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Mark J

Bench Dog brand planes

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Rockler carries this brand and a few months ago Bench Dog updated the product line.   When Rockler was closing out the old line they had a box set with a #4 smoother and I think a #60 block plane for $100 and I bit. 

I don't know if the new stuff is the same as what I have or not so keep that in mind.  The block plane compared to the WoodRiver block plane I have is shorter, narrower, and heavier.  I haven't messed with it much other than to clean it.  The machining is good and all the adjustable parts move the way they are supposed to. 

In the last week I wanted to try out the #4.  I don't own anything else to compare it to.   It's heavy.  The machining is good.  The rear handle was loose and couldn't be tightened.  I ground two threads off the handle screw and it tightened.  The blade was not flat, it was bowed towards the flat side in the middle.  The blade is very hard.   I worked on it for hours and never did get it perfectly flat.  It's annoying but it's also going to be good enough for me since it's mostly just something for me to play with.  This would probably unacceptable for a hand tool guy and if enough time is spent on it the back could be made perfectly flat.   The blade is double beveled and it did take a very sharp edge.  After messing with the blade for two days I didn't even bother checking the sole for flatness.  I just made some shavings and it works fine.  There is a lot of backlash in the blade depth adjuster, more than one full turn of the knob before engaging the other direction.  If there is a way to adjust for backlash it's not obvious to me.  

All in all they look real good, but probably not what a hand tool guy would want to use.

The new ones might be better, if you can get hands on one check the backlash on the blade adjuster.    Any blade can be flattened, I grew tired of messing with it though   

 

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I prefer putting vintage quality planes back in service. Can be inexpensive and produce great results. Otherwise, invest in real woodworking enthusiasts and buy a Lie-Nielsen plane. If that is simply out of the budget, the next best investment would be Veritas of Canada. Asia does not care about your hobby and doesn’t need your business. 

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11 hours ago, RichardA said:

No LN's no Veritas, just good "old" American tools.  And more where those came from.

 

Richard, do you have any Bedrock planes?

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14 hours ago, RichardA said:

No LN's no Veritas, just good "old" American tools.  And more where those came from.

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I believe that’s a Veritas dovetail saw there in the picture? JK....

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1 hour ago, Tmize said:

I believe that’s a Veritas dovetail saw there in the picture? JK....

Sure looks like one! plus a bunch of Narex Chisels and rasps. Those are Czech, aren't they :)

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4 hours ago, Immortan D said:

Richard, do you have any Bedrock planes?

No, not one.

 

2 hours ago, Tmize said:

I believe that’s a Veritas dovetail saw there in the picture? JK....

Yup, but for $30 I couldn't pass on it

 

40 minutes ago, Isaac said:

Sure looks like one! plus a bunch of Narex Chisels and rasps. Those are Czech, aren't they :)

And yes I bought the narex, because when digging through my old tools, I could not find mine and needed them asap.

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