LumberJocks

Good Plane for the Money

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Review by Rich posted 12-03-2020 05:07 AM 1568 views 1 time favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Good Plane for the Money No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

These planes get a bad rap for no reason.

This WoodRiver #4 1/2 plane can handle even the most highly figured maple and still produce wispy shavings. The #4 1/2 plane is a great choice for a smoother, being wider and heavier than a standard #4. The extra heft helps it to keep going when a lighter plane would get bogged down during heavy cuts, or by difficult grain.

Don’t let the low price on WoodRiver planes fool you. They are top quality planes and an exceptional value.

The WoodRiver V3 planes are modeled after the famous Stanley Bedrock design developed in the early 1900s. The Bedrock advantage is that it allows you to adjust the frog without having to remove the blade. This makes it easy to go from a wide mouth for heavy cuts, to a narrow one for fine shavings and to reduce tear-out on highly figured woods. A narrow mouth opening means a shorter distance between the sole and the blade, so the sole is pressing down on the wood fibers and preventing lifting which can lead to tear-out.

The WoodRiver planes are beautiful in their fit and finish, with a smooth, flat sole and sides that are square to it. The mating surface between the frog and plane body is precisely milled as is the face of the frog giving a smooth, flat surface to support the blade.

A few minutes spent sharpening the blade and relieving the edges of the sole will yield a plane that is a joy to use and will last a lifetime.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner




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Rich

6398 posts in 1565 days



31 comments so far

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Andybb

3069 posts in 1579 days


#1 posted 12-03-2020 05:48 AM

https://www.woodcraft.com/products/woodriver-4-1-2-smoothing-plane

Wife just asked me what I want for Xmas! I’m starting to appreciate the importance of nice hand tools.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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Rich

6398 posts in 1565 days


#2 posted 12-03-2020 06:02 AM

You could do much worse, Andy. That’s a photo I took of the shavings from a piece of curly maple, and there was zero tear-out. The board was smooth as glass. I spent the time to sharpen the blade and did the Charlesworth ruler treatment on the back and it’s really a joy to use. I even smoothed out some gaboon ebony—really hard stuff—without a hitch.

Like you, I’m moving more into hand tooling and enjoying the experience.

Oh, and thanks for adding the link. I guess I dropped the ball on that part :)

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Andybb

3069 posts in 1579 days


#3 posted 12-03-2020 11:41 AM

I went the Cosman route with the 300/1000/8million grit that also uses the ruler trick. Now I use my planes instead of power tools in more and more situations. Nothing like that smooth as glass feeling. Since I’m a lj /YouTube taught woodworker and don’t really know many other woodworkers it was kind of a “holy s**t” moment when I felt that.

I have some now nicely tuned and refurbished Stanley’s but this would definitely be the nicest hand tool I own.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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D67

2 posts in 452 days


#4 posted 12-03-2020 10:27 PM

I have a Wood River jointer plane and a medium and small shoulder planes. Really like all of them and think they are excellent planes. Flattened the soles and sharpened the blades as soon as I bought them. Set them up according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. No problems and they work great. Would like to ask, what is the Charlesworth ruler treatment on the back? Thanks.

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Rich

6398 posts in 1565 days


#5 posted 12-03-2020 10:34 PM

It’s David Charlesworth’s technique for flattening the back side of the plane blade without having to flatten the entire surface, which can be time consuming.

Here’s a link to his Youtube video on the method. He’s a bit dry and tends to put me to sleep, but he’s a master at what he teaches. All of his videos are worth watching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nykVPKbUGTo

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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woodbutcherbynight

7320 posts in 3385 days


#6 posted 12-04-2020 03:19 AM

I have two Wood River planes, #4 block plane and a #4, very nice, and sharp after some minor tuning. Have been working more with planes this past year after another vet gave me some tips on how to work around my bad wrist.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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Dutchy

3960 posts in 3144 days


#7 posted 12-04-2020 07:42 AM

It’s a Qiangsheng Luban, isn’t it?

-- https://dutchypatterns.com/

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Rich

6398 posts in 1565 days


#8 posted 12-04-2020 01:08 PM


It s a Qiangsheng Luban, isn t it?

- Dutchy

No, the source is Shanghai WoodRiver International Trade Co., Ltd.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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dbeck

107 posts in 1335 days


#9 posted 12-04-2020 01:39 PM

I have woodriver planes in various sizes and am amazed by the quality. They are an absolute joy to use.

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Dutchy

3960 posts in 3144 days


#10 posted 12-04-2020 04:20 PM

It s a Qiangsheng Luban, isn t it?

- Dutchy

No, the source is Shanghai WoodRiver International Trade Co., Ltd.

- Rich

Shanghai WoodRiver International Trade Co., Ltd is a trading compagny.
Please have a look at:
https://www.rutlands.com/sp+more-planing-hand-planes-qiangsheng-luban-hand-planes-qiangsheng-luban-no-4-smoothing-hand-plane-bedrock-pattern-rutlands+dk1180

-- https://dutchypatterns.com/

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Rich

6398 posts in 1565 days


#11 posted 12-04-2020 04:23 PM


Shanghai WoodRiver International Trade Co., Ltd is a trading compagny.

- Dutchy

Whatever. I never really worried about it.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Dutchy

3960 posts in 3144 days


#12 posted 12-04-2020 04:35 PM

It s a Qiangsheng Luban, isn t it?

- Dutchy

No, the source is Shanghai WoodRiver International Trade Co., Ltd.

- Rich

Shanghai WoodRiver International Trade Co., Ltd is a trading compagny.

Shanghai WoodRiver International Trade Co., Ltd is a trading compagny.

- Dutchy

Whatever. I never really worried about it.

- Rich

That is okay! 100% but I was asking if that plane of Woodriver is the same as we can buy here in europe the Luban. And all signals indicate this. I’m not worried but I’m wondering.

-- https://dutchypatterns.com/

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Rich

6398 posts in 1565 days


#13 posted 12-04-2020 04:57 PM


That is okay! 100% but I was asking if that plane of Woodriver is the same as we can buy here in europe the Luban. And all signals indicate this. I m not worried but I m wondering.

- Dutchy

I get it now. I guess I can’t answer your question. Sorry.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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sansoo22

1415 posts in 630 days


#14 posted 12-04-2020 06:14 PM

Dutchy – As far as I’ve ever been able to dig up…Wood River, Luban, Quansheng, and one other German brand are all manufactured by the same company in China. How the quality may differ between the brands I can not say. It’s up to the seller to set the standards of what they will accept quality wise from the manufacturer.

Rich – Thanks for the review. I have a Wood River shoulder plane that I hate how it looks but love how it performs. I think its no secret around here that I’m a HUGE fan of vintage Stanleys but if I can’t find a 4-1/2 locally at a fair price I will pick up the WR 4-1/2. The vintage Stanley’s online are selling for about the same amount as a brand new Wood River and if I go vintage I will still have to spend time tuning and or restoring.

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Rich

6398 posts in 1565 days


#15 posted 12-05-2020 12:47 AM

Thanks for filling in on that, sansoo.

And Dutchy, sorry I misunderstood your post. It looks like sansoo gave you a good answer. Best of luck with your search.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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