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Okay, I have a #5 jack plane, an old #7 jointer that's okay, but can't be tuned by me or others back to "great", and a #4 smoother.

My shop doesn't have the room for a 4 foot bed jointer... so that #7 gets some use. I'm debating on a Veritas or Lie Nielsen replacement, as I'm willing to spend the loot once to get this one a bit more right.

Question is, any preferences on 7 v 8, Veritas vs Lie Nielsen, and low angle vs standard angle for that role? I'm leaning towards a Lie Nielsen 8, since I got to hold one at WIA, and it fit my hands better than most. Mostly I'm curious on 7 vs 8, and low-angle/bevel up vs normal angle.

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I'm leaning towards a Lie Nielsen 8, since I got to hold one at WIA, and it fit my hands better than most.

I think you just answered your own question here. Between the two, I like a #7 better, but that's because I'm a girly-man. ;)

As far as bevel-up vs. bevel down, I like bevel down planes better. The reasons are a bit esoteric, and have to do with sharpening and skew angles, but for your case I think the most important thing is that there isn't a #8-sized bevel up plane.

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First let me say I'm a Veritas fan, so you can guess which one I would pick . A few reasons why are , the adjustable mouth , the side set screws that keep your blade centered , and the 4 different blade configurations you can have . You could buy two extra blades in different degrees to your liking (35*, 50* or toothed) and still come in under what the LNBUJ would cost . That way you would have a versatile plane that could handle any task in the shop . Just my two cents .

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My only input is that if you go with the bevel-up Veritas line, they all use the same blade. So if you end up buying a toothed blade and maybe an extra blade to grind at a higher angle for difficult woods then you'll be able to use them in all of your planes if you end up buying the the whole line #7, #5, #4. The LN planes are awesome, but they all use different sized blades. This may not be a concern, but I just thought I'd throw it out as a data point.

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I have a WW2-era Stanley No. 8. The casting is heavy, the plane is like an aircraft carrier. With all that mass, a sharp blade, and some wax on the sole, it just zooms through knots. It is for flattening things, not smoothing, so although an adjustable mouth and adjustable bevels might conceivably be of some use for fine tweaking, I just can't think of a situation where you'd need a high angle or a fine closed mouth. All of those properties would be really cool to have with a smoother though. I think the LN No. 8 would be the best for your application.

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Dean,

I faced this same question a few years ago. I tried them out at the first WIA I found the one that fit my hand and went with it. I am with Wilbur and a bit of a girly-man so a LN#7 it was. I have smaller hands and didn't need all the space or weight of a No. 8. If the No. 8 felt good then go with it, you won't ever regret something that feels good in your hand. I agree that a jointer has one purpose in my shop, however, sometimes I do tighten the mouth, hone the blade and use it as a pseudo smoother for projects that just need to be "good enough". However, this has never made me want a bevel up configuration. I find that I prefer bevel down planes, but to each his own.

Josh

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I personally have 2x #7's and one old #608. I've been working on a bench lately so they are all in rotation (easier to batch sharpen, easier to just grab a new plane as an old one dulls).

I never need to close up the mouth of a jointer so that's a null point. Same deal with different cutting angles, leave that to the smoothers.

A jointer should do one thing, provide a reference surface to allow you to make strait boards... so to me, longer is better.... plus I love the extra mass and width of a #8. (remember a #8 is also wider than a #7 and when you are on a large project it's nice!!!!)

I never notice the extra mass is harder to push... to me it makes it far easier. Wax the bottom and once you get it started, it will keep going!

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I agree here, my approach was to have a flat surface and the longer the plane the flatter the results ... so I got a LN # 8. I love this plane and is not that heavy.

I personally have 2x #7's and one old #608. I've been working on a bench lately so they are all in rotation (easier to batch sharpen, easier to just grab a new plane as an old one dulls).

I never need to close up the mouth of a jointer so that's a null point. Same deal with different cutting angles, leave that to the smoothers.

A jointer should do one thing, provide a reference surface to allow you to make strait boards... so to me, longer is better.... plus I love the extra mass and width of a #8. (remember a #8 is also wider than a #7 and when you are on a large project it's nice!!!!)

I never notice the extra mass is harder to push... to me it makes it far easier. Wax the bottom and once you get it started, it will keep going!

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I have a bevel up jack, a bevel down smoother and a bevel down jointer. My jointer is a #8 LN and I love the mass. I don't change the mouth very much but it is adjustable. It is the bedrock design and you use the three screws behind the frog. Very easy and you don't have remove the frog to adjust it. Granted not as easy as my bevel up jack but still very easy.

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Let me start by saying I don't think you will go wrong with any of the LN or Veritas jointers.

I have the LN #7 and absolutely love it.

I currently also have a Jet 6in cabinet style jointer, but I have never used it on an actual project. I found that it was so easy to flatten boards with the #7 I never took the time use the tailed jointer, even when building my Roubo style bench.

As far as the choice between a #7 and #8. I have never found a board that I felt I couldn't flatten/joint with my #7 especially since I do most of my flattening first of all with a #5 jack plane, then switch to the #7.

Good luck, I think you will be happy with any of the aforementioned planes.

Chris (COWW)

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I have a bevel up jack, a bevel down smoother and a bevel down jointer. My jointer is a #8 LN and I love the mass. I don't change the mouth very much but it is adjustable. It is the bedrock design and you use the three screws behind the frog. Very easy and you don't have remove the frog to adjust it. Granted not as easy as my bevel up jack but still very easy.

I've got pretty much the same setup as Bob. In fact, I bought my LN Low Angle Jack (LAJ) from a cabinet shop who was converting over to all Lee Valley bevel-up planes specifically because of the blade commonality that I mentioned above (that's how I discovered it). I wasn't necessarily recommending it, just providing the information. Having said that, my LNLAJ is my favorite plane by far. I use that thing for everything and I have a Bailey #7 that works great and a LN bronze #4 that's a dream too. But, for me, nothing compares to my LNLAJ.

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