Wood River #6 Fore Plane (V3)

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Review by Willeh posted 01-12-2012 04:10 PM 10711 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Wood River #6 Fore Plane (V3) Wood River #6 Fore Plane (V3) Wood River #6 Fore Plane (V3) Click the pictures to enlarge them

Hi Folks,

Few months back, I was at a woodworking show in toronto and came across the booth for Rob Cosman

He gave a very informative seminar about hand plane use and maintenance and was demonstrating with the Wood River #6. I Couldnt get over the quality of the plane for the price, and when taking a turn to try it out, really liked the feel of it. I ended up buying one off him at the show for the show special price of $175. I was extra happy because he pulled it out of the box and checked it over for and wasnt happy with the first one, so he pulled out a second, then spent 20 minutes tuning it up and honing the blade until the plane was producing the fine even shavings that he is typically able to produce during his demonstration.

As for the plane itself, I find that the quality level is superb for a made in china product. The casting is flawless and the sole is perfectly flat, the sides are square and the movement and adjustment is smooth. The frog is nice and flat and the knob and tote are sturdy and comfortable. I enjoy the extra thick blade and chip breaker and have had zero issues with chatter or tear out at this point. The supplied blade holds a good edge that lasts quite well, I was first considering upgrading to an IBC or Lee Valley blade, but I’ll stick with the one that came with it for now.

I used the plane last weekend to prepare some old cherry boards for use. Had no problem doing the rough work to take off thick and heavy shavings evenly and smoothly. At 7.9 lbs, this thing has a lot of heft and glides smoothly through a cut. As you can see from the photos above, I was able to shave down four 6 foot 4/4 boards of dry cherry to 3/4” starting with a freshly sharpened blade, i did all the rough work, then resharpened and smoothed the boards to a fine finish.

I have found this plane to be quite the workhorse, capable of doing heavy rough work on tough grains and also able to take super thin whisps, smoothing boards to a perfect finish, free of tear-out or plane tracks.

After buying this plane, I have been following the Rob Cosman sharpening method, using a Norton 1000/8000 grit water stone (See: ) and have been very happy with the results. I find i get a great edge that lasts.

Overall, I can’t see why one would need to spend much more to get a great quality plane. I have not tried a lie-nielsen plane, but i am so pleased with how well this plane works I can’t see myself doling out the cash for one in the near future.

Photo 1 shows the finished cherry boards ready for use and assembly (I will post the project in the future)
Photos 2 & 3 just show the rough progress, as you can see, the boards started off with the weathered/aged look you see in the background, which smoothed down beautifly to a nice coloured cherry.

-- Will, Ontario Canada. "I can do fast, cheap and good, but you can only pick two... "

View Willeh's profile


228 posts in 3185 days

10 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3444 days

#1 posted 01-12-2012 05:03 PM

Thanks for the review.

View jerryo's profile


135 posts in 3809 days

#2 posted 01-12-2012 07:40 PM

I have the older version of this plane and it works great. I also have the woodriver low angle block plane and it has the same high quality as the #6. Can’t say enough good things about the woodriver planes. Jerry

View StumpyNubs's profile


7827 posts in 3646 days

#3 posted 01-12-2012 11:19 PM

I’ve handled a few Woodriver planes in the store and they seem very nice to me. Very heavy and solid, and a good price for that kind of quality!

(The greatest woodworking show mankind has ever conceived is now online!)

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View PCM's profile


135 posts in 3890 days

#4 posted 01-13-2012 05:54 AM

It is amazing how expensive good hand tools are. It’s great to find a bargin. Thanks for the review.

View felkadelic's profile


220 posts in 3385 days

#5 posted 01-13-2012 08:05 AM

Thanks for the review! I have 3 Woodriver planes (the standard block, the low-angle block, and the #5), and they’re all great.

View bobasaurus's profile


3646 posts in 4029 days

#6 posted 01-15-2012 07:16 AM

Thanks for the video link. I think I’ll order the equipment and try his sharpening system, since my current way with oil stones takes forever and a half.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Sylvain's profile


1074 posts in 3345 days

#7 posted 01-15-2012 04:10 PM

Is the quality constant across the specimen ?

You write:
“I was extra happy because he pulled it out of the box and checked it over for and wasn’t happy with the first one, so he pulled out a second,”

Did the tune-up seems easy to do?
“[he] then spent 20 minutes tuning it up and honing the blade until the plane was producing the fine even shavings”

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View Willeh's profile


228 posts in 3185 days

#8 posted 01-17-2012 04:58 PM

Sylvain: I should have been more detailed about that.
Rob indicated that the first run of the V3 were shipped with blades that were not 100% flat across the back, and he was finding 1 in 10 were like that. Rather than spending the time to flatten the back and prepare it, he rejected that one and found one that was much better. As for the tuning up, he spent some time on the diamond stone making sure the back of the blade was perfectly flat, then did and repeated his sharpening/honing technique as per the video that I posted above.

-- Will, Ontario Canada. "I can do fast, cheap and good, but you can only pick two... "

View Bagtown's profile


1740 posts in 4575 days

#9 posted 03-02-2012 03:17 PM

Thanks for the review and the link to Robs site. I hadn’t heard of him until I saw this and went to his site. I was happily surprised to see his shop is here in New Brunswick, only an hour and a half away from home. I like the look of some of his saws that he manufactures himself as well.


-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View oldcary's profile


3 posts in 3024 days

#10 posted 06-10-2012 01:11 PM

Approximately one year ago, when on sale at Woodcraft, I purchased the WoodRiver V3 No. 4, No. 6 Handplanes and the Low Angle Block Plane. While good out of the box, with a little flattening of the blades and honing, they now make beautiful shavings. At this price point I could not be more pleased. After this experience with the thicker blades and chip breakers, I purchased the IBC/Crosman matched sets for my Bedrocks 605 & 607, and Bailey 4 1/2. Wow, what a difference a heavier blade set can make. Again, with a little honing, these replacement blades allow the planes to sing as they slice wood.

-- Make more wood shavings and less dust! Steve, Cary, NC

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