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102/apron plane mouth width

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JohnPW

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I'm looking to get a decent 102 sized block plane, my choices are Lie Nielsen 102, Workshop Heaven Quangsheng Luban 102, and Veritas Apron plane.

Does anyone know the mouth width with the blade in place of the Veritas Apron plane?

Apparently, Veritas said: "The 1/8” is the machined opening in the plane without a blade. With a blade at sole height you would be looking at less than a 1/16." ie less than 1.6mm. 1mm is huge and laughable let alone 1.6mm, and from photos it does look it's that sort of size.


Lie Nielsen says their 102 takes a maximum shaving of 0.2mm - 0.25mm and photos of the Luban 102 shows it's quite narrow as well.
 
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Argus

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The Lie-Nielsen 102 is very well engineered.... probably more so than the Stanley original.
I've measured mine and the aperture width is 0.1" - precisely, 0.103 on the right side and 1.04" on the left.
The length of the opening is 1-1/4"

Hope this helps.
 
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profchris

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I have the Veritas apron plane, and something like 1mm with the blade at sole level is about right. But it still works brilliantly! Takes slivers off end grain, though it's a bit small and light for anything whose section is more than 12 mm deep. I mainly use it for final thicknessing of ukulele tops, sides and backs, where it can take anything from a hair thin sliver to a 1/4 mm shaving.

So it's perfect for me, for larger workpieces a bit small I think.
 

JohnPW

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Well that has put me off the Veritas apron plane! Although I might still get their normal sized block plane.

I'm sure Veritas has their reasons to choose to make the mouth bigger than the Lie-Nielsen 102 , maybe they expect it to be mostly used for end grain.

Lie Nielsen in their 102 instructions says that the user can open up the mouth with a file if they want a wider mouth, which I think is the better option by giving the user a choice.
 
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Adam W.

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Personally, I'd go for the Lie Nielsen, just because it'll keep them going and I'm all for supporting ingenuity and craftsmanship.
 

JohnPW

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Actually, 1mm might not so wide after all, my 1920s Stanley no 6 is 1mm and 1960s Record 5 1/2 is 1.5mm.
 

timwhatley

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I have the Workshop Heaven 102 - and while I was happy with it originally (nice heft, lovely bronze body, good steel in the blade etc), as I've used it more I've discovered it's a real pain to get the blade square, and keep it there. I have to skew it right over until it's up against the right side of the body in order to have the blade reasonably square in the mouth - so I think the casting is a bit out. The adjustment is also not as smooth as I'd like.

Overall I wish I'd just spent a bit more and got the Lie Nielsen. I'm sure the Veritas is great too - I just love the aesthetic of the bronze body.
 

IWW

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I've owned a Veritas apron plane for 25 years or more and used it a lot in that time, it's been a very handy little thing on many & many an occasion & I've never been embarrassed by its big mouth. I'm not sure why people want to make 'precision instruments' out of simple tools that do what they are normally required to do quite well - even the crudest of them, the original 102 does what it needs to do, which is trimming corners & similar not-too-demanding jobs where one-handed use is more convenient than two.

Expecting a very small, bevel-up plane to be a wonder tool is expecting too much, imo. If you want a small plane capable of fine work on flat grain, a small double-iron smoother will outperform anything based on the 102, and if you want a shooting plane, get something that has grown up a bit. I suppose if you are into miniature work, then small is paramount, but in ordinary everyday furniture-scale work, I like something I can hang onto comfortably!

I appreciate that if your tool budget or space is limited, you would like to have tools that are as versatile as possible, but over time you will almost certainly expand your toolchest & eventually, you'll have horses best suited to the courses you put them over. So it pays to keep in mind just what you expect of each tool & how well (& how conveniently) it can deliver. You can make a single plane do a very wide range of jobs that it was not really intended for, but often at the expense of convenience & comfort. When it comes to small, one-handed block planes, I'd go for the Hyundai over the Rolls-Royce.

My tuppence-worth....
:)
Ian
 

Inspector

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I don't own any of the ones you are contemplating (I have the NX60, adjustable mouth) but reading the blurb on the Apron Plane it says the A2 and PM-V11 are thicker at 0.125" compared to the 0.98" O1 blade. So if those blades are okay with you that makes the mouth at least 0.027" narrower. Does that rule it back in or just confuse the decision making process some more? 😇

Pete
 

JohnCee

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I have the Workshop Heaven 102 - and while I was happy with it originally (nice heft, lovely bronze body, good steel in the blade etc), as I've used it more I've discovered it's a real pain to get the blade square, and keep it there. I have to skew it right over until it's up against the right side of the body in order to have the blade reasonably square in the mouth - so I think the casting is a bit out.
I have a Quangsheng adjustable mouth block plane with the same problem. I have to grind the blade well out of square to give equal cutting depth across the whole mouth. Contrary to popular opinion, I've found the Quangsheng blade steel pretty mediocre too.
 

IWW

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I don't own any of the ones you are contemplating (I have the NX60, adjustable mouth) but reading the blurb on the Apron Plane it says the A2 and PM-V11 are thicker at 0.125" compared to the 0.98" O1 blade. So if those blades are okay with you that makes the mouth at least 0.027" narrower. Does that rule it back in or just confuse the decision making process some more? 😇

Pete
Pete, changing to a thicker blade makes absolutely no difference to the size of the mouth opening on a bevel-up plane - it's a pro or a con, depending on circumstances. If you want to close the mouth on a BU plane, your only option is to shim the bed, which is a rather clumsy and inconvenient solution.

Fitting a thicker blade on a bevel-down plane will close the mouth....
Cheers,
Ian
 

IWW

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Doh!! What was I thinking? You are absolutely correct.
Pete
S'okay - I have plenty of senior moments myself & sometimes rabbit on about BU blades when I mean bevel down. There's only 180 degrees of difference, after all....
:confused:
Ian
 
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