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Low angle jack planes

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LancsRick

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Generally for planes my preferred option is buying used and restoring, however despite keeping an eye out the pickings seem to be slim to none on low angle jack planes. As a result I'm considering buying new - unheard of for me!

Options that are around seem to be...

Stanley sweetheart - £110 - my main concern is some reports of the blade bed not being parallel to the sole, which isn't easily solved.

Quangsheng and Axminster Rider - £160 - both of these seems to get good reviews. The Quangsheng used to gain favour as it came with 3 blades for the same price but that doesn't seem to be true anymore.

Lie Nielsen - £240 - getting a bit rich for my liking, but I have to say there's an element of "wouldn't it be nice to have one LN".

Veritas - £250 - don't know much about this one but as its veritas I'm assuming good things. The only bit I have picked up on is apparently a nice lateral adjustment design.

So, what would the UKW community suggest out of these options?
 

craigsalisbury

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probably not the place for it, but I have the 62 rider with 2 irons you can have for £100+ P&P if you want. I bought it with aspirations, then never really bothered past sharpening once i think. nothing wrong with it, its a good plane
 

MusicMan

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I have the Quangsheng low angle jack and like it very much. It sits very comfortably in the hand at the right level (for me) and is very well made. My own feeling is that beyond this you are paying for the name, not the tool.

Oh, and my obligatory one LN is the low-angle skew block plane, a useful little thing and not nearly so expensive!

Keith
 

Simon_M

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I have two Axminster Rider planes - but not the one you are considering. I considered the Stanley sweetheart and haven't looked at Quangsheng.

If you want to buy either the Axminster Rider or the Lie Nielsen then I would only buy them (with hindsight) directly from the store.

1. That's because I bought a No 4 and quickly realised it was much lighter than I expected - it was replaced with a 4 1/2 - that's wider and heavier - there is no alternative base in the Rider planes e.g. only ductile steel. Axminster sent me a replacement cap because the original one had lacquer missing and had tarnished in the box. They brand the planes and put them in fancy boxes - IMHO the time, effort and effort should be used to check over the product. Results are good - two blades supplied although there is only a ground surface - you still have to set this up and hone an edge - not what the blurb says.

2. I also haven't had good luck with the Rider block range e.g. No 92. had a casting defect (returned). 3-in-1 had a similar problem with the chip breaker (2 returned). I kept the 3rd and returned the 4th. I'm not sure if the same supplier was used for block planes and bench planes. I have concluded that the store has either no interest or little control over the quality. Hence a visit to the store to "cherry pick" one. A visit to the store also means you can evaluate which one you like the feel of as it's a personal thing e.g. Lie Nielsen vs Rider. My previous No 4 was a "cheapie" that was heavy e.g. not like the basic Stanley and my preference is for a heavier rather than lighter feel.

In summary, I don't think you will be disappointed with Axminster Rider - but you do have to put the work in to ensure you are not getting a cast off (reject) and the (good) blades will require setup - maybe Lie Nielsen is setup out of the box and the exception?

The Stanley quality has obviously gone downhill and they are not the product that they once were. So the (limited) sweetheart range is an attempt to "restore" this quality. Like car manufacturer's rust problems, some found that it takes 20 years to restore faith in a brand after quality suffers before it's improved... There was some criticism that the initial Stanley No. 62 but you don't hear of problems now and it makes no sense to not clear up any defects in manufacturing otherwise the reject ratio will eat into profit - I think you can assume it's sorted now. A quick google search for "Stanley STA112137" will find you some excellent prices e.g. DM (with quick stock rotation). Perhaps you could persuade a local retailer to get one in and also match prices or check the return policy for a mail order supplier? Stanley is perhaps on the lighter side? It has a Norris style adjuster for in/out and lateral movement.

Lie Nielsen is a "copy" of the Stanley albeit with (hopefully) some improvements - you can download the instructions e.g. it warns that lateral adjustment is deliberately limited (so you might have to tap the blade with a mallet?) and the need to keep the throat set for the material being planed and who would have thought that brass and bronze have lead in them which is perhaps why he uses a stainless adjustment knob - the thing you actively touch. It also admits it's a copy of a successful product from Stanley (of old).

Having one Lie Nielsen might mean you are tempted to use it for more than it's intended use. So you might end up getting into more LN purchases... whatever you do, don't watch the Lie Nielsen interview where he explains his philosophy and you might get hooked...
 

MusicMan

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There are thousands of brass and bronze alloys and it is by no means normal to have lead in them. Lead is usually added to make the machining somewhat easier. But straight 60-40 copper-zinc brass machines perfectly well for things like adjusting knobs. It might matter for a big production line. In any case, I wouldn't worry about lead poisoning from handling a leaded brass screw or even lumps of pure lead (as one often does in the X-ray business, my former life). The danger is in dissolved lead in lead water pipes, and lead compound dusts in sanding leaded paints, and of course eating leaded paints as kids used to do.

Keith
 

thetyreman

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I don't own a low angle jack plane but if I was gonna get one it'd be the veritas for me, I think you get what you pay for.
 

Simon_M

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MusicMan":1c49j7nh said:
There are thousands of brass and bronze alloys and it is by no means normal to have lead in them.
I also think that the risk from lead in brass is very (ridiculously) low. You aren't putting it in water to dissolve it etc. and items are lacquered to prevent tarnish (a failing in my first Rider plane) and avoid the need to polish it - also helps "locks" in any lead.

The rules in California changed so that the maximum lead content is reduced to 0.5% before it becomes notifiable to a purchaser. I'm not sure why Lie Nielsen (a US company) chose to stay with something higher, as "ordinary" brass is quite machinable anyway. They must however have their reasons to want to keep things as they are (if it's not broke, don't fix it).
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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LancsRick":2ijn01dp said:
Generally for planes my preferred option is buying used and restoring, however despite keeping an eye out the pickings seem to be slim to none on low angle jack planes. As a result I'm considering buying new - unheard of for me!

Options that are around seem to be...

Stanley sweetheart - £110 - my main concern is some reports of the blade bed not being parallel to the sole, which isn't easily solved.

Quangsheng and Axminster Rider - £160 - both of these seems to get good reviews. The Quangsheng used to gain favour as it came with 3 blades for the same price but that doesn't seem to be true anymore.

Lie Nielsen - £240 - getting a bit rich for my liking, but I have to say there's an element of "wouldn't it be nice to have one LN".

Veritas - £250 - don't know much about this one but as its veritas I'm assuming good things. The only bit I have picked up on is apparently a nice lateral adjustment design.

So, what would the UKW community suggest out of these options?
Rick, I cannot speak for the Quangsheng and Axminster Rider. I have used the Stanley and was not overly impressed, but this was against the LN and Veritas, with which I am very familiar. I own an original (vintage) Stanley #62 and the LV LA Jack, the latter for 15 years. I wrote a review of this all those years ago: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolReview ... AJack.html

The point I want to make is that the LN and LV are much better quality than the others. Not necessary better material, but QC is higher and you are assured of a perfect plane. And their backup service is the best.

The LV is actually in a class of its own. It is loosely based on the Stanley #62, where as the LN is a copy of it. The LV is slightly wider - which is a good thing on a shooting board - and the blade set up system is a different story to the others. In years to come, if you want to sell either the LV or the LN, you will get 80% of your money back. I rather doubt that you will get much back on the others.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

Sideways

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I've recently been reading some reviews of planes and chisels by the late David Savage.
A man who had no problem telling it like he saw it, his (very few) tool reviews had me laughing out loud.
He gave praise where he could but pointed out flaws in many of the big names from high to low, and the "newcomers" too. He said he wasn't asked to do many tool reviews :)
Well worth finding these online as an eye opener as well as entertainment. The key would seem to be try out some planes and decide what matters / fits best for yourself.
Personally I bought a #62 Axminster (Indian made I believe) as a factory second. I got lucky and consider it a decent plane for the money. Others have had bad experiences with them and wouldn't touch a factory second unseen. You do have the insurance policy that buying online you can return it (at your cost) if you can't accept it's flaws.
Importantly I find mine comfortable and got something decent for MUCH less than a LN/Veritas. Even premium planes like LN and Veritas have very different handle shapes and sizes and you'll never know whether any brand of planes will fit you until you use them for a few hours or at least handle them.
 
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Peter Sefton":12nbaqsd said:
The Veritas is an amazing plane, one of my personal favourites.
Do you find that you accidently loosen the mouth adjustment knob as you use it? I do. very annoying!
 

LancsRick

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Wow thanks for all the replies guys, hugely informative.

What is singularly unhelpful though is that you're pointing me towards the most expensive option. Bad UKW, bad!
 

Simon_M

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Funny (not really), but some might object as selling one child might be seen as favouritism... (homer)
Better, sell both children and the dog and get the LN 62, LN 4 1/2 (or 5 1/2) and a LN block plane. You will be sorted for life!

Best, is visit a store and try the Rider and the LN and decide if looks, feel and performance are what you want/need.

NB You could buy one LN now and hope (pray) you get the others for Christmas...
 

woodbloke66

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Peter Sefton":1gm79cak said:
The Veritas is an amazing plane, one of my personal favourites.
And me; I've used one for well over ten years. My 'go to' plane on the bench - Rob
 

Benchwayze

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LancsRick":5m2yvdyv said:
Lie Nielsen - £240 - getting a bit rich for my liking, but I have to say there's an element of "wouldn't it be nice to have one LN".

Veritas - £250 - don't know much about this one but as its veritas I'm assuming good things. The only bit I have picked up on is apparently a nice lateral adjustment design.

So, what would the UKW community suggest out of these options?
I have the Lie Nielsen, and I also caved in to Matthew at Workshop Heaven and bought a Quangsheng a few years ago.

Both are excellent planes but like any other plane, are only as good as the person wot sharpens and sets 'em! I think the LN does have a shade over the other, but I can't see much difference between the two TBH. They both feel good in the 'heft' and respond as you would expect. Whenever I need to use one, I have them both out on the bench to save sharpening time; the Quangsheng came in a useful plywood box, and with the spare blades I am a happy bunny. You pays your money etc. (My LN came from eBay though, so a little less expensive.) If you want just one, bite the bullet and go for the LN. I know not much about the Veritas, but their rebate plane is a 'Boster', as we say up here. So you might do well there.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-MINT-LIE ... SwI31dZuWJ

HTH

John (hammer)
 

M_Chavez

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I've got the Quangsheng and find it a nice plane to use, although I don't think I use it enough to justify its cost, so might sell it soon.

Of the 3 quangsheng planes that I have all are made to a very high standard and came almost ready to use out of the box. I wouldn't think twice before buying another QS if I need a metal plane. In contrast, I don't see myself buying anything with "Stanley" written on it, new or old.
 

JJ1

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Another vote for the Veritas Low Angle Jack. Money well spent.
 

sundaytrucker

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I have the Lie Nielsen No62 and previously owned the Veritas LA Jack. The Veritas was better and I regret moving it on but when it came to buying another BU plane I liked the look of the LN and thought I'd give it a try, it is good but given the option again my money would go to Veritas. Also I prefer O1 or PMV11 to A2.
 

woodbloke66

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sundaytrucker":2ku5chat said:
Also I prefer O1 or PMV11 to A2.
To go slightly off topic here; I also felt the same way about A2, but have 'come round' to using it again. I have a mixture of PM-V11 and A2 blades in my BU planes and each type of steel can be honed so they perform identically. There are also A2 blades in my LN block plane and LN51 shooter. Honed using the SS 3M films and a Veritas honing guide - Rob
 
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