Very Nice - Very Small Bench Plane

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Review by RickH posted 02-29-2008 11:37 PM 5739 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Very Nice - Very Small Bench Plane Very Nice - Very Small Bench Plane No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I picked up this Lie-Nielsen #1 bench plane several weeks ago at Woodcraft on sale, intrigued by it’s small size and quality. It is the first Lie-Nielsen plane I own (though I have a number of Veritas) and as you would expect from either of these brands it is extremely well made. With it’s brass body and maple handles it is almost too nice to use as a tool – it looks that nice.

It is based on the famous Stanley No. 1, 5½” (14cm) long with a 1-3/16” (3cm) x .110” (2.79mm) thick blade. After getting it I realized why Stanley discontinued it – it is so small that unless you have VERY small hands you will find it difficult to hold comfortably and control. There is very limited space between the rear tote and the adjuster knob. As you would expect it planes well, but this version is so small it has no blade angle adjustment – just the blade & chip breaker held down on the bed by the cap lever. It really does not really need one as you can simply push the top end of the blade from side to side to adjust.

So it’s a neat, very well made plane that works better for show than to use for a lot of woodworking – unless (again) you have those tiny hands. For small planing jobs I find my Veritas Apron plane to cut just as well, if not better, and it’s much more comfortable to hold and control.

Still – this is a unique plane to show off as it’s kind of rare, and I really appreciate it’s build quality.

-- Rick - OC, CA

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18 posts in 4523 days

2 comments so far

View scot68's profile


1 post in 3446 days

#1 posted 02-01-2011 11:19 PM

The Stanley No.1 was not exactly “discontinued”

It was never meant as a professional workbench tool…its sole purpose in life was as a full up working display for store owners which would allow customers to see the usefulness and quality of the line of planes at the time….it was an advertising piece and Stanley No.1’s are quite rare.

The LN is made from Bronze with Cherry Handles….I’ll bet that plane is super sweet and I’d love to have one…which guessed’s only a matter of time for

View willie's profile


534 posts in 3229 days

#2 posted 09-19-2011 06:53 AM

I bought a LN #1 a couple years ago after figuring I would never get a Stanley. I don’t use it often but it is a real joy to use when I do. Straight out of the box, it impressed me. It spends more time sitting where I can enjoy it’s beauty than it does on the workbench, but this will be a family heirloom. I wish there was more in the budget for a few more LN tools!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

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