High End Planers


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Hi Everyone,

I am completely new to woodworking and have been doing a lot of reading on what tools I should be purchasing to get started. Everyone seems to be recommending Lie Nielson or  Veritas brands with regards to chisels and hand planers. The problem is most planers are out of stock with restocking in July/2021 time-frame. 

Does anyone have any recommendations on other brands that would be on the higher end? 

Thank You!

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Seeing that you are just getting started I would suggest purchasing some used/reconditioned vintage planes. There are several reputable online sellers and you would be able to purchase what you need to get started for the price of one premium plane. Then when the others are back in stock you can revisit the idea. If you decide to purchase a LN or LV you could sell the one your replacing for pretty close to the same price you paid for it. Also it will give you the chance to learn how to sharpen and setup a tool without the worries of wrecking it. Not that I would know anything about wrecking a new tool! :) 

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I have quite a few vintage planes that I've installed Lee Valley PMV-11 irons and chip breakers in. I grab the vintage planes over the LN and vertias plans i have that are similar. The plane body provided it's somewhat well tuned is less important that the cutting iron mounted in it. It's not hard to tune them up.

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I have bought several older Stanley hand planes and cannot be happier. I find it fun tanking the time to clean, tune them up and learning to sharpen them.. You can buy a variety if older Stanley planes at a fraction of 2-3 Lie Nielson or Veritas planes. Use them for a while and then upgrade in the future once you decide which planes you fin yourself using the most. 

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For your first hand plane, I suggest buying a (new) quality one.  LN or Veritas, it doesn't matter.  You CAN get by with a WoodRiver, they're really not bad and will likely get you 90% of LN performance at bargain.  If you buy a vintage plane and try to tune it yourself, you'll likely not nail it and you need to feel/see how a quality plane is supposed to work. 

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My first plane was a Record block plane that I might have paid $20 for brand new. It took a couple of hours of tuning, but it works great. About the only difference in performance between it & the Lie-Nielsen rabbit block plane I have is that the Lie-Nielsen iron holds an edge better and is much prettier.

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1 hour ago, drzaius said:

My first plane was a Record block plane that I might have paid $20 for brand new. It took a couple of hours of tuning, but it works great. About the only difference in performance between it & the Lie-Nielsen rabbit block plane I have is that the Lie-Nielsen iron holds an edge better and is much prettier.

I have a coffin plane made in 1848 in an Ohio prison, that is near mint. And I've never used a LN or any "modern" plane, but that coffin plane with patience, will take the finest shaving you can ask for. But it takes time to set it up. Once set right, you have a wonderful tool.  And it's pretty also.

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40 minutes ago, RichardA said:

I have a coffin plane made in 1848 in an Ohio prison, that is near mint. And I've never used a LN or any "modern" plane, but that coffin plane with patience, will take the finest shaving you can ask for. But it takes time to set it up. Once set right, you have a wonderful tool.  And it's pretty also.

Can you post a pic? I wonder if it was used by its maker to plane his way out of the big house? :D

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13 minutes ago, drzaius said:

Can you post a pic? I wonder if it was used by its maker to plane his way out of the big house? :D

I may have a pic of it, I'll look.   It was sold by the Ohio tool Co., but only the wooden parts were made in the prison, OTC sold it as a Second, "because" it was constructed by convicts. The ones they sold that were made outside of the prison were sold as new and top of the line at the time.  I don't think the wooden body would cut through the bars or walls.

DSC01009 (800x600).jpg

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DSC01011 (800x600).jpg

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1 hour ago, RichardA said:

OTC sold it as a Second, "because" it was constructed by convicts.

Almost all of the metal food storage boxes you use in the national park campgrounds to keep you food out of the paw of bears are made by federal penitentiary inmates.  Some of the best welding you will ever see.

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I just realized, those pics were taken before I cleaned it up. It looks way better now.  And @chet, I'm thinking that those guys in prison have enough time on their hands to do things right. :  }

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1 hour ago, Chet said:

Almost all of the metal food storage boxes you use in the national park campgrounds to keep you food out of the paw of bears are made by federal penitentiary inmates.  Some of the best welding you will ever see.

There was a facility in the city i used to live that taught inmates trades and other skills in an effort to prepare them for life outside prison. They made benches picnic tables and all sorts of items that got sold to different federal or state facilities. Most of the items were very well built like you mentioned.

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