now.

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professore

1 post in 1186 days


#15 posted 10-27-2019 02:54 PM

I haven’t tries the BD shoulder planes. I have tried their #5 bench plane and their 311 plane. The #5 came is very nice looking box an the plane was very pretty coming out of the box. The blade was ground on a skew and when I reground it square I found out why. The seat in the plane body was not square to the sole. It went back for a refund.

The 311 style plane (shoulder, bull nose, chisel plane) has alignment pins to line up the end for shoulder and bull nose sections. The pins in the bull nose section extended from the wrong face. It went back for a refund.

No more Bench Dog products for this guy.

Frank S in IA

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