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About ChrisG

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    Journeyman Poster
  • Birthday 11/09/1981

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  • Location
    Philadelphia, PA
  • Woodworking Interests
    Hand Tools, Design, Box Making, Cabinet Making, Tool Making

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  1. ChrisG

    Shoulder Plane

    Ok, so sticking within the shoulder plane arena the answer is, it depends. If you want to use it for dados that pretty much rules out the LV and LN larges, and well as the LN medium. Personally, the two shoulder planes I like the best for "all-around use" are the LV medium and the LN small 041 (not to be confused with the small LN infill). The LN 041 looks and feels quite small, but at 5/8" wide its only 1/16" narrower than the medium LV, it's very comfortable in one hand but still has enough width to handle most shoulder plane tasks. The LV medium falls about halfway between the LN medium and the LN small in terms of size. It more substantial then the LN small, but is still easily wielded in one hand, and for "general all around use" it is my favorite shoulder plane on the market. However, if your main purpose in tenon cheeks then you'll prefer either a large shoulder plane or rabbet block plane...the width is just better suited for getting a trued tenon cheek, but again you won't be able to use them for dados. Just for reference of where my opinion comes from... I personally own 3 shoulder planes. My smallest is the little LN bronze 1/2" infill, which is just super handy for little trimming and truing tasks, my medium is the LV medium, which again, I love as a great all around general purpose shoulder plane (its my most used of the 3), and my largest is not an LN or LV l...rather its a vintage 1 1/2" wide Slater infill shoulder plane. It's wider then both the LN and LVs, but also shorter, and lower so it much easier to wield one handed...It almost feels like a cross between a large shoulder plane and a rabbet block plane. I've also tried all the LN and LV shoulder planes at various points in time either at shows or in friends workshops. For the larges...I like the LV a little bit better just because I find the shape of the body and the knobs make it more comfortable for me to use than the Large LN, but that said, the Large LN is also pretty sweet, and I wouldn't give strong preference to one over the other...and if going with a large would base the decision on how you think you would prefer to grip a shoulder plane. For mediums...I like the LV much better than the LN medium. I just don't like the feel of the LN/Record/Preston style shoulder planes in that size. They feel a lot larger and one handed use is less intuitive than on the LV or similar width Stanley, without adding much capacity. The 3/4 (model 042) LN/Recod/Preston style just don't suit me, but thats just me as I like a shoulder plane that I can easily wield one-handed. Obviously that style had been around in that size for a long time and if you want a 3/4" plane that you can really get a lot of power behind with two hands you might prefer the LN/Record in that size. For smalls...tough choice...for all around use I'd have to go with the LN 041....It just a really nice handy size...fits in the hand almost like a small block plane, but at 5/8" wide it just more versitile than either the LV small or the LN infill....I actually really love both the LV small as well as the little LN infill that I own, BUT I often will use a shoulder plane to tweak 1/2" wide rabbets in those cases its nice to have something a little wider than the rabbet...while I love both those little planes, I wouldn't want a 1/2" shoulder plane as my only plane. So to answer your original question, yes for your purposes, I think the LV medium is the way to go, since its the widest of the planes that are narrow enough to fit in a 3/4" or slightly under dado and while it's got some good heft to it and the body is big enough to get two hands one when needed, its still easily wielded in one hand. Its not as ideal for truing tenon cheeks as a large shoulder plane or rabbet block will be but it will get that job done and in other ways it may be a better all-arounder then a Large shoulder plane. Of course...just because I've tried a handful of shoulder planes doesn't mean I know jack about woodworking or have any idea what I'm talking about and even if I did...these are just my personal preferences (and I generally prefer smaller shoulder planes), so please feel free to take my opinion with a grain of salt or ignore entirely :-)
  2. ChrisG

    Shoulder Plane

    The Veritas medium is a great tool, I love mine but it mostly gets used for light tuning of rabbets and tongues, etc...stuff like that. What james said. A router plane is better for dados as well as tenon cheeks. Also, better for cheeks would be either a larger shoulder plane or a rabbet block of sometype. If you want to just buy one plane right now though for both dados and tenon cheeks a router plane is the way to go. I have the LV router plane, and LN makes a nice one too. LN has a video showing how to use a router plane for both dado and cheek work:
  3. ChrisG

    Contour Planes

    Yes, they are made by Mujngfang. They are for essentially low angle wooden spokeshaves. I have the pair. Great little tools, especially for the money. The blades require a little setup, and they are not the easiest things to hone, but that's true of any tanged spokeshave blade. I reshaped the sole/toe of the small one and use it for shear tight inside end grain curves. I'm happy with them and everyone else I've seen mention them has liked them too, but again, they do require a little bit of setup.
  4. What do you plan to use it for?
  5. For the "in the mean time" coarse work can be done with sandpaper on a dowel, a small cylinder or conic head on a dremel or other rotary tool, and because some of those vintage irons are somewhat soft a chainsaw file can work well also.
  6. Well, I'm glad you guys enjoyed hearing about the visit. Like many of us, I've been their products and service for a while, but seeing how they make it all happen is just that much more impressive. It really is impressive and incredibly interesting to see how a company like that operates...of course, playing with all the tools was fun too....
  7. Hi Jerry, Nope no pics. I thought about taking some pictures of the outside but I knew I wouldn't be able to take any inside so I didn't bring my camera. They are not really setup for tours, and I am under an NDA for anything I saw there. I was fortunate to get an behind the scenes tour as I've gotten to know Rob a bit over the past couple years and occasionally do some testing for them so I am already under an NDA agreement anyway. I feel very lucky to have been given that experience.
  8. Today was the last day of a road trip vacation, that took my wonderful wife and I up to Burlington, VT, then up to Montreal, and then ended over in Ottawa, the home of the Lee Valley Dynasty. The entire trip was planned around my long awaited visit to the Lee Valley/Veritas factory (I married a great women), and, oh my, was it ever worth it! My Lee Valley visit began at the front doors of their main office, where I was greeted by my friend/Veritas's brilliant head of R&D Rick B. After a brief stop in Rick's office (where I must have handled every tool on his desk), we headed upstairs to see the man himself, Robin Lee. I've gotten to know Rob over the past couple years on the forums and via email correspondence, so it was wonderful to finally meet him in person. In addition, to getting to have a nice chat with him, I was able to see and handle the tools on Robs infamous office shelves. The shelves are packed with a mix of old and new planes that reflect Rob's favorite tools at any given point in time. Not only did I get to handle some really interesting old tools (such as a very unique small fenced block plane....that I would describe as something like a Stanley 101 with an adjustable fence), but I also got to handle some very high end modern infill planes made by the likes of Brese, Marcou, and even Holtey. I must to say that it is comforting to know that the head of such a great and prolific tool manufacturing company has the same...really worse..addiction as the rest of us. It is clear that the man is passionate about hand tools. While the visit to Robs office alone was worth the proverbial price of admission, that was only the beginning of an afternoon visit that far exceeded what I expected and hoped for. Upon leaving Robs office Rick spent a full 3 hours with me taking me through every nook and cranny of the Lee Valley/Veritas offices, factory, store, and warehouse. Every part was incredibly interesting and innovative to say the least, down to how they organize the warehouse and organize their pickers product lists. I never realized how much could go into to something like organizing a warehouse, and I must say I found it incredibly interesting. Anyway, I could go on so here are the bullett'd highlights of the visit: - Rick sat me down and mapped out/explained the entire design process, from origins of initial idea, to the design, the actual engineering, the early prototyping, the "pre-production" run, final tweaks, and finally production. - I had the privilege to see the current "project wall". This was basically a full wall of printed out AutoCAD type renderings of all the things they are currently working on....some of which were currently in production to be released soon, some of which are currently in the design and engineering phase, and others that are nothing more than concepts that may or may not ever come to fruition. "The wall" may have very well been my favorite part of the visit. The number of cool things I saw on it and hope to be able to buy some day blew my mind. AND NO, I can't tell you what they are, so don't ask. - Rick showed me the 3D printer and showed me how it works. It was way cool. Even COOLER, I also to handled a 3D printing of a tool that is currently in the early stage of design. It was amazing to to be able to hold and adjust a tool that has not even been produced...sure it was plastic, but it was super cool.(again don't ask...sorry I can't and won't say what it is) - I got to meet several of the designers and engineers. I made a point to ask Rick to introduce me to the good fella, named Terry, who designed the SBUS, so that I could tell him how much I like it. - I got to see all the video and photo studios. It's all done in house, which is awesome. I even got to see the video studio where they shoot the demos with Vic Tesolin. Vic was on vacation so I didn't get to meet him, but I did chat with his video producer and I got to mess around in the studio and of course, put my greedy hands all over the tools that sit on the shelf behind him in all the videos. - I got to go through the entire manufacturing facility. I saw raw castings and was showed what makes a good casting and a reject, I saw castings being machined and tools of all sorts being machined, I saw a large number of MASSIVE granite inspection plates and employees checking tolerances on them at EVERY step, I was shown the blade grinding and the blade lapping equipment, saw individualized setups for machining different types of tools, got to see the CNC shop where some handles/totes are made, visited the assembly rooms, walked by an assembled run of tools fresh of the presses...and the list goes on and on...I can't remember it all..but it was awesome!!! - Another favorite part of the visit was the trip to the room where the R&D team tests out the tools. Not only was I able to play with just about every tool LV makes in there, but I got to walk through the room where they keep the bins that hold the original plastic prototypes of every tool they've made. It was really cool to look through the various models of some of the tools and see how they evolved (sometimes significantly) from the original plastic prototype to what ended up sitting on our tool shelves. - Finally...I almost forgot to mention. I got to see "The Lee Collection"...the legendary room FULL...and I mean FULL, of row after row, of vintage tools...from hand drills to lumber jack saws...from common hardware store bailey planes to Preston shoulder planes and vintage infills...I couldn't begin to look through or handle everything. I've never seen to many incredible tools in one place. Anyway, that is just some highlights, I can't begin to describe every aspect of the visit. I can only say that as much as I already liked this company, I am 100 times more impressed now that I have seen its inner workings. I feel privileged to call Rob and Rick my friends and honored that they trusted me enough to show me so much of the inner workings and confidential projects of the company. Thank you Rob and Rick, sincerely, it was an incredible experience. And to all my hand tool'n friends, if your an LV fan (and maybe even if you're not) I advise you to start setting aside some cash in anticipation for this fall. It's going to be a doozy. Sorry...that's all I can say...but trust me on's going to leave our wallets a good bit lighter. (I know, I know, pictures, it didn't happen. Sorry I didn't bring my camera and even if I had I wouldn't have been allowed to use you'll just have to take my word this time)
  9. Cool, thanks. I'll take a look for the CL ad.
  10. What you got these days Jerry? Just the curly maple still or you got any other species you are trying to part with. I'm always on the lookout for good prices on Cherry, Walnut, and Poplar in/near the city and saves me a drive out to somewhere further.
  11. One time price bump $80 shipped CONUSA....$70 for local West Philly pickup in the 19104 zip code. Paypal only please. If you're interested please be assured that this plane works absolutely beautifully. The only reason I'm selling it is because I got a hold of a Veritas 6. If you want more pics or a video let me know. Just FYI: This is the lowest I am going. If there is not interest I will simply keep the plane, put it on Ebay, and/or sell it later on down the road. Please send me a PM if interested.
  12. ChrisG

    Shooting Board

    Super random question...did you by chance buy that No. 4 off ebay about 3 weeks ago? I was watching one that had similar pattern of tarnish. There was an LV 6 from the same seller also that has that same "left in the garage unused" pattern of staining. Of course, perhaps yours lives in your garage and has simply developed similar staining, but it's not something I see that much. I bought the 6 for well...a really really good price...a little staining doesn't bother, especially if it gets me a premium plane for a song. Nice shooting board. If you have trouble truing it uo you can just put a little piece or two of blue tap whichever end, and it will shim the workpiece into square.