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LN #7 versus #7 1/2

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Anonymous

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Opinions people?

I've been considering for a long time a planer/thicknesser (if I'd been quicker, I'd have got one of those DW733S that were on offer a while back, but was too slow). But, I have limited space, and also find myself with ever increasing neander tendencies. Thus far, I've always thicknessed, flattened and whatever'd with a 6, 5 1/2, and 4 1/2, in roughly that order, with a #4 converted to scrub when needed. BUT, I'm thinking about a #7, cos I'm going to need to sort out some 2m lengths of Iroko and some, as yet undecided, other African exotic with interlocked grain (all 100 mm thick, roughly) in the not too dim & distant. So - LN 7 or 7 1/2? Low angle or not?

The 7 1/2 is attractive, just cos of the 70 or 80 quid lower price tag, whereas the 7 is not too far off the price of an S.I.P p/t. Not counting the Cliftons, because by the time you add a decent A2 iron (Hock, maybe), the price gets up to the L-N range. Not considering the L-V at the moment - too innovative for me :?

So - anyone compared these 2 - what's the pros & cons between the LA and the normal angle? Is the normal worth the extra lotsa-money?

Cheers in advance
Esp
 
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Anonymous

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ESP

I do not have any advice to give about #7 etc. as I have no experience of them.

However, I think you are wrong in stating that a Clifton needs a new iron. I have a Clifton #5 and the iron is thicker than the A2 Hock I bought for my stanley #5 a year ago and it seems to stay sharp at least as long. It has never crossed my mind to transfer the Hock to the Clifton

The Clifton iron is about the same as the LN in my opinion (I sharpen tham both around the same number of times) and I base this on my experiences with four LNs and one Clifton.

My Clifton works as well as my LNs - straight from the box!!

Hope this helps with your decision

Cheers

Tony
 

Midnight

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ES...

an interesting choice....
Although my own decision to buy the L-N#7 was made pretty quickly, I'd hovered on the should I/shouldn't I aspect for months before hand.. I thought long and hard about the exact same question, opting in favour of the #7 purely because IF I needed to, I could drop the York pitch frog into it. To date I haven't needed to, inspite of tackling some pretty wild stuff in the last few months..
From what I've heard, the 7 1/2 is an excellent performer too; having the 62, I can't say that surprises me. The one thing that put me off was that very rarely, the #62 can struggle with real high density wild grain (more chatter than tear out, honed at 30deg); being able to set the throat real fine on it prevents any real damage to the board. The lack of throat adjustment was the only thing that put me off the #7 1/2 when I NEEDED to replace my jointing plane. That's not to say I wouldn't buy it sometime later.. it looks a tasty piece of kit..
On reading the info at the L-N site re the 7 1/2, they recomend a bevel angle of up to 40deg (52.5deg net) for difficult grain..

If you opt fot the #7.. check to ensure that it's supplied with the improved chip breaker; although L-N were shipping them with the upgrade at the time I bought mine, Axminster must have been trying to clear their old stock. However, with the standard chip breaker, the #7 is one hellova impressive tool. It wouldn't be fair to do a back to back comparrison betwen it and my Stanley #7.... it's not in the same ballpark... the L-N totally outclasses it in virtually every dept.
From what I've read here, the Clifton #7 is rated pretty favourably too..
like I said.... interesting decision...
 

Midnight

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I have a Clifton #5 and the iron is thicker than the A2 Hock I bought for my stanley #5 a year ago and it seems to stay sharp at least as long.
Tony... forgive me if I'm wrong, but I think the reason that ALL the iron upgrades for the Stanley itons are kept thinner than the suppliers stock "normal" thickness to stay within the limits of the Stanley chip breaker's screw length; make the iron any thicker and the screw canna handle it...
Can't talk from experience here....never done it....
 
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Anonymous

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Hi Mike

You could be right here but the Hock I got for my #5 was about 1 3/4 times as thick as the original Stanley iron

Cheers

Tony
 
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Anonymous

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Is it the cap iron's screw length, or the length of the depth adjuster gizmo (what the hell is the name of that) that goes through the iron and slots into the cap iron? I believe that's the reason L-N irons can't be used in Stanleys or Records

Thanks for the info Midnight & Tony - I think the 7 1/2 may win it, just cos of the price difference; if I get tear-out, I'll just have to reach for the scraper (sigh - I hate the scraper! :lol: )
 

Midnight

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Tony":29wz61f7 said:
Hi Mike

You could be right here but the Hock I got for my #5 was about 1 3/4 times as thick as the original Stanley iron
Sorry Tony....THAT'S what I was trying to say... thicker than Stanley... but not as thick as it COULD be... One of these days I'll learn to think before I type...

Esp... cap iron screw = the HUGE headed, tiny thread (at least in length) screw that secures the cap iron to the blade. Offhand I canna remember what the max thickness you can upgrade with before the screw is a prob. Something in the back of my mind says the lobe from the adjuster yoke has trouble too...
<shrugs...
could be the meds...ignore me...
If you go for the 7 1/2.... any chance of an opinion...??
 
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Anonymous

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Midnight":3b0louxb said:
Esp... cap iron screw = the HUGE headed, tiny thread (at least in length) screw that secures the cap iron to the blade. Offhand I canna remember what the max thickness you can upgrade with before the screw is a prob. Something in the back of my mind says the lobe from the adjuster yoke has trouble too...
Nah, you misunderstand me - I was referring to the 'Y' piece that goes from the depth adjuster screw (in a Bailey style adjuster), up through the plane iron and slots into the cap iron; that's of limited length, and that could be one thing preventing using truly thick irons on Stanleys/Records.
 

Alf

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Espedair Street":2ee9x2tk said:
I was referring to the 'Y' piece that goes from the depth adjuster screw (in a Bailey style adjuster), up through the plane iron and slots into the cap iron; that's of limited length, and that could be one thing preventing using truly thick irons on Stanleys/Records.
It is.

I think the non-adjustable mouth of the #7 1/2 is something of a disadvantage. There were moves in the US to do a limited addition with an adjustable mouth. A search on the Woodnet forum should bring up the details. If it was me I'd get the Clifton; just waiting for the money and the desire to coincide and that's what I'll be doing. :roll:

Cheers, Alf
 

Midnight

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There were moves in the US to do a limited addition with an adjustable mouth. A search on the Woodnet forum should bring up the details.
I can't help feeling that if an adjustable mouth were available as standard, the #7 1/2 would sell like hotcakes... High angle bevel, fine set mouth, all tthe mass low down in the body of the plane.. wild grain wouldn't stand achance..

:wink:
 
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Anonymous

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Oh, that's cruel Alf - now what do I do? Wait the 4 months + to get the adjustable? $350? That's what, around 200 quid; but the 7 1/2 is already more than that, so US price no guide to UK price. $50 more than current price - adds about 30 quid; still cheaper than regular #7....

Oh, woe is me. If I could only win the lottery, I could have several of each :)
 
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Anonymous

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The Clifton's iron is 1/8" thick and pretty much the equal of any iron out there. Older Stanleys (I don't have any Records) used blades around .075" thick. I have used blades as thick as .107" in Stanleys without modifications but individual examples may vary.
Many aftermarket blades such as Hock are around .090" thick. Thicker blades may move the cap iron (or chipbreaker) too far away from the frog for the depth adjuster to engage.
 

Alf

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Roger Nixon":3fe4dotf said:
The Clifton's iron is 1/8" thick and pretty much the equal of any iron out there.
I'll "hear hear", that one, Roger. I must admit, if for nothing else (and there's plenty else) I like them for the stamped maker's mark, just like the old irons for woodies. Apparently it gave them quite a bit of trouble getting the technique just right, but I reckon it was worth it. :D

Esp, I'm so terribly sorry. Really I am. I'm gutted. Dunno what I was thinking... Once again I failed to organise the terms for commission before I mentioned it. :roll:

Cheers, Alf
 
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Espedair Street":3a14ppua said:
Oh, that's cruel Alf - now what do I do? Wait the 4 months + to get the adjustable? $350? That's what, around 200 quid; but the 7 1/2 is already more than that, so US price no guide to UK price. $50 more than current price - adds about 30 quid; still cheaper than regular #7....

Oh, woe is me. If I could only win the lottery, I could have several of each :)
Or you could use vintage planes and have several for the price of one LN :lol:. Seriously, I find it hard to understand the reason for LN bench planes. Specialty planes I understand, LN's are more easily available and often less expensive than the originals. Smoothing planes I understand. LN precision makes their smoothing planes better than Stanleys and Records but it offers very little, if any, practical advantage for common bench planes.
 

Midnight

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but it offers very little, if any, practical advantage for common bench planes.
Roger...
I wish I could agree with you on this point; unfortunately I've bitter experience to the contrary..
When I started making the transition from Normite to knuckle dragger, I'd no idea forums such as this existed, much less where to find them. In my area, 2nd hand tool dealers are like hens teeth, and being a rookie, I was wholely unqualified to tell a lemon form a decent plane. So I bought new examples of Record and Stanley based on trusting their reputation, thinking I was buying tools that were fit for purpose.. I'll spare the sob story; no doubt you're heard its likes before..
Two years on, Im somewhat the wiser; thanks to forums (primarily Knots, your own list and here) I've been steered in a better direction. From experience, I've learned that every Lie-Nielson purchace I make is a safe one; I get a tool that can, will and does take all the guesswork out of the learning curve (is it the tool, or am I doing something wrong here). I get a tool that can, will and does perform beautifully, straight out of the box. I've a (all too slowly) growing selection of tools I can put my trust in, backed up with L-N's lifetime guarantee; for me, you can't put a $ value on that, that kinda respect is priceless...
I may have to sweat a little before making each purchace; the "should I/shouldn't I, do I REALLY need it, can I afford it" questions beat me up some, but once I comit to the tool, I know I can relax and simply let the tool do its job. Unfortunately it's not every manufacturer that can boast similar levels of trustworthiness....
Thanks to your own list, and Alf here, I've grown to appreciate and respect the devotees of vintage tools; they take great pleasure in restoring abused and neglected tools back to working condition. However, I get more than my share of corrosion resurection at work; it's not my favourate pastime but it earns me a crust. I prefer to spend as much of my free time as I can working wood.. my L-N's allow me to do just that.
To date, my one regret was that I wasted hard earned by not buying L-N in the first place; the one thing I can't afford to do is waste cash.
 
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I just wanted to say that Mike took the words right off of my keyboard. Nice post Mike. I had almost the exact same experiences myself and agree with your comments wholeheartedly.

Cheers

Tony
 

Alf

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Roger, I agree with you except that someone's got to provide the potential quarry for future generations of bottom-feeding, rust hunting galoots. Dammit, it's our duty! :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 
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Anonymous

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True, ALF. My grandson may be buying "vintage" LN's someday while others tell him he's wasting his time restoring them :lol:.
Mike, I agree there is no worry about buying LN. Their committment to quality and customer service is most admirable and assuring.
My philosophy is that everyone should work with the tools they enjoy most because that is the whole point of hobbiest woodworking. If LN (or any other maker) makes you happy, I will celebrate your choice with you.
From a practical standpoint, just about any plane can work whether it be metallic, wood, infill, Japanese, Chinese or western styles. Since this thread was about #7 size planes I can say I have edge jointed some 7' maple planks using a Clifton #7, an LN #7, a Stanley #607 with Hock blade, Stanley #7, a Keen Kutter K7 (early Stanley Bedrock), and a 22" woody try plane and I could acheive the joint I wanted (tight on each end, sprung .003" in the middle) with all of them. The Clifton, LN & #607 were loaners, the others were mine. I was fastest with the K7 but I was most familiar with it. It was a $22 auction purchase and I have done no restoration or tuning other than cleaning & waxing it and sharpening the blade. The Stanley #7 and the woody tryplane were treated the same way. (Someday I'm going to patch the mouth on the woody and give it a real trial. I really like the feel of it.)
This is in no way a criticism of any brand of tool or anyone's preferences. It's just my way of saying there are options out there for all budgets and tastes.
 
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