Versatility of L-N no.62 low angle jack plane


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Howdy,

I am new to woodworking and hand planes. The below clip really caught my attention as one can do various tasks with this one. I do have a few questions:

  1. do other low angle jack planes have the same capabilities as the L-N one as long as one have multiple blades honing at different angles? 
  2. the blade comes with 25 degree ground bevel, should one hone a second bevel of 5 degree and use for end grain smoothing or use as is out of the box?
  3. if one wants to use this plane for medium flattening and face smoothing, should the blade be honed another 15 degree at second bevel so that the total blade angle will be 40 degree like in the clip? Will it be better and more efficient to dedicate different blades for flattening and smoothing instead of 1 blade at the same angle? If yes, what angle should each blade be honed at?
  4. How easy it is to swap the blade and tune it? In the clip, he used 1 blade at 40 degree for medium flattening and smoothing but he has re-hone the blade in between and it was kind of inefficient to me. He did not describe the adjusting/tuning process every time the blade is changed in the clip during each stage of the flow: course removal -> medium flattening -> fine smoothing.
  5. I heard one can use this plane for jointing as long as the board is not 3 times longer than the plane. In that case, what setting and blade angle should one use? Is it the same as fine smoothing setup at 40 degree?
  6. the toothed blade is out of stock on their website, I wonder if one can use another blade or setting with this plane for the same purpose of course removal of the rough lumber.
  7. I never tried blade honing before. Any advice or suggestion of practicing before putting my hand on the $45 L-N blade?

 

 

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I hold an unpopular opinion. Low angle jack planes are really only good for rough work and shooting. A jointer plane is goign to be better for edge work and a smoothing plane is going to be much better for smoothing work. The BU design makes the planes harder to adjust and the replaceable irons sounds nice in the beginning but you'll find yourself unlikely to actually switch them. It sounds easy but once you have the iron perfectly square the thought of removing it and having to re square the iron becomes an annoyance. The norris adjuster is not great for fine adjustments so more often you'll just have corners digging in.

Knowing very little i was able to buy some vintage Stanley planes and a new iron and take a post world war 2 No 4. and make it work well (the post WWII planes are supposed to be vastly inferior to the pre-wwII planes and the modern LN & LV counterparts). It works well enough that,even though i have a LN bronze No4., I grab the vintage Stanley first. So I'd buy 2 or 3 Stanley planes with upgraded irons for less than the LN low angle jack and will have IMO better results even with inferior tools. There are also budget tools offered by woodcraft and rockler that perform exceptionally for less cash than LN and will allow you to buy a couple planes for the same price.

End grain work? I use my BD planes. Why you ask. Because sharpness is more important than what ever angle it's cutting at.

Edit: Oofff the woodcraft planes aren't the budget option they once were. I still think the vintage Stanley planes are a great option they are not hard at all to make work. There are a ton of youtube videos that cover the process extensively. There are other vintage planes like Record and some of the offbrand Stanleys that are made well and can be had for quite cheap as well.

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I have a Veritas Jack plane and I am real happy with it but I don't use my plans as much as Chestnut.  Mine are used to mainly assist in my power tool work. 

A good way to think of the Jack plane is in its name.  Jack as in Jack of all trades master of none.

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My first LN plane was the LA jack and I still use it for end grain. I like the fact that the blade is easier to remove, sharpen and replace than it is with my BD planes.

For everything else I use my BD planes, especially my 5 1/2 jack plane and my #4. I get better results with them.

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While I have a couple of low angle planes I am not a fan in general as I prefer to be able to adjust my blade (in and out) without taking my hand off the plane or having to stop. My favorite plane is still my Woodriver #5 probably becuase it was my first and I use it for a lot of different tasks my LN Bronze #4 would be a close second but if I were buying one plane it would be  #5 and probably a Woodriver unless money were no object.

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1 hour ago, Chet said:

I have a Veritas Jack plane and I am real happy with it but I don't use my plans as much as Chestnut.  Mine are used to mainly assist in my power tool work. 

A good way to think of the Jack plane is in its name.  Jack as in Jack of all trades master of none.

@ChetThanks for your input. Actually, I also go with this hybrid approach and not planning to get a lot of hand tools. My Harvey table saw is coming and my Dewalt 735 planer need some practice and tune-up to reduce snipe. I don't have power jointer.

I plan to use a low angle jack plane for preparing 1 face and 1 edge of the rough lumber before sending them to power planer and table saw. In that direction, the low angle jack plane with multiple blades seems to fit my need but I am not sure how it will work out in reality. 

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1 hour ago, pkinneb said:

My favorite plane is still my Woodriver #5 probably becuase it was my first and I use it for a lot of different tasks 

@pkinnebCan you share with me more about what tasks you do with #5?  Do you also change the blades between each task?

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2 hours ago, Immortan D said:

My first LN plane was the LA jack and I still use it for end grain. I like the fact that the blade is easier to remove, sharpen and replace than it is with my BD planes.

For everything else I use my BD planes, especially my 5 1/2 jack plane and my #4. I get better results with them.

@Immortan DI'm glad to hear from an L-N LA owner. If it is easier to swap blades and square/tune it than the BD planes, I may go with this route: single LA jack plane with multiple blades for various task. 

Do you have any advice for sharpening? 

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6 hours ago, Scooby said:

@pkinnebCan you share with me more about what tasks you do with #5?  Do you also change the blades between each task?

Face work, edge work, shooting board were all done with my #5 until I started buying specific task planes. It was and still is a work horse for me. Having said that after about a year I added a #4 then some block planes then specialty planes etc, now after about 6 years I have 20 plus hand planes. Don't get me wrong I will never give up my power tools but I have found the quality of my work has improved noticeably since adding hand tools to the arsenal.

I don't change the blade between tasks but with a standard plane you can move the blade in and out to adjust the depth of cut while you work which is not something you can do on low angle planes.

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18 hours ago, Scooby said:

@Immortan DI'm glad to hear from an L-N LA owner. If it is easier to swap blades and square/tune it than the BD planes, I may go with this route: single LA jack plane with multiple blades for various task. 

Do you have any advice for sharpening? 

Since you are a beginner, I don't recommend getting the extra blades.  You won't need the high angle blades unless you're working with expensive figured woods, and the LA plane is not a good choice for that task either, it just doesn't have enough mass. The scraper blade is a PITA to use with this plane, use a card scraper instead. As for the toothed blade, I have one and it does a nice job, but make sure you have a solid workbench with good material holding capabilities before even attempting to use it.

As for sharpening, there is a lot of good advice on these forums. I recommend getting diamond stones because they do not require flattening. And also get a sharpening jig like the Veritas one (which is nice for beginners since it has a setting for honing the secondary bevel).

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23 hours ago, Immortan D said:

As for the toothed blade, I have one and it does a nice job, but make sure you have a solid workbench with good material holding capabilities before even attempting to use it.

I noticed in the video the guy's board came loose a couple of times.

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3 hours ago, Mark J said:

I noticed in the video the guy's board came loose a couple of times.

Yeah, my workbench is not good enough for flattening either. Happily the janitor here has one heck of a workbench down in the basement, which I borrow for those tasks.

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