New Router Plane - Reactions?


Mr H
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It seems like A lot of fluff features that aren't needed to me. I have the LN large router plane based off the stanley design and all of the features he was talking about I don't think i'd end up using. That said I don't use my router plane all that often. One feature I like from LN and LV is the ability to use various cutter sizes. I couldn't find any small cutters available for this plane. Maybe that's an in the future option?

That said the price is good. That leaves me questioning quality. How can he add all that stuff and be able to sell for less than the LN router plane? Must just be the pre-order price.

That said the zero backlash "feature" I've always been curious about why people get so bent out of shape over backlash?

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Good points. I think the price is kept down by offshoring the manufacturing. My hunch is that it's produced here https://hongdui.en.alibaba.com/ as that's that's the only mention I can find of Hongdui Tools.

I think problems can be over emphasised and a cure overblown, but that's not exclusive to this tool. But to be fair, he's done well to bring a product to market at an affordable price.

I would have liked to see an alternative handle material, perhaps Walnut or Beech. I don't see the need for Rosewood plus an alternative would make it look a little less like the Veritas. Even the painted surfaces, something different to black. Just to differentiate from Veritas. It'll be interesting to see what users feel about them once they start using them.

I'm not sure Hongdui Tools are one of the best tool makers of our time but that's subjective anyways.

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The AliExpress posting is likely the company that is making it for K-M. There’s a big difference between these companies making it for you and putting your logo on it, and having exclusive rights to the product. Even if you work with them to develop/change/improve the product. 

If you don’t go the extra light-years to get exclusive rights with these companies (and probably even if you do), you’ll see it with other logos on it or available on Alibaba/AliExpress even before you receive your first shipment of product. 

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Yeah, I would assume the Alibaba listing is to do with Hongdui "greatest tool maker of our time"...

A Google search seems to confirm it. I would be interested to offer up the casting to the Veritas and see if it's the same. 

If it's the same casting it seems the only difference is an alternative way of raising or lowering the cutter.

But like Coop says, it could be enough of an improvement for some.

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Hongdui Tools is based in Guangdong, which is known to be a hotspot for counterfeiting. Not sure which side of the equation Hongdui falls, and the AliExpress listing referenced above could be a counterfeit of the Hongdui. Hard to know.
 

It is interesting, however, that Hongdui has an almost identical version of BCTW’s kerfmaster listed. 

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I am only procrastinating as I just got a Bench Dog.  Hard to believe I made it for so long not understanding a router plane and getting by with chisels and sand-paper.   I use the heck out of it. 

Yes, it is made by Hongdui.   K-M said so. 

I find three features I like.  Closed mouth, Better depth adjustment, and cutters come off so easier to sharpen. K-M says they will have more cutters in the future.  A narrower one would be nice. 

If you like your L- N, vintage Stanley, Veritas, that is great.  They all work just fine as does my B-D after a few hours tuning,  but it seems a lot of needleless criticism about someone trying to take a new look at things. That is how he makes his living.  I guess you would not be interested in the fine thread adjuster by Reed Planes for your Bailey either. Necessary? No. Nice? Yes.  And yea, a Narlex Rictor does hold it's edge longer than my old ( real) Marples.  My old Sears block plane works just fine, but have not touched it after I got the little L-N pocket plane.   All I am saying is just because something is not bad, does not mean it can't be looked at again. Maybe not for everyone. I think having choices is fantastic!

FWIW, CMT is my go-to for rip blades. 24 tooth. I usually get them from Taylor when on sale.  I had issues with Freud and Diablo. I had a Ridge, but that was on an old contractor saw and it did not have the HP to rip 8/4 oak.  I guess it would have worked fine on my Harvey.  I am also happy with Amana 60 and 80 tooth crosscut.  I picked up the 40 tooth just to see if it can survive for generic breaking down things which is about all I use my TS for now anyway. I have actually heard good things about the Horrible Freight crosscut blade. Hard to believe but from a friend with many years as a cabinet maker. 

PS: I think the Hongdui kerfmaker is about half the size of the B-C.  I think that is what mine is. Quality is excellent. If not a Hongdui, then some other clone but it works just fine when I remember to use it. 

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Had to look up a couple of those. The fine adjustment for Bailey planes, just my opinion, but it looks like a solution looking for a problem. No issue with it, but 50.00 would be better spent on a good lunch.

The kerf maker, a novel idea. I'll never use one as I don't have a table saw at home and at work we don't use that approach. I don't know where most TCT tooling is made these days but I'd hazard a guess China. No issue with that, reciprocal trade is a good thing.

The Bench Dog looks a good router plane at a very reasonable price. We don't have access to it here. The company that sells Bench Dog here brands them as "Rider". I think they are imported from India. Up until recently the company were selling Lie-Nielsen, looks like that's ended. I can't say for sure but the Bench Dog looks very close to the Lie-Nielsen. Could be part of the reason they don't sell Lie-Nielsen now.

I'm not sure anyone has been that critical. I guess the closed throat feature looks the same as the Veritas, because the casting looks so similar, the blade removal is similar too. I don't take my blades off to hone, it's outrageously easy to sharpen without the honing stick they supply. I'd be much more likely to loose the allen key than get any benefit from removing it! The adjustment thing, for me it's not an issue.

The main issue for me is cost. The bench dog looks like great value, it should be. What would be the point of offshoring if it wasn't? It gives people an option when the LN is a whole lot more. However, the KM is quite pricey, and for me wouldn't offer any benefit over the LV. For the marginal cost increase, in this instance I'd put my money with Lee Valley. It's easy to forget they have a massive and comprehensive range of often originally designed hand tools that they then make themselves, in house  I don't like all their stuff. Their bench planes are in the weeds when compared to a decent Stanley. That not withstanding, they make a decent plough plane and a fillister.

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On 9/28/2022 at 7:26 AM, Mr H said:

I would have liked to see an alternative handle material, perhaps Walnut or Beech. I don't see the need for Rosewood plus an alternative would make it look a little less like the Veritas.

One of my favorite things about LN is the just use cherry. No need to infuse it or bake it. Just cherry. I wish more tool makers would just use nice domestics than some of the exotics. Well i guess domestic is a matter of perspective if they are all made in china. Heck even maple would be interesting, you'd get to see where the patina builds up over time from hand placement.

My only criticism is trying to make progress for progress's sake. It seems everywhere companies are trying to add features that we "Need" that end up flopping. Not saying that's happening here but wood working tools are going to be hard to improve on. There have been so many decades of development on them already. Centuries?

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On 10/4/2022 at 4:49 AM, Chestnut said:

 

I think it's good to always be experimenting and trying to improve. But a lot of change is driven by marketing or following the zeitgeist rather than being necessarily useful (and what's useful to one person will naturally be a gimmick to another).

@Ronn W Simple telephones never went away, you can even buy them on Amazon, they're just less popular. Sort of the same way you can still buy a Dewalt-style radial arm saw... But almost nobody does.

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  • 3 months later...

I finally got mine last week, ordered it the end of Sept when I saw this thread (about the time I joined this forum).  At that time I was watching comparison videos between the LN and the Veritas, as I only had a small British router plane up until then, and I couldn't get the tiny blade sharp for anything.  I liked the Veritas as it had that removable blade foot allowing me to get it sharp (the LN probably would've given me issues again); but, the Veritas used a setscrew against the threaded adjustment rod which was a non-starter for me.  But it had available narrow cutters, and was less expensive.  But... but... Then I saw this thread and decided to give this KM guy I'd not heard of a chance.  He sold out the first shipment, and I think I was on the second, but at last I have it.  

I'm very impressed with the fit and finish, no complaints there.  First thing I did was jerry-rig a mount for it so I could put my dial indicator on the bottom of the blade, and test his "zero-backlash" claim; close, damn close!  I could only turn the knob 8, 10 degrees before the dial indicator reversed, very impressive.

I don't have a project going right now with mortise and tenons, but I went ahead and hand-cut a mortise on a bit of scrap with a dozuki, then used this plane to shave the mortise cheeks.  According to Katz-Moses' video, you should dial the blade down into the wood until you feel the plane body lift; I could actually feel it make contact much easier thru the knob, that worked great.  I then realized that zero backlash would be much more useful in a bench plane, than in a router plane.  With a bench plane, you adjust the blade back-n-forth until you get the perfect shaving, then take multiple passes at that setting, until your board is flat, or smooth, or dadoed, whatever it is you're doing.  With a router plane, you're constantly adjusting the blade deeper and deeper after every pass, hence backlash is less important.  When I cut my practice mortise I noticed that I quickly learned to turn the knob 1/3 of a turn for each subsequent pass, and that worked really neat (will probably be a different amount for different wood types).  

Only one minor complaint.  The fasteners are tiny.  As some have mentioned above, I don't ever see using the fence, and probably won't use the reversing feature very often; I will use the removable blade foot/sharpening rod quite often, and ALL these fasteners are very small and are not "captive" (the fasteners on my LN sharpening jigs' various jaws are captive, so it can be done on small items (the blade foot screw on the KM, mebbe not, I don't know).  I wouldn't want to drop one of these fasteners when there's shavings/dust covering the floor... 

Overall, very happy with the purchase, and I need a new project to put it to use!  

 

Oh, and regarding tools from China/Hongdui: You can get excellent tools out of China, and you can get junk.  I follow a EweTube channel called "Hooked on Wood", the guy is either Dutch or from Belgium (I'm not good with accents) and he has about 30 or so tool reviews from China; some are fantastic deals and some are junk.  He also has some fantastic ideas on shop jigs, benches, and dust collection; recommended.

I learned a lot about this when I was working nuclear weapon safety for the USAF.  An Army chopper had gone down, killing 8 troops, and it was discovered the blades were fastened with Grade 5 bolts, which were marked Grade 8; and they were purchased in China; was this happening on our nukes, too?  We eventually learned that the US vendor actually spec'd for Grade 5 bolts (cheaper/weaker) but marked as Grade 8.  US Law doesn't allow that, in this country, but overseas it was whatever the Customer ordered.  You get what you order/pay for...

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12 hours ago, Botch said:

 

I learned a lot about this when I was working nuclear weapon safety for the USAF.  An Army chopper had gone down, killing 8 troops, and it was discovered the blades were fastened with Grade 5 bolts, which were marked Grade 8; and they were purchased in China; was this happening on our nukes, too?  We eventually learned that the US vendor actually spec'd for Grade 5 bolts (cheaper/weaker) but marked as Grade 8.  US Law doesn't allow that, in this country, but overseas it was whatever the Customer ordered.  You get what you order/pay for...

:o:(:angry:!

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