WoodRiver - #1 (Rating: 4)

I am guessing that many of the people who bought this plane are driven by the OCD need to complete their entire collection of Stanley bench planes (I will post a picture of my BedRock 608 one day). At $119, this option is roughly $800 cheaper than buying the real thing.

I do not have a real Stanley #1 to compare against but I will say that these planes are not nearly as useless as they are reported in some circles. I used this plane to smooth 1/4" drawer sides during the construction of a W&M reproduction spice cabinet and found it to be enjoyable to use. It is very similar in size to standard block plane (a bit higher) and useful on smaller pieces. I found I could get a better grip for smoothing passes using the tote and knob than I would have with a block plane. I find myself pushing down on the knob with one hand and resting the handle in the crook between my thumb and palm - like you grip a plow plane.

I found it to be a good deal given the price point in terms the quality of the design and the construction:
- Casting was flat and sides square right out of the box
- Plane blade is reasonably thick and solid. Back of blade required only polishing, no real flattening. Front of blade took a few minutes work on extra fine stone and then a few passes on the strop to get to a mirror finish. Blade comes straight out of box so you will need to knock the corners off.
- Handle on mine was loose but easily fixed by tightening the screw (has stayed tight)
- Tote and Handle are reasonably comfortable and required no tuning

The only two negatives:
- I would have thought that the depth adjuster screw might have come with a bit finer thread.
- The frog adjustment is done via loosening two screws and tapping the frog forward and back. There is no room for a screw based adjustment.

This is certainly not a critical tool to have in your shop and there is nothing it's size enables that you couldn't do with a block plane or another smoother (#3 is probably more versatile), but it is fun to use. And when I finally build the Studley Tool Chest replica, I will have a #1 to put in it.