Wood River - Woodriver #4 smoother (Rating: 3)

When I first bought this plane, I was pretty impressed with it. I think it looks nice, and it's built very well.

Out of the box, the blade was not sharp at all. The back was pretty flat, and it didn't take long to flatten the back and hone the bevel (probably 15 minutes on my oilstones).

I checked to see if the sides were square, but they were slightly off. I also checked to see if the sole was flat, but it was slightly concave.

But most importantly, how did it work? I was worried about the sole, but tried it out anyways. It produced nice thin shavings, so I was glad to see that the slightly concave sole didn't really affect it.

I also have the Veritas BU Jointer and LA Jack. Compared to these, the WoodRiver is definitely not in their league when it comes to ease of use and adjustments. When I put a smoothing blade into my LA Jack, it does not take much time to adjust it to produce nice shavings. With the WoodRiver, it takes a little longer to get there. The depth adjustment works well, but I found the lateral adjust to be a little "jumpy". For some reason, I kept overshooting and kept having to move it left, then right, then left, etc. It took a few tries to get the right setting.

I also find that the WoodRiver tote is a little cramped. I think I have average sized hands, so a person with big hands probably will feel very uncomfortable with this tote.

But, if all you're looking for are good results, the WoodRiver can get you there. It'll just take more time.