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Lie-Nielsen Lever Cap stiff

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Jarviser

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I have had my L-N 4 1/2 for about 6 months now. I sold off all my Record smoothers and replaced it with this one gorgeous plane.
It's still as pretty as ever of course, but also the lever is still as stiff as ever. If I have it set so that my feeble fingers can actually unclip it, the blade seems too easily adjusted. In fact once when I came down a bit heavy at the start of a cut, the heavy blade dropped the full backlash and I took off a huge shaving.
I finish up carefully giving the adjuster screw an extra half turn after clipping it down, and backing it off the half turn so I can unclip the cap again. Any remedies, or is that normal? I've tried working in oil, and even Brasso, to loosen the pivot.
 

Chris Knight

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Jarviser,
The lever cap should definitely not be as stiff as you describe - send it back is my suggestion.

Adjusting the screw after the lever cap is levered down is a big No-No in my book.
 

Frank D.

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That's not normal. I have 4 LN bench planes and keep the lever caps quite loose, so I can ajust the blade easily when everything is in place, and nothing moves when I plane even the toughest woods.
 

Jarviser

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It doesn't move when I plane, it just dropped the once when I accidentally came down vertically like a hammer with the toe of the plane at the start of a cut. I don't even know how I did it. I guess these polished blades do slide around a lot more easily than the milled/speckly older blades.
 

Jarviser

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...actually Robert Wearing recommends never lying a metal plane on its side between cuts in case the blade shifts laterally, and I guess the momentum of a double thick blade is much greater.
 

MikeW

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Hi Jarviser,

Like Frank, the LNs I have (all the planes really) are only tightened enough to hold the blade firmly, yet allow the adjuster free movement.

I would suggest you contact them and or return it to where you purchased it.

Take care, Mike
 

Jarviser

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Thanks folks. Seems like mine is unusual, about 50% of the clamping effort is in the lever itself. If a bit more "physio" on the joint has no effect I will contact them.
 
A

Anonymous

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have you tried a bit of 3-in-1 oil? Just a drop at the pivot point
 

Jarviser

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Yes Tony, and I even tried the engineers' trick of running Brasso into the joint to ease away a bit of metal, but no use. It's just too good a fit.
I sent L-N an email and they are sending me a fresh lever cap by return direct from USA, and I will send them the old one back later via Axminster. They did that so I don't lose any planing days! Good company. :D
 

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