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Veritas No4 or Low Angle smoother plane?

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Nads

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First off all I’d like to thank everyone for their help with my first ever woodwork project (dovetail box), which I have finally just finished. I’ll post some pics soon, to get your feedback! I got some great advice from loads of you, which made everything go a bit more smoothly for a first project, I didn’t realise there was so much involved in making a box! :)

Anyway I’ll get back to the point of this thread, I’m starting a furniture making course in September (change of career from architecture) and I’ve been given a big tool list, over the last few months I have got most of the stuff on the list. Some of which I have chosen to buy different/better models, for example instead of a ‘Stanley No 60.1/2 block plane’ I brought a Veritas LA block plane, which I am really pleased with. But the Last thing on my list to buy is a ‘Stanley No.4 Smoothing Plane’, but I was considering upgrading this to a Veritas model too! But I’m not sure if I should get a Veritas No4 or Low Angle smoother plane? ? I have only chosen to look at Veritas options because I was really happy with my Low Angle Block and the comments from this forum always seem to be good!? Has anyone got any advise for me, I’m open to any suggestions or alternatives? :?

I currently own a Record No5, a Veritas LA block plane (with all the extras) and a faithful number No. 4, which seems a bit cheap and cheerful?

Thanks everyone!!
 

AndyG

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A massive benefit of low angle plans is that they can be 'configured' to attack a multitude of tasks. Put a normal low angle bevel on the iron and it's great for end grain. Grind on a high angle bevel and it'll be great for smoothing nasty grain that goes any which way. Put the bevel somewhere in between, and you've got something more like a normal bench plane.

Low Angle planes also normally have adjustable mouths too. These are fantastic; you can open it up when removing a lot of timber, or close it really small for taking of very fine shavings. One thing to look out for is whether the plane has some form of lateral adjustment for the iron. I 'think' the veritas ones do, but I don't think the Lee Nielsen ones do (the 62 definitely doesn't). Having this control makes setting them up much easier.

I bought a LN 62 (low angle Jack) a long while back, and it took me a while to work all this out. But now I have, it's a very universal plane. If you do go for a low angle plane, be sure to get a second iron for it, then you can have one ground ot a high angle and another to a low one.

With regard to a No.4, I've got a LN 4 1/2, and it's great. I find the extra bulk and width makes using much more 'positive'.

I hope some of that helps guide your decision.
 
A

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I agree with Andy.
The LA is more versatile but has less mass and I find the LN4.5 a better smoother to use for smoothing large surfaces such as tops of cabinets or tables.

I use both for different things and wouldn't be without either - I know this is not what you wanted to hear :oops:
 

dedee

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AndyG":322i3h5g said:
One thing to look out for is whether the plane has some form of lateral adjustment for the iron. I 'think' the veritas ones do, but I don't think the Lee Nielsen ones do (the 62 definitely doesn't).
The LN 164 Low Angle Smoother does not have lateral adjustment but I still love mine!

Andy
 

Scott

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If the No4 is wanted as a finely tuned smoother I would heartily recommend the Veritas Bevel Up Smoother. Superb plane and loads of mass at low centre of gravity! (sorry to confuse the issue further!)

All the best
 

Nads

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Well I can't really afford both?!? I can see what you’re saying about the LA lacking the extra weight of the No.4, and I know its not the same quality but, could use my Record No5, for bigger surface areas?!
Both seems to have their advantages, but the LA sounds more flexible in it uses, but I can’t help thinking that the No.4 is the most popular plane in the Veritas range, and it was a No.4 that I was asked to get?!! Now I’m really confused?
 

AndyG

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Seeing as it's for a course, it might be sensible to go for what they've listed. If learning the parts, and how to set it up, is all part of the course, then you'll want to have what they specified.

Save some cash, get a 'cheapish' No.4, then at a later date, after the course has taught you want to look out for, buy something grander.

A well set-up stanley/record plane is still a good plane. You can't go too far wrong 'financially' with an Axminster plane at £20 quid.
 

Nads

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Well that sounds like the sensible option, but I’ve already got cheap plane (Faithful No.4) and I think the list is more of a guideline, rather than the definitive list, as it seems complete different year to year?! But seeing as I was going to spend £50-60 on a new Stanley No.4, I thought I might just go the extra few yards and buying something better quality rather than a plane that is just marginal better than the one I'’ve already got?!
 

ike

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If you stick to the requirement for a #4, then if twere I, I'd plump for the LA with an extra high angle blade rather than the more convential smoother. It's more versatile, is easier to adjust the mouth, and is still excellent for use on the shooting board. Weight and comfort in the hand? No plane can feel right for everyone though, so hopefully you can get to try out both planes before parting with a still not inconsiderable sum.

cheers

Ike
 

bugbear

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If the list says Stanley #4 and you already have a Faithful #4 and a Record #5, I'd say you already have enough tools to cover the requirments.

Of course there's a massive gulf between "need" and "want".

I'd put effort into ensuring that you have understood and performed the "normal" tuning tasks on your 2 bench planes, have good sharpening methods, and (perhaps) consider a blade upgrade.

BugBear
 

Nads

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So maybe upgrading the blade on my faithful and possible buying the LA smoother as an extra might be an option. What plane irons might you suggest as an upgrade? Does anything know how the Faithfull No.4 plane might compare to the Stanley No.4 anyway, just out of interest? :?

I’m thinking long term investment, I start my course in September and have nearly all the tools I need already. And with my birthday coming up soon and was thinking one more plane might be in order before I start my course. Plus your point about ‘want’ and ‘need’ is a valid one, but new tools are always good! :)
 

Philly

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Nads
Certainly worth trying the low angle smoother and the Bevel up smoother (its a larger version of the low angle smoother). Both are superb tools with performance matching planes with many times the price tag! :shock:
The low angle smoother can be used on the shooting board (the BUS can't) which could be an advantage.
Hope this helps
Philly :D
Who has a plane or two....
 

ike

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Plus your point about ‘want’ and ‘need’ is a valid one, but new tools are always good!
Go on... you know you can't resist! :lol:
 

ByronBlack

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I might in the minority here, and i've not had any experience with the veritas smoothers, but I have an old stanley no.4 (pre-war) and after some tuning and sharpening it works a treat.

And sometimes if I can't be bothered to go to the back of the workshop to fetch the stanley, i'll just use my Record T5 which also does an admirable job.

I did also have the faithful no.4 (and block, as a set) althought the block plane was ok, I found the no.4 to be a real pain - I took it with me on a course, and duly dumped it shortly after - I used a stanley 4 on the course, and quickly purchased a cheap one for about £20 on ebay, i've been very happy with it since.

BUT to be fair, i've not compared it like for like with a LN or LV smoother.
 

bugbear

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Nads":1kfv3kpm said:
So maybe upgrading the blade on my faithful and possible buying the LA smoother as an extra might be an option.
Since you imply that funds are limited, I was suggesting purely buying a better blade.

What plane irons might you suggest as an upgrade?
http://www.axminster.co.uk/name/samurai ... -22303.htm
It's simply the cheapest of the after market blades. They're ALL a massive improvement over the standard Bailey blades.

Does anything know how the Faithfull No.4 plane might compare to the Stanley No.4 anyway, just out of interest?
New Faithful against new Stanley? Not quite as good, but not that much difference. Against an older, better Bailey (Record or Stanley) it would compare badly.

I’m thinking long term investment, I start my course in September and have nearly all the tools I need already. And with my birthday coming up soon and was thinking one more plane might be in order before I start my course. Plus your point about ‘want’ and ‘need’ is a valid one, but new tools are always good! :)
In that case, I would still recommend tuning your existing bench planes, still upgrade the Faithful iron, and buy the LV BUS:
http://www.brimarc.com/home.php3?page=p ... c=C_106_40

This plane is damn good, and has interchangeable blades with the jack and jointer in the same range.

BugBear
 

Chris Knight

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Byron,
A well tuned Stanley or Record does perform well as many have found and as used to be demonstrated regularly by DC at the Axminster Tools shows. And, let's face it, millions of folk have used them to work with and produced much fine furniture using them.

However, the new planes from Veritas and LN offer performance previously only obtainable with the best infills and such like at a price which is a lot more affordable than those used to be for many people. That is not to say they are inexpensive in absolute terms of course!
 
A

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Nads":2wt1yjay said:
Well I can't really afford both?!? I can see what you’re saying about the LA lacking the extra weight of the No.4, and I know its not the same quality but, could use my Record No5, for bigger surface areas?!
Without a doubt., Tune the Record a bit (flatten sole +Hock blade would be enough)and it will be a good plane. I have never replaced my Record #4 after about 8 years of ownership because it works great.

You would have a good compromise witht the tuned Record and a BU smoother
 

Nads

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By the sounds of it I might be better of just ditching my faithful and buying either a Record or Stanley No.4, and maybe get a LA of BUS a bit later on along the course, once I’ve mastered the use of Record/Stanley! The Course is 2 years full time and so I’m sure I’ll get other opportunities to buy the LA or BUS later on! So the big decision is weather to get the new RECORD or the STANLEY No.4 ????? And if I were going to upgrade the blades, would you get ‘Victor Forged Blades’, or the ‘Japanese Samurai Laminated Blades’ from Axminster? I don’t really like the idea of plastic handles, should I get wooden ones?

Thanks for your advise everyone!!!!! :p
 

bugbear

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Nads":d33rx14q said:
By the sounds of it I might be better of just ditching my faithful and buying either a Record or Stanley No.4, and maybe get a LA of BUS a bit later on along the course
So the big decision is weather to get the new RECORD or the STANLEY No.4 ????? [/quote]

Noo!! Do not buy either tool new. Both cost around 50 GBP. This amount will buy you an excellent condition s/h tool at a car boot (a very clean #4 by Record or Stanley is 10-15 quid) with enough left for a Samurai blade. The old tools used higher quality machining on better materials.

My personal bias is towards Record, but older Stanleys are also fine.

And if I were going to upgrade the blades, would you get ‘Victor Forged Blades’, or the ‘Japanese Samurai Laminated Blades’ from Axminster?
Samurai - I have both, and both are around the same quality. Since the Samurai are cheaper...

I don’t really like the idea of plastic handles, should I get wooden ones?
OK. Stop. Are you seriously considering buying a new Stanley #4. and replacing the blade AND handles?

Working at ATPC prices:

http://www.axminster.co.uk/recno/7/prod ... -23360.htm
http://www.axminster.co.uk/recno/6/prod ... -19523.htm
http://www.axminster.co.uk/recno/3/prod ... -19732.htm

54 + 30 + 15 = 99. You've invented a 100 quid plane that doesn't work super-well!! This is madness.

Either buy a GOOD car boot plane, and tune it yourself (there's plenty of advice on selection and tuning on the web), or get a Ray Isles job (pre-chosen and tuned)

BugBear
 
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