Which plane for a nice gift?

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Forum topic by bbasiaga posted 05-11-2016 11:36 PM 1290 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1243 posts in 2907 days

05-11-2016 11:36 PM

I have my 15th wedding anniversary coming up later this year. I’m thinking I may ask my wife for a nice, heirloom quality plane as a gift. Problem is, I don’t know what to ask for.

Here is what I have: #4 Stanley Type 11, which was tuned and restored by a fellow LJ #65 Stanley block plane which I restored #5 Marsh (Stanley clone) which I am trying to restore to working order #7C Stanley type 11 which I am also trying to restore to working order

I also plan to get my hands on a router plane, if LV ever gets them back in stock.

I tend to like the idea of the specialty planes, since mainly I still like to do flattening and jointing with power tools, and since I don’t really like to set up my router table that much. Was thinking a tongue and groove plane, or some kind of rabbet plane might be handy. I like the LN low angle jack plane too though, although it would potentially displace the #5 I already have. The Veritas plow plane with its multiple blade options seems nice too, though I’m not sure if I’d really use it for more than making tongues and grooves, in which case I might prefer the LN version.

Anything else I should consider?


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

19 replies so far

View jdmaher's profile


470 posts in 3491 days

#1 posted 05-12-2016 12:56 AM

I have the LN low angle jack, and very seldom use it. Like you, I flatten with power tools.

I use an old Stanley 71 router plane and an LV small router plane, a lot (cause i like making cabinets with doors and fuss a bit with the hinge mortises). I keep telling myself I should get the LV full-size router plane, but what I have works and I always seem to have something else to spend the money on . . .

If you like specialty planes, the tongue and groove sound nice to me, and I’d add a beading plane. I love beaded tongue and groove back boards on uppers with glass doors!

My flat out favorite is a LN 4.5 smoother. I find excuses to use it. Many folks like the slightly smaller/lighter LN 4 and I might, too, but I got the 4.5 as a gift for our 30th about 10 years ago.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View JayT's profile


6414 posts in 3123 days

#2 posted 05-12-2016 01:45 AM

Do you have any block planes? One of the LN blocks would bo a great addition if you don’t. The rabetting block would be good for cleaning up joinery or there are a couple that are great apron planes, don’t remember the models.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View newwoodbutcher's profile


818 posts in 3762 days

#3 posted 05-12-2016 02:18 AM

I think I would get a nice smoother. I think Lie Nielsen is heirloom quality but you can go really crazy with these things an old infill will cost thousands. A good Lie Nielsen 4 1/8 tuned as a smoother, that’s what I would do….. I think.

-- Ken

View Kirk650's profile


680 posts in 1660 days

#4 posted 05-12-2016 05:32 PM

I get a good bit of use from my rabbeting block plane and a couple of shoulder planes. And a Veritas low angle smoother gets used probably more than any other planes I have. That said, you never know when you’ll need other plane types and sizes, so get what you need and get what you might need. I am now ‘overplaned’ but don’t tell the wife.

And, just to say it, my favorite plane is a #4 that was my Grandfathers. Must be over 100 years old. I use it often. It has a worn spot on the tote where his thumb was placed.

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2907 days

#5 posted 05-13-2016 02:11 AM

Thanks for the advice. I have had my eye on the LN block rabbet plane. That one looks really nice too. I do have a Stanley 65 which works well, but obviously can’t do the same things.

The LN bench planes look incredible too. I’m just not sure how much I’d use them. My No 4 is really a good worker, so I’m not sure I want/need to replace it. The no 5 I have is somewhat suspect though. Hm…good problem to have I guess.

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19746 posts in 3480 days

#6 posted 05-14-2016 10:24 PM

Based on what you have, the next thing in line for what I use would be the set of Veritas rabbet block planes.

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

View rustfever's profile


797 posts in 4222 days

#7 posted 05-14-2016 10:42 PM

Plane? Plane?
Cessna twin turbo would be very nice.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View jmartel's profile


9106 posts in 3062 days

#8 posted 05-14-2016 11:40 PM

Given that you have bench planes already, I’d suggest a router plane or a shoulder plane. Both are invaluable. I use both of mine a decent amount now. Still waiting for my rabbet block plane to get here though.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View TheFridge's profile


10861 posts in 2398 days

#9 posted 05-14-2016 11:46 PM

I got a LN 4.5 with 55 degree frog that has handled everything I’ve thrown at it from walnut crotch to curly maple, ash, and sapele. Was using a Stanley 4.5 t10 that was great but couldn’t handle the really curly stuff.

If the Stanley 4 is doing everything you need it to then I wouldn’t suggest replacing it at the moment.

Veritas skew rabbet blocks are awesome. I have one and it is a spectacular tool.

Do you have any hand saws?

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View JollyGreen67's profile


1676 posts in 3675 days

#10 posted 05-15-2016 01:39 AM

P-51 ?

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected ! RIP 09/08/2018

View TheFridge's profile


10861 posts in 2398 days

#11 posted 05-15-2016 01:43 AM


-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Robert's profile


4132 posts in 2393 days

#12 posted 05-15-2016 11:53 AM

Router plane or shoulder would be next addition I would think. The LV router plane looks just as good as LN. I like the LV shoulder planes the sides screws are the ticket. You may also want to consider a la block plane or better yet, a la rabbet block. I have the LN model its quite handy!

I think a LA jack is quite useful, but wouldn’t be on the top 5 list. I have a LN version works well with the hot dog handle as a shooter.

The LN 4 1/2. Its a dream to use. But if you’ve already got a smoother, probably not the next purchase. I wouldn’t recommended it for someone with low upper body strength, shoulder or elbow issues. Also probably not the next plane for you.

I like the skew rabbet but every time I reconsider its because I see no advantage in abandoning the table saw just to do those by hand.

Ultimately you need to look at the type of ww’ing you’re doing

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View OSU55's profile


2658 posts in 2901 days

#13 posted 05-16-2016 12:24 AM

Although I have power tools, everything gets at least a smoother passed over it. Panel glue ups wider than 13” get flattened and smoothed with planes – no sanding or dust and no rounded edges from sanding. I notice you don’t have a high angle smoother. My pick would be a Veritas custom 4-1/2 with a 40 deg frog for shooting board work, and a 50 and possibly a 55 deg frog for smoothing. If the 4-1/2 is too wide for you, make it a 4. Pick the knob and tote you like, and get the PM-V11 iron(s).

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2907 days

#14 posted 05-16-2016 12:30 AM

Thanks for all the thoughts. Lots of good ideas here. I took a hand plane class offered at my local woodcraft yesterday. The guy teaching it was a Lie-Nielsen catalog. I think he had one of everything. Their #7 was quite awesome. I’m still getting mine tuned up, so if it works well enough I’ll pass on the $425. But if not…sheesh it was nice.

And I saw that LA jack plane in action as well. I’m thinking twice about getting that one now, as it felt great on the shooting board, and with the multiple blades can be pretty handy. I’ll have to give it some thought. I also liked their #3 smoother, but my #4 works really good…so it might be too redundant.

He also showed us a technique with the scrub plane where you can get one side of a board flat enough to not wobble on a table, and then send it through your planer with that side down. Seemed like a great alternative to the big, heavy jointing sled I’ve been using. I hear a lot about the $10 harbor freight scrub conversion. Maybe I’ll try that.

Gosh, so many good offerings. I guess its good to have options.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2907 days

#15 posted 06-01-2016 02:15 AM

Ok…so I am definitely in lust with those bronze planes from LN. Its been weeks since the class, and I keep thinking about them.

Let me ask this – in the class we learned the advantages of the high angle frog (50 or 55) for handling tougher grain, but with the drawback of being harder to push. So I was thinking maybe a #3 with the 50 degree frog would be a good compliment to my standard #4? Higher angle for tougher boards, but narrower iron to make the required force about the same. Sound like a decent excuse to ‘need’ one of those bronze beauties?

Only thing I’m worried about is the #3 being too small for my hands. I don’t have monster mitts, but I do wear size XL gloves. The #4 is pretty comfortable. Anybody care to comment on #3 vs. #4?


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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