Lie-Nielsen Shoot Board Plane

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Review by paratrooper34 posted 03-16-2013 05:29 PM 10342 views 4 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Lie-Nielsen Shoot Board Plane No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

This is a second review on LJs for this plane. I am going to go through receiving the plane, unpacking it, setting it up, and putting it to use.

As a hand tool worker, I have become very dependent on my shooting board for many uses. It excels at cleaning up pieces that have been crosscut to get them square and smooth. I also use it for precise length sizing for multiple pieces. So it is in use on every project. That alone convinced me to purchase this plane.

I ordered the plane by phone on a Monday and received on Friday of the same week. When I called LN, they told me they didn’t have it in stock, but would get one to me soon. Delivery on the fifth day is pretty darn good service.

It arrived packed in this box:

Inside the box were the plane (it was held in the box with a piece of wood screwed to the inside of the box so it wouldn’t move), a dessicant, and a package that had some LN instructions and data and a three page pamphlet explaning shooting boards and some appliances you can add (for making mitered cuts).

The plane had a light coat of oil on it which was easily removed by wiping it down. It has a cast iron sole with a brass frog. The cap iron is LN’s improved type, which is nice. The blade is an A2 blade and it was ground to a 25 degree bevel. It was partially lapped on the back and needed to be sharpened (which is fine, I have no issue with that). I finished lapping the back which was made easy by the fact that the back is flat. I started by using my extra coarse diamond lapping plate and then finished it on my water stones. Being flat already was a big help as A2 is not my favorite blade to flatten a back on. Here are a couple of pics from before and after.

That is all that was required to put the plane into action. The frog was already set, everything else flat as it should be. So I put the blade in, adjusted it to the depth I wanted and gave it a quick test run. It works great.

Now, my shooting board needed a modification to use this plane. As the other review mentioned, this plane really shines for shooting because it can ride inside of track. Because I was using a Record T-5 on my shooting board previously, I needed to install an outside rail to keep the plane captured on the shooting board. Here is what it looked like before:

You can see that the plane is free, but a rail will hold it in place and make the process easier. Here it is with the rail installed.

I put a fresh coat of paste wax to all of the surfaces in the track and also to the plane. It slides effortlessly and is very easy to push when cutting.

In summary, this is a very fine tool. It is every bit the quality item you would expect from LN. It is very close to a useable level right out of the box. This plane is a major upgrade from a standard plane such as a #5 or #6. This is due to the mass of the plane (just over nine lbs), the skewed blade, and the placement of the handle. After I got it up and running and set up the shooting board, I was taking a full length end grain shaving off a piece of maple with ease. I am surprised at how much easier it is to cut than the previous plane I was using. The downside is the cost; it is steep at $500. However, I consider this an investment and it will indeed be passed down to my son or grandchildren. I highly recommend this plane if a shooting board is something you use often.

Here are some shavings pics: The wood is an 8 1/2” wide piece of butternut.

Those are full width end grain shavings.

Oh, and my shop cats showed up to hang out.

-- Mike

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 3797 days

27 comments so far

View felkadelic's profile


220 posts in 3385 days

#1 posted 03-16-2013 06:06 PM

Just curious if you’re right- or left-handed, and if you’re a lefty do you find the plane awkward to use with your right hand?

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 3797 days

#2 posted 03-16-2013 06:52 PM

felkadelic, I am right handed. It doesn’t appear that they make a left hand version.

-- Mike

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3961 days

#3 posted 03-16-2013 08:18 PM

congrat´s with your new toy :-)
have lie-nielsen started to make the shootingtable for it yet
just asking of curriusity …. no way is this plane in my budget range :-(
though I like how they pack it for shipment :-)

enjoy … enjoy

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2956 days

#4 posted 03-16-2013 08:21 PM

Thanks for the review! I’ve tried one, and it’s a sweet tool.

What is the purpose of the T-track on the shooting board?

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3702 days

#5 posted 03-16-2013 08:28 PM

Mike a great review, I’ve never used a dedicated shooting plane unless you count a
Record T5.
Looks and sounds like a great plane. felkadelic If you phone LN they will swap your hands over. :)

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Manitario's profile


2816 posts in 3728 days

#6 posted 03-16-2013 08:35 PM

Thanks for the review. That looks like an awesome plane, and if I ever had a spare $500 and the talent to put it to use, I’d buy one.
The only thing this review lacks is the obligatory pic of a shaving coming off the plane.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 3797 days

#7 posted 03-16-2013 08:39 PM

Thanks guys!

Dennis, Dankeschoen! No shoot board from LN as of yet. Their website says it is in the future.

Barry, the t-track is for some Rockler hold downs that I have to hold down stock and to put blocks in place for making multiple pieces of the same length. Comes in handy.

Jamie, I do count the T-5, been using for one for a few years now. It is great for shooting, but the 51 is a nice upgrade.

-- Mike

View mariva57's profile


666 posts in 2850 days

#8 posted 03-16-2013 08:58 PM

Hello Mike,
excellent purchase, an instrument of excellent workmanship.
Have a nice day.

-- The common man thinks. The wise man is silent. The stupid man discusses.

View bobasaurus's profile


3646 posts in 4029 days

#9 posted 03-16-2013 09:02 PM

Excellent review. You’re making me want one of these now, and I’ve just started using shooting boards. Is it tricky getting blade depth uniform because of the skew? I have a lie nielsen skew block plane that has that problem.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 3321 days

#10 posted 03-16-2013 09:18 PM

have lie-nielsen started to make the shootingtable for it yet

This guy makes them for the 51, he is really nice and makes great shooting boards. I wanted to buy one but the shipping to Mexico broke the deal.

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

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 3797 days

#11 posted 03-16-2013 09:22 PM

Bob, this is my first LN plane that has a frog on it. All my other are Records and old Stanleys. I have to say, this LN plane adjusts smooth as silk. I am very impressed at how easy everything moves. No slop in the lateral adjuster, the adjustment knob turns easily. It was very nice to use a plane of this quality. Because the blade sits on a traditional frog, it is no issue to set the depth.

I say go for it if you want to buy one. This is a great tool. Truth be told, I might have to sell off my Records and Stanleys and upgrade to LNs, I am that impressed with it.

-- Mike

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 3797 days

#12 posted 03-16-2013 09:52 PM

Manitario, I will get one for you, don’t know how I missed that.

Mariva, grazie mille!

-- Mike

View Deycart's profile


444 posts in 3103 days

#13 posted 03-16-2013 09:59 PM

I was wondering if you could tell me how thick the bed of the casting is and how thick the support ribs are.

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 3797 days

#14 posted 03-16-2013 10:43 PM

Deycart, here you go; the sole (the bottom) is sloped. At the thinnest, it is 5/32”, thickest is 3/8”. The rest of the body is 3/8” to include the ribs. It is definitely a robust plane.

-- Mike

View SFLTim's profile


59 posts in 2827 days

#15 posted 03-16-2013 11:21 PM

So very very jealous….... man that’s nice!

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