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Bench Dog hand planes from Rockler

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Forum topic by bbrown posted 11-09-2019 12:30 AM 572 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bbrown

297 posts in 4088 days


11-09-2019 12:30 AM

Topic tags/keywords: plane

Any updates on the current quality of Rockler’s ‘Bench Dog’ planes?

They are currently on sale for 20% off.

https://www.rockler.com/rockler-promotions/current-promotions/hand-plane-sale

Past reviews were somewhat mixed overall but they are older reviews. I was wondering if the planes might have improved in quality since. The price point is quite good and they seem hefty. Fit and finish would be my main concern.

—Bill

-- Micah 6:8


21 replies so far

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Eric

130 posts in 773 days


#1 posted 11-09-2019 03:04 PM

Made by Anant in India.

-- Eric

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CaptainKlutz

1939 posts in 2030 days


#2 posted 11-09-2019 07:37 PM

HaHa, there is nothing fast about product improvements from Asia.
It takes 3-4 months for product made in Asia to reach US. They ship on large container ships with fully loaded 8×8x40 cargo boxes. You know how many hand planes fit into a 8×8x40 ft box?

Hence, even if Rockler decided to make changes based on the poor review made back in August 2019 on LJ, the improved product would not be in USA yet.

Practically only way to SEE if quality has improved, is visit the store and inspect each plane before purchase.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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therealSteveN

4079 posts in 1109 days


#3 posted 11-09-2019 08:20 PM



Made by Anant in India.

- Eric

With this in mind they are extremely high priced for what you are getting. An Old Stanley for much less, even adding a Hock iron you would still be well under the $$$$$.

Save your pennies, and step up to FABULOUS with either a LV, or LN model.

-- Think safe, be safe

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Eric

130 posts in 773 days


#4 posted 11-10-2019 08:44 AM

My opinon is the Woodriver and Rockler planes are not good values. For less money you could buy a working vintage Stanley all fettled up and ready to make shavings. There’s lots of used Veritas/LN too. I bought LN/Veritas low angle jack and jointer planes on this forum for about 70% of the new price which is less than a new woodriver LA jack. Resale on the knock-offs sucks and yet I can sell my LN and Veritas planes for what i paid.

-- Eric

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bbrown

297 posts in 4088 days


#5 posted 11-10-2019 12:10 PM

Excellent advice folks!

I’m in the market for a number of sets (about 10!) of hand tools for workshops that I’ll be starting in the Spring: www.MaineCoastWorkshop.com.

Since I need to order in quantity, it just seemed so much easier to find an affordable line that had everything I needed. But your points are well taken re. quality and price. I’ll keep scouring the used market and if anyone has some tips or something to sell for the cause, do let me know….

Thanks for the input.

-Bill

-- Micah 6:8

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CaptainKlutz

1939 posts in 2030 days


#6 posted 11-10-2019 10:52 PM



Excellent advice folks!

I m in the market for a number of sets (about 10!) of hand tools for workshops that I ll be starting in the Spring: www.MaineCoastWorkshop.com.

Since I need to order in quantity, it just seemed so much easier to find an affordable line that had everything I needed. But your points are well taken re. quality and price. I ll keep scouring the used market and if anyone has some tips or something to sell for the cause, do let me know….

Thanks for the input.

-Bill

- bbrown

Suggestions based on new information:

1) The topic of buying a large number of hand tools for teaching purposes has been asked in the forums before. Might try searching for past answers.

2) If you want to obtain a large number of hand planes, and used tools are acceptable; peruse the Hand Planes of your Dreams thread. All of the LJ hand plane experts hang out there. Pretty sure several hand plane hoarders/collectors has a pile of the common #4/5 hand planes gathering dust they might sell? Won’t know till you ask.
Nice thing about buying from an expert user, you would have option of them tuning up the plane before you get it. Even a brand new LN or Veritas plane needs blade sharpened to the task at hand when pulled straight out of the box. All of the cheaper new planes can require significant fettling (hours) to make them work right.

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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bbrown

297 posts in 4088 days


#7 posted 11-11-2019 12:25 AM

Also……
...seems that if a company in India can make planes with this much heft that at least look like good planes, why the heck can’t they just pay attention to some fine points and make them really good?

These planes are great to handle, but apparently they totally lack the precision of a L-N or even most Stanleys.

-- Micah 6:8

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therealSteveN

4079 posts in 1109 days


#8 posted 11-11-2019 10:45 PM

Just a thought, but if you need to amass an army of hand planes, and lower cost comes into the equation you may want to consider picking up some Stanley transitional planes. They are the wooden bottomed planes that Sir Patrick likes to call firewood. I note though on his monthly sales flier that he is asking prices often over the metal counterparts, and not just on the rare, and harder to find.

On E Bay they are still often found at decent prices. Almost give away prices at flea markets everywhere, well at least around here.

You just always want to make sure they post a pic of the sole, so you can check that the mouth isn’t a huge gaping maw. To fettle a wooden plane most people just run them across a jointer, which can be rough on the mouth.

I’ve got a pile of them, for a while I chased down Liberty Bells, and they can be set up for good use, just like their all metal cousins. I’d much rather have a Transistional with a tight mouth, than a #4 with a casting crack.

On the Anant’s, I don’t know much about them, except they are said to be the cheapest of the cheap. I imagine deep down at the root of that the words “ductile metal” will be in use. All of the better American, and English, likely German, Swede, and others thought to be of better quality used ductile metals. An Anant would not use any higher grade of metal, and thus they would have cheesy tools. Now like most things, ductile comes in different flavors. The earlier Stanley’s were of metal that would be superior to the Anant’s of today, yet are miles behind the metals used on a Lee Valley, Or LN tool. In a sense, same yet much different is the best wording to compare. Very similar to the conversation about grades of bolts, grade 8, are made to last and last, against very high loads, stressors. Grade 2, not so much. All are metal bolts, but not the same.

Same as an Anant is a hand plane, just like a Stanley, or a LN, or LV, but not the same.

-- Think safe, be safe

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bandit571

23959 posts in 3219 days


#9 posted 11-12-2019 01:07 AM

Had an ANANT A-4 come through the rehab shop…

Frog ( like a late model Stanley)

Same with the frog seat….Anant LOVED to nickle plate…just a bit too much, though..

Front, AFTER a good cleaning…

And the back end…

And the sole…

Seemed to work nice….traded it for Millers Falls No. 9…

Seemed a fair trade….

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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therealSteveN

4079 posts in 1109 days


#10 posted 11-12-2019 03:46 AM

I would think you increased value quite a bit.

-- Think safe, be safe

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bbrown

297 posts in 4088 days


#11 posted 11-12-2019 03:57 PM

I’m enjoying this thread!

I personally have used L-N and Veritas for my furniture making: www.LineAndBerry.com
So I have just not really had the need to learn much about the fine points of hand planes since these work so well for me. Y’all are much more knowledgeable than me on this topic.

But now I am faced with the need to acquire multiple sets of hand tools for classes that I will be starting this Spring: www.MaineCoastWorkshop.com

6 sets of L-N planes is ruled out unless I win the lottery! I can barely afford one.

Thus, I am on a steep learning curve as I try to somehow find 6-8 basic tool kits for students: Each set would include a jack plane, a smoother (number 4 or 5) plane, a shoulder plane, a block plane, 2 saws (combo rip/Xcut and a dovetail), measuring tools, squares, marking gauges, mallets, & card scrapers…...

.......I guess I should make this a new post. I’m feeling a bit stressed by my need to do this much tooling up in such a short time, with limited funds.

Bench Dog is clearly crossed off my list. Wood River, if on sale might be possible (?), but even they are not cheap. Old Stanly’s or Fulton’s etc. might be my best bet. I need decent users b/c I do not have the time for extensive rehab. Of course I’m open to anyone who has extras of the tools on my list above!


Captain Klutz – I should have done a better job of checking old threads, as I see this has recently been covered in depth. Your comments have been very helpful.
TheRealSteven I always appreciate your valuable input. Bandit – thanks for going to the trouble to post the photos!

—Bill

-- Micah 6:8

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CaptainKlutz

1939 posts in 2030 days


#12 posted 11-12-2019 04:35 PM

Bill > Another suggestion, don’t make your tool build up a treasure hunt, especially if don’t want troublesome or old tool fettling to be major subject in your class.

Veritas/Lee Valley is known donate small (< $50 items to clubs as contest prizes in exchange for favorable mention in event advertising. LN does same, but is more selective; and tended to prefer large club events with strong regional participation/attendance. Point being they are willing to support wood working business opportunities that increase exposure and sales to qualified buyers (such as hand tool students).

With your experience and resume in wood working; suggest you might want to call LN and/or Veritas to ask for sponsorship of your classes?
With right sales pitch to right person inside these suppliers, they should be enticed to help. Could get a decent class room discount (closer to Benchdog pricing), or could be more?
If your open to selling your soul to one of them as spokes-person, they might even partner for everything to be single brand and offer discount to your students after the class. :-)

Hint – Treat your class room tooling build up, just like trying to sell you latest piece for greatest return; sell it!
Never know till you ask.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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Eric

130 posts in 773 days


#13 posted 11-12-2019 04:36 PM

Have you looked at new Stanley product? I have a couple Stanley block planes made in England and they’re not bad. The new Stanley hand planes don’t look too bad. The #4 is $43 on Amazon. Another choice is Taytools on Amazon. I think their house brand planes are Anant or Groz but I’m not positive. I’m sure he’d cut you a deal on everything you need. Narex chisel etc. Grizzly is getting good reviews too.

-- Eric

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bbrown

297 posts in 4088 days


#14 posted 11-12-2019 05:23 PM

Captain, your ideas are so much of what I’d like to do! I felt a bit shy about approaching L-N b/c they are about 15 minutes from my shop in Maine and they offer classes there, so they could consider me competition. Reality is we could all help each other, but not sure everyone would see it that way. My focus is 18th century stuff, hand tool techniques, classical carving, with some branching into Folk idioms.

I sure could use someone who could actually give a “good sales pitch” b/c I am the world’s worst salesman :)

My workshops will be differentiated from the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship (10 minutes from me) which is mostly contemporary work, and another craft school in Damariscotta, ME area (30 minutes from me) which is all green woodworking (spoons, chairs, etc.). Believe it or not, I think that our area can support yet another school. I’m only hplanning to do 6-8 weeks of classes between May and Oct., the nice time of year here in coastal Maine: www.MaineCoastWorkshop (my site is still in progress). It’s a beautiful area with a thriving craft scene, so it’s an attractive draw for a woodshop vacation.

Eric, I would like to know more about the English Stanly’s. I think Anant and Groz are ruled out for inferior quality? Anyone else know about “Taytools”?

I found a great buy on Wood River bench chisels 4-sets so have enough for 10 students. Still need mortise chisel sets.

-- Micah 6:8

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CaptainKlutz

1939 posts in 2030 days


#15 posted 11-12-2019 07:42 PM

I felt a bit shy about approaching L-N b/c they are about 15 minutes from my shop in Maine and they offer classes there, so they could consider me competition.
- bbrown

Look at both side of this local competition:
If you live 15 minutes from LN, the last thing they would want is your shop fully tooled with Veritas planes/saws/chisels, plus advertising them as best tools for new students, right?
Don’t be shy, sales is easy. Start a conversation on tool discounts for wood working classes, and then ask if they want to sponsor the effort and be exclusive tool used in your classes. All it cost them is 10 sets of tools. Sweeten the deal and offer to let them teach 1/2 day of sharpening 101 and pay them for it.
There are dozen ways to share revenue with tool mfg that can produce a beneficial relationship for both class rooms, IF they can be convinced to make the investment in your skills.
You got this. :-)

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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