Had to Put it Back

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Review by mcase posted 12-14-2012 07:37 PM 4821 views 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I always feel bad recommending a restaurant to a friend and then they change the chef or something and the foods horrible. This is sort of in the same vein. In the past, I highly recommended the Woodriver V3 planes. I own three Woodriver V3s , #4,#5, and #6, which are just fine. They ARE nice planes and I enjoy using them very much. However, I recently went to purchase a #3. I really wanted a #3 Woodriver, but I had to put it back. Turns out that whoever makes these planes ground the chip breakers far too short. You can only set the chip breaker to within about an 1/8th to 5/16ths of the edge. Any closer and the blade cannot be extended passed the sole far enough to cut. I looked at several #3s and they all had this DEFECT. I emailed Woodcraft and asked if there was another lot or a new shipment that would not have this defect. I was told it was not defect. Oh really? I never had a plane before where you couldn’t bring the chip breaker right up to the edge of the blade if you wanted. Where have I been for the last thirty years in wood working? I always thought I could set the chip breaker where I like it. All my old Stanleys allow this. All my previous Woodrivers allowed it too. I have nothing against Woodcraft, but I was disappointed that they went into denial about this problem. As I mentioned I have the #4,#5 and #6 and am very happy with them. Hopefully the newest batch of these #s doesn’t have the same defect as the #3s. I don’t know. So, if you are in the market for a Woodriver you may want to check the chip breaker before leaving the store. As for the #3, If you don’t mind not being able to set the chipbreaker close, this plane is a good plane in other respects and it’s certainly a good price. Maybe they will get the next bunch right, but for now they don’t seem to care. In the end, I broke down and bought a # 3 Lie Nilesen which I will review next.

View mcase's profile


446 posts in 4017 days

18 comments so far

View bobasaurus's profile


3684 posts in 4072 days

#1 posted 12-14-2012 10:08 PM

This sounds like a major flaw in the plane’s design. I have and love the #6, but I wouldn’t use a smoother if I couldn’t get the chip breaker crazy close to the edge.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Don W's profile

Don W

19728 posts in 3455 days

#2 posted 12-14-2012 10:15 PM

not a defect. It would be interesting to understand the thought process behind the new _ feature!

edit, and I think you’ll love the LN.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View a1Jim's profile


118143 posts in 4465 days

#3 posted 12-14-2012 10:22 PM

Sounds like the “plane “truth


View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 3363 days

#4 posted 12-14-2012 10:30 PM

I kind of agree with Woodcraft, it is not a defect, but a design error….LOL.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View Ken90712's profile


17909 posts in 4077 days

#5 posted 12-15-2012 12:16 AM

Frustrating, When you try to talk to them about concerns. I have been in the same boat with Rockler. I have found going with others like Lee valley worth the extra pennys.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View jumbojack's profile


1691 posts in 3512 days

#6 posted 12-15-2012 12:30 AM

Is the breaker too short or the mouth too narrow?

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View pintodeluxe's profile


6214 posts in 3701 days

#7 posted 12-15-2012 01:55 AM

I can’t imagine having the chip breaker 1/8” from the edge of the blade would be a problem. That is about where I set mine anyways. Did it affect performance, or did you just judge that it might from visual inspection?

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

View michelletwo's profile


2786 posts in 3903 days

#8 posted 12-15-2012 11:05 AM

glad you stepped up to L-N..they make superb planes. the more you use them, the more you love them.

View John's profile


341 posts in 4686 days

#9 posted 12-19-2012 02:27 PM

luckily my WR V3 #3 doesn’t suffer from this flaw – mine was an early batch and I can get the breaker right up to the blade edge

however, my most recent experience at woodcraft may be my last ever. I tried to trade a block plane (SWMBO bought me the standard angle which i already had and I wanted to trade it for the low angle) and I had no receipt. Long story short, they were complete idiots about the whole thing – i was doing a swap for an identically priced item and they could see from my account that i was far from a one time shopper. i had to escalate to the franchise owner to get satisfaction

i like the WR V3 bench planes, but the block planes are not my favorite, the mechanism is either too tight to adjust or so loose that they open all the time, and on the LA the mechanism is clunky and usually takes two hands to close straight.

as nice as the bench planes are, for my future needs I’m going to stop buying chinese

-- John - Central PA -

View Straightbowed's profile


717 posts in 3186 days

#10 posted 12-19-2012 08:07 PM

I set my chipbreaker .250 from the edge dont have any chatter but I have IBC blades and breakers

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

View mcase's profile


446 posts in 4017 days

#11 posted 12-21-2012 03:13 AM

Its not about chatter its about tear out.

View mcase's profile


446 posts in 4017 days

#12 posted 01-07-2013 01:01 PM

I WOULD LIKE TO ADD: Weeks after the initial response from Woodcraft’s lower tier I received another. Its VERY encouraging. Evidently this went up the ladder and higher up management is NOT going into denial, but taking it seriously. They checked on the planes and discovered that the defect is indeed evident on a certain number of the planes and they ARE going to correct. The people in charge really seem to commited to quality. Well done Woodcraft!

View Don W's profile

Don W

19728 posts in 3455 days

#13 posted 01-08-2013 12:00 AM

its nice to know they are listening. Now if Stanley would do the same.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Sylvain's profile


1086 posts in 3387 days

#14 posted 01-08-2013 03:46 PM

If I understand correctly…
The chip breaker is too short or … the blade has too much “meat”.

Was the blade sharp out of the box?
It is a pity to waste material, but you could grind the blade to make it work.

About “meat” how does the new blade compare with other ones ?

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

View mcase's profile


446 posts in 4017 days

#15 posted 01-08-2013 07:57 PM

Hi Sylvain,

On all Bailey style and Bedrock planes the depth adjustment yoke engages the chip breaker and this sets the depth. The slot in the blade allows you to move IT forward thus allowing for sharpening, but Grinding back the blade does not changes its relation to the chip breaker. You end up sliding it forward further along to get it past the sole. If the chip breaker is too short you can get the blade past the sole by only setting the edge of the blade well ahead of the chip breaker thereby defeating the whole purpose of the chip breaker. The “chip breaker” still functions as a cap iron in holding the blade and lending some additional stability, but it no longer does any chip breaking as it sit too far away from the edge. Anyway, that as clear as I can make it. As Don points out, the nice thing is that Woodcraft is listening and is committed to producing quality planes.

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