Luban Chinese Block Plane

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Bodgers

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I don't see this as a one thing or another. I have bought new and sunk money into Western companies with new designs, i.e Veritas, but I've also bought Chinese. You can do both as budget and preference allow...

In my tool set I have:

Veritas Shooting Plane (Designed and made in Canada)

1950s Stanley 4 1/2 with a Veritas PMV11 blade (UK made bought used, blade new from Canada)

Luban No. 6 Jointer plane (Made in China, design based on US Bedrock pattern)

New Stanley SW Low Angle Jack (Designed in US, body made in Mexico, blade in UK)

New Stanley SW Block plane (Designed in US, body made in Mexico, blade in UK)

Soba No 5 grooved jack place (Made in India)

Soba shoulder plane (Made in India)

Stanley Router plane (UK made, 60's?)

ECE jack plane (Made in Germany) New

ECE block plane (Made in Germany) New

With such a wide range of components and the multinational nature of a lot of production it can be hard to boycott specific countries.
 

D_W

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I don't think this is a horribly important point, but luban is a copy of an LN plane (or an attempt). The WR was, too, but some static between woodcraft and LN resulted in the WR having some machining and appearance items moved closer to bedrock.

This is a snip from cosman's video comparing the two last year. I'm guessing the WR lost the square bits in the frog and maybe the copied hand wheel and probably a few other things on LN's plane close to 10 years ago. WR never put a brass/bronze lever cap on their planes in the US because you can get yourself in trouble here if you copy non-functional aspects of something too closely. Overseas, it's not like LN would chase someone down for selling Luban planes in the UK or Australia or wherever - they just don't have that much market there, but the static was enough to cause the change in the US.

LN's plane is almost a copy of the bedrock, though -at least the general design. If they'd have copied the original closer, I think theirs would look better (they could still use their color scheme -LN that is). Several of stanley's design elements are more attractive.

Comparing these two without stating they both started as a copy of LN's planes is a little weird, though. Early on, WR's smoothing plane was something like $129 often selling for $99 (with the squarish frog bits and who knows what else copied out of an LN). They're probably $200 here and comically, I saw on the australian forum that the WR planes often sell for the same as LN. That's humorous because woodcraft here generally has a huge markup due probably to their cost structure - both franchise owners and brick and mortar, which means lots of room is needed to pay a bunch of expenses that aren't incurred with mail order. Essentially, australians buying a WR plane are buying something that was made near them, but for someone in the US, originally copying something made in the US to be sold at a much lower price, and then it comes back to them in AU inflated even further.

And the whole issue of trade dress resulted in a bunch of legal experts in australia about american law trying to explain away why woodcraft would remove the LN-like elements from the plane from V2 to V3, I believe.

Screenshot 2022-03-23 080346.jpg


I would never buy a Luban or WR plane that was copied from an LN pattern to start, but that's my opinion and I don't expect other people to share it.

You can see that both planes (well, you can't on the WR - in the video, the hand wheel to the left is still the LN copied version

(I have gibson guitar to thank for me learning so much about trade dress - and some of their - gibson's - failure to enforce some things because of making marketing claims about the capabilities of certain aspects of their guitars that really aren't functional - just marketing overreach. That ended up burning them because trade dress items have to be something distinctive but not functional. I guess function is covered by patent. The visual differences in the LN frog vs. the now adjusted WR frog on the left would be non functional, as would the color of the lever cap when the change in material offers no difference in function.

Gibson is relatively well known here for doing better legal work than they do quality control on their guitars. At one point in the past, I bought a banjo from a maker and they wanted to ship me a banjo without a truss rod cover due to recent threat letters from gibson. The shape of a mastertone style banjo cover was always a bell. Gibson suddenly started trying to protect the bell shaped truss rod cover and suddenly banjos of other brands were shipped without them. I ended up having to get the truss rod cover in a separate envelope to calm the maker of the banjo, and then gibson shortly thereafter after threatening everyone folded their bluegrass division).
 

D_W

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Presuming you have a moral compass 🙄

His or yours? My moral compass suggests the needle shakes if I get near wood river planes. However, it doesn't prevent me from buying handmade guitar parts from russian makers. The dynamic there and perhaps with the russian toolmakers is they've literally dipped into american culture or european culture if what they're selling is something that is attached to the US.

I'd imagine the guy on the ground making tools in russia isn't really thinking about toppling borders - he's probably trying to make a living and maybe not a real great one at that. That would go a little sideways if the guy made a twitter post about dirty (Fill in the blank - whoever putin needs to use to try to gain propaganda support. First it was nato, then, europe and a little of the UK, but as he's needed to dig deeper, it's mostly US now - the old pro wrestling narrative they have there, we're the heel).
 

raffo

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I happened on a book on the history of steel making in Sheffield and America not long ago. In the intro the author described the harsh working conditions of the Sheffield worker, for certain some got paid well, but drinking was an issue as well as poor work safety. What struck me was the side note about grinders having life expectancies of 40 years. That's the backdrop of some of the tools we love so much. With such tainted history, is it ethically correct to use them? Of course it is, our whole world was built on the backs of our predecessors, this is how the world is and how it will be.

Climbing high horses to shame others about their purchase choices is nonsense.

 

Eric R

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During the industrial revolution some pollution and working conditions could be put down to ignorance, the effects to start with were unknown, China or any other country can't use that excuse now, no matter where they are in their development, everybody knows the affects now.
You do know that lead pollution is still a big problem in the US. The US banned lead in paint and fuel long after Europe and long after there was clear evidence of harm. The asbestos industry knew the terrible harm os their product way back in the 1920s and continued to deny it, winning most lawsuits, until the 1970s when someone discovered minutes from board meetings from the 1920s discussing the danger.

And you miss my point, China's evolution as an industrial nation obviously lagged behind the U.S. And just like in the US, the early stages of development have been messy. It's not a cultural, ethnic or national characteristic. It's a stage of industrial development.
 

Eric R

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During the industrial revolution some pollution and working conditions could be put down to ignorance, the effects to start with were unknown, China or any other country can't use that excuse now, no matter where they are in their development, everybody knows the affects now.
And by the way here's a list of pollution scandals in the US that are on going. 8-horrible-water-scandals-us You're idea that the US industry is different bcs it's American is willfully ignorant.
 

D_W

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And by the way here's a list of pollution scandals in the US that are on going. 8-horrible-water-scandals-us You're idea that the US industry is different bcs it's American is willfully ignorant.

My neighbor works at a seminary. They often house Chinese seminary students long term in a basement apartment, and I've talked to a bunch of them. I'm sure there are instances of water pollution in the US. If you mentioned pollution in the US, though, around any of these students, I doubt they'd take you seriously.

They take picture of the sky here and talk about the pollution in China. They have a term for it that I've heard across the board. It's in their hearts now - the pollution. They believe they're permanently damaged and when I suggested that it's probably just a transition period and the water, soil and air here used to be polluted, they shake their head no and refer to the pollution there as being permanent.

The magnitude of differences is enormous. It probably won't be forever. I didn't follow what they meant at first saying that "no, it's in our hearts", but I'm guessing they mean that the pollution permeates everything around them and their entire bodies to the core.

None of them are able to stay here, but they don't go back to China once they're ordained. If they're not of means, they end up in other parts of the world like Africa or South America.

I wonder what they're told about americans there because they go through a period of transition here where they're (the students somewhat, but especially their spouses) extremely guarded and suspicious of why people are nice to them for no reason.
 

D_W

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by the way, the alkaline water thing is humorous. buy an expensive device to make your pee change, but not your blood PH. But definitely don't do the same thing with antacids or anything else. Has to be the water (which corresponds to what the touters are selling). Quacky stuff is a distraction from talking about water pollution.
 

Eric R

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My neighbor works at a seminary. They often house Chinese seminary students long term in a basement apartment, and I've talked to a bunch of them. I'm sure there are instances of water pollution in the US. If you mentioned pollution in the US, though, around any of these students, I doubt they'd take you seriously.

They take picture of the sky here and talk about the pollution in China. They have a term for it that I've heard across the board. It's in their hearts now - the pollution. They believe they're permanently damaged and when I suggested that it's probably just a transition period and the water, soil and air here used to be polluted, they shake their head no and refer to the pollution there as being permanent.

The magnitude of differences is enormous. It probably won't be forever. I didn't follow what they meant at first saying that "no, it's in our hearts", but I'm guessing they mean that the pollution permeates everything around them and their entire bodies to the core.

None of them are able to stay here, but they don't go back to China once they're ordained. If they're not of means, they end up in other parts of the world like Africa or South America.

I wonder what they're told about americans there because they go through a period of transition here where they're (the students somewhat, but especially their spouses) extremely guarded and suspicious of why people are nice to them for no reason.
It's clear the Chinese government pays people to surveil the students who are here. The Chinese government is definitely something to fear. I've also met many wealthy Indians who want to immigration to the U.S. because the pollution in India, especially the air pollution, is horrible. The novel White Tiger touches on the level of pollution industrialization has brought India. But none of the improvements here came about because industry happily reduced pollution. They fought every reduction tooth and nail and still use lobbyists to advocate to role back pollution measures. So before we celebrate how much better it is here, remember that there are still forces trying to roll back protection standards. Sure they'll argue that everything's gone too far etc., but since they've made the same arguments against every advance, it's hard to take their claims seriously.

I read an article the other day where the author analyzed the campaign to deny climate change and its concomitant attacks on the science. The author argued that the tobacco industry created the playbook and one can see the rise of distrust in science and scientist begin to take hold as a result of the tobacco companies' campaigns.
 

Devmeister

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Since the thing with the shredded bullet casings that Obama supposedly banned never actually went into effect, and surprise surprise the policy was started by the previous Republican administration, where did Quangsheng get a hold of the tons of bullet brass to make their planes now?


Thirteen year old nonsense.

The US military actually produces many more times the brass then the reloading world can swallow! Home Depot and Lowe’s sell brass sweat valves made in China from C260. They are much harder to sweat together. While it could be dimensional issues it may also be related to alloy issues. After getting burned figuratively and Literally I will not buy these valves!
 

Devmeister

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In high school. We learned to cast metal. When a couple of us tried to cast brass, we went looking for scrap. The furnace began shooting. Some of the spent brass we used had primers in them from the farmer who did occasional reloading. After changing my underwear we managed to get a couple of pours done. I didn’t know much about C260 then but I was quite unhappy with this yellow like brass. I don’t like it and would never make a tool from it!
 

Devmeister

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Your army brass story sounds like urban legend stuff to me.

The Luban planes have been around for a long time now and they have a decent reputation (concerns about country of origin excepted).

If you want definitive answers Matthew at Workshop Heaven should be able to answer as they have been selling them for a long time and I'm pretty sure he stands by the product.


I have the no. 6 Jointer and it is an excellent tool.

I recently with much trouble just got the LN #5 1/2 jack plane. It’s a wonderful tool.
 

mark w

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This isn't a Chinese government or nation thing, this is a commercial and operating territory thing. Commercial entities across the globe use manufacturing territories pretty much wherever they want, including UK and US based companies. Sure, China may facilitate cheap labour and lower working standards but that's the carrot in this scenario not the stick. If you want to muse about geo economic politics and climb that horse, go ahead but understand how you play a role in that before getting comfortable in that saddle.
Slightly disagree with you, the carrot as you call it is the main stick, if the Chinese Government didn't allow it, it wouldn't happen, by the way I do know my role in this as a consumer and do my best to source things ethically. Some makers, some on this forum, make a big thing about where they buy their timber, locally sourced, FSC certified etc, which I agree with but then they fill their workshops with Chinese tools for their students to use, laughable really.
 

mark w

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And by the way here's a list of pollution scandals in the US that are on going. 8-horrible-water-scandals-us You're idea that the US industry is different bcs it's American is willfully ignorant.
Wilfully ignorant??? In the main, most European countries have workers rights, standards for working conditions and an environment policy, also a legal system which allows redress if these rules are broken, we have this and so does the United States, what they all have in common is democracy, China and Russia do not. Where will I buy my new block plane, the UK, America or China, even though it may be cheaper, definitely not the latter.
 

mark w

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You do know that lead pollution is still a big problem in the US. The US banned lead in paint and fuel long after Europe and long after there was clear evidence of harm. The asbestos industry knew the terrible harm os their product way back in the 1920s and continued to deny it, winning most lawsuits, until the 1970s when someone discovered minutes from board meetings from the 1920s discussing the danger.

And you miss my point, China's evolution as an industrial nation obviously lagged behind the U.S. And just like in the US, the early stages of development have been messy. It's not a cultural, ethnic or national characteristic. It's a stage of industrial development.
You miss my point, China may be lagging behind but there are examples of how to industrialise cleanly and ethically, mistakes made by us and other countries including America who basically went through industrialism at the same time made mistakes which China and other developing countries should learn from, dumping chemicals in waterways is not a messy mistake it is a wilful act, taken with the knowledge it will do harm, ignorance is no longer an excuse. Your points about asbestos, to start with the effects may have been covered up but nonetheless asbestos use is banned and those disposing of it have to do so in a safe way, the same with lead, it is now banned your analogy would suggest that China and other developing countries would allow the use of asbestos and and lead and expose workers to it because they are going through a messy industrial evolution, your argument is nonsensical.
We live in a global society what we know is not exclusive to us.
 

mark w

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You do realise these tools are already extant not made to order specially for you, are being sold by traders who have already paid any taxes the chinese govmt will ever get and therefore are in no way funding Putin
Dear God give me strength, if we stop buying them there is no demand and no tax if I were to buy something directly from Russia as Workshop Heaven do, the money I paid to that manufacturer or supplier would be taxed by the Russian Government, the tax goes to the Russian Government, in turn this is embezzled by the likes of Putin and his oligarch friends and is what is currently funding the war in Ukraine, this is what you are supporting when you buy an item made made in Russia.
 
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Daniel2

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Dear God give me strength, if we stop buying them there is no demand and no tax if I were to buy something directly from Russia as Workshop Heaven do, the money I paid to that manufacturer or supplier would be taxed by the Russian Government, the tax goes to the Russian Government, in term this is embezzled by the likes of Putin and his oligarch friends and is what is currently funding the war in Ukraine, this is what you are supporting when you buy an item made made in Russia.

I recommend you bring yourself up to date regarding Workshop Heaven's policy on this.
 

mark w

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I recommend you bring yourself up to date regarding Workshop Heaven's policy on this.
Perhaps you would post a link, I can't see anything regarding Russian tools and the Ukrainian war.
I recommend you bring yourself up to date regarding Workshop Heaven's policy on this.
Thank you, I have and am pleased to see their response, personally I wouldn't have stocked Russian tools after Russian Government employees walked into the UK and poisoned people, same principle.
 

Tony Zaffuto

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The marketplace legislates what goods are accepted and what is not. Can’t sweat together borg copper components? Then don’t buy them! Soon Lowes and Home Depot will get the message! Ever try to thread borg black iron pipe? First, it is egg shaped, not round. Second, it has uneven hardness.

But, it is not a government intervention need, but more consumers need to decide what their level of acceptable quality is, for their purchases.
 

Droogs

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Dear God give me strength, if we stop buying them there is no demand and no tax if I were to buy something directly from Russia as Workshop Heaven do, the money I paid to that manufacturer or supplier would be taxed by the Russian Government, the tax goes to the Russian Government, in tern this is embezzled by the likes of Putin and his oligarch friends and is what is currently funding the war in Ukraine, this is what you are supporting when you buy an item made made in Russia.
Firstly, I am not your intern.
Secondly, I already know that some taxes are indeed stolen
Thirdly, the stolen money is not used to fund the invasion of UKraine. Only the un-stolen money raised by tax is used to fund Russion government project. The stolen money is used to line the pockets of Putin and his chums.

Try to think about what you type before giving us the verbage of your considered opinion.
 
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